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Travel - Chrome River

To log into Chrome River please go to myWCU, look for the Airplane Icon in the Quick Links, click on Travel Authorizations, and then click on Log into Chrome River.

The Blanket Travel form can be used for continuous travel for the same project. The reimbursements for travel should comply with the university travel policies. This form must be resigned at least every year if not before.

Please direct questions to Whitney Southard, Travel Auditor, at 828.227.3117

Guidelines / Chrome River Videos

  • All students, employees, and non-employees must have a Default AP Address prior to entering pre-approvals or expense reports in Chrome River.
  • Complete a Preapproval in Chrome River to include all anticipated expenses prior to traveling. Non-employees and students will not have access to Chrome River.
  • Employees needing access to Chrome River please contact Anita Hall at 227-3031 or
  • The Preapproval should be approved by the budget authority and traveler's supervisor prior to traveling or booking travel expenses.
  • Air travel and registration fees can be reimbursed prior to travel by attaching an approved pre-approval to the expense report along with itemized receipts showing proof of purchase and payment within Chrome River software.  If paying a third party vendor for airfare or registration fees then process on a check request form.  All other expenses cannot be reimbursed until after travel has occurred. 
  • Travel Advances can only be issued to permanent full-time WCU employees who do not have a state credit card (T-card or travel card).  Travel Advances will not be issued to non-employees or students. Travel Advances are processed through Chrome River and must be approved 14 days prior to travel.  No travel advances will be issued earlier than five (5) business days before departure.
  • Make travel arrangements early to secure the best rates for lodging and transportation.
  • Review the University travel guidelines and procedures prior to travel to avoid personal costs.
  • Travel that is not a direct benefit to the state will not be reimbursed. This includes optional upgrades to expenses, excessive or lavish spending that is for personal benefit.
  • Because the University no longer offers state-owned motor pool vehicles, an employee may choose whether to use the University’s term contract for rental vehicles (Enterprise) through the University reservation system or to use a personal vehicle.  The state budget office has stated in the new policy “OSMB will not consider exceptions to this policy.”  Therefore, the University does not have the ability to vary from the state policy.
  • Business trips 

    utilizing a personal vehicle are reimbursed at the rate of 62.5 cents per mile.
  • State rules override federal rules in connection with any reimbursement for federal grant funds.
    • NO CREDIT CARD STATEMENT CAN BE USED AS PROOF OF PAYMENT ALONE. Obtain receipts for any expense you wish to be reimbursed for except meal per diem. Meal (which includes tip) is reimbursed as per diem only. No need to keep receipts. If no overnight stay then no meals are reimbursed.
    • Lodging – Hotel receipt with dates of stay. Itemized receipt with a zero balance. Receipt must be in traveler's name who is being reimbursed. Valet parking will not be reimbursed if self-parking is available.
    • Airline/train - tickets and itineraries (receipt) at basic economy rate with taxes and fees.  No extras or upgrades like seat selections fees will be reimbursed.
    • Car Rental – Rental agreement contract showing total cost of rental with a zero balance. Optional insurance or extras are not reimbursable.
    • Bus – must have ticket (receipt).
    • Gas - Fuel receipt that shows the $ per gallon (for rental car or if gas card in state car does not work).
    • If traveling by personal car, record your total mileage for ROUND TRIP (example: 60 miles to airport and 60 miles back equals 120 miles at 62.5 cents per mile.
    • Obtain original receipts for parking, tolls, and taxis.
    • Baggage Charges - Must have receipt showing $ amount was for baggage expense.
    • We can only reimburse the person who actually paid the bill.
    • Tips:
      • Airport: Baggage Handling/Skycaps is equal to no more than $2 per bag; Shuttle Driver is equal to no more than $2 per bag.
      • Parking/ Auto Related Valet is no more than $2 per car when collecting car.
      • Taxi or Car Service Drivers is no more than $5.00 per trip.
  • Prepare Travel Reimbursements through Chrome River at and submit within 30 calendar days from the return date.
  • If the travel expenses are less than the Travel Advance received, write a check payable to Western Carolina University or bring cash to the Travel Auditor for the difference within 30 days of the travel. No expense reports will be approved in Chrome River until money owed is received by Travel Auditor.  When completing expense reports for money owed, please remember to utilize the Travel Advance Return tile on the same expense report as the expenses for which travel advance was received.
  • If foreign currency receipts are attached please label what it is for, date it was incurred and, use the conversion feature in Chrome River.
  • All students, employees, and non-employees must have a Default AP Address prior to entering pre-approvals or expense reports in Chrome River.
  • To be reimbursed for Airbnb, traveler must submit three hotel comparisons to show the savings over traditional hotel lodging.
  • After the Expense Report has been processed thru Chrome River, the reimbursement will be issued by check to your Default AP Address or by Direct Deposit (only available to employees). 
  • No checks will be held at the Controller's Office for pickup. 
  • To sign up for Direct Deposit for all Accounts Payable reimbursements, including travel, contact Human Resources at 828.227.7218 or fill out this Authorization for Direct Deposit form.

Questions regarding University travel please contact the Travel Auditor, Whitney Southard, at


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