A global footprint is indicative of an organization’s success. For finance teams, expense management across international locations can lead to many frustrations. Multiple currencies. Varying tax systems. Country-specific regulations. The list goes on and on. For Dutch enterprise information solutions provider Elsevier, such challenges became easier to navigate by replacing Oracle iExpense with Emburse Chrome River.
Elsevier’s global operations faced complex expense management challenges, including:
- Varying processes and rules for different locations
- Confusing user interface and lack of a mobile app
- Inflexible system required line-item audit but did not allow single-line returns
Elsevier’s Travel and Expenses Manager details how they tackled issues and enabled positive change with Chrome River Expense in our latest customer success story.
"Emburse Chrome River streamlined expense management across our global locations and helped users and finance gain efficiencies."
Maria Garcia, Travel & Expenses Manager, Elsevier
Ending global workarounds in favor of unified efficiency
Limitations in Oracle iExpense forced Elsevier’s finance team to create workarounds for each country in their footprint.
A staggering number of expense categories piled up, making processing infinitely more daunting. Receipt and invoice details were manually recorded since there wasn't a mobile component to their system's ecosphere.
The system also blocked single-line rejections. With more than half a million annually to review, process efficiency lacked severely—especially for resubmissions due to user error.
Elsevier began looking for a more configurable, innovative solution. “Emburse Chrome River was eager to work with us to create custom country-specific rules and workflows to address all our unique needs, all within one central system,” said Garcia.
Once implemented, the team:
- Reduced expense categories by 75%, leading to a significantly easier allocation experience and greater data accuracy
- Centralized global processing of expense reports (45,000+ annually), considerably cutting time and energy wasted performing menial tasks
- Simplified remote work and reporting with enhanced mobile feature
From an operational perspective, Chrome River helped Elsevier address country-specific requirements—including their most complex use cases in Germany. Automatic translations and built-in rules simplified the audit process. They also eliminated the need for finance to check every expense, which empowered the team to focus on more strategic work.
You can read more details about Elsevier’s dramatic efficiency gains by downloading their customer success story.
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Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care.
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic.