Can you automatically forward emails to Expensify from Gmail?

davehyndmandavehyndman Posts: 1Expensify Customer Expensify Newcomer
edited January 25 in Day to Day

I want to setup some filters to automatically forward certain emails to Expensify. But to setup an auto-forward in Gmail it requires you to enter a verification code that they email to [email protected] Is there a way to get this code?

Best Answer

  • KeaganKeagan Posts: 27 Expensify Success Coach
    Accepted Answer

    Hey there!

    So, [email protected] doesn't actually function like everyone's typical email Inbox, so we can't actually retrieve these codes for you. Sorry about that!

    I recommend using a service like IFTTT, Zapier, or Sanebox to auto-forward your receipts. My personal favorite is IFTTT because it's free. I just have the forwarding set up so that everything I label as a "Receipt" (automatically or manually) gets forwarded to Expensify.


  • thelordsmurfthelordsmurf Posts: 10Expensify Customer Expensify Newcomer

    Hi Keagan,
    Can you help me figure out how to get IFTTT to work as described? I tried an applet to do what you describe, but it never seems to actually forward emails from Lyft or such. It just sends blank attachments. Can you give more specifics?

  • KeaganKeagan Posts: 27Expensify Customer, Expensify Success Coach Expensify Success Coach

    Sure! Blank attachments are something I've never been able to 100% pin down (I suspect it has to do with whether they're public or not, as IFTTT's recipe marks them as "public" as though that's required, but I digress), but let me share how I've set this up to work:

    1. Set up filters in your email account for things you'd normally forward automatically to be labeled as "Receipts" or whatever you'd like. For instance, if you know all of your receipts from Lyft need to be forwarded, set up a filter so that every ride receipt from Lyft (perhaps using the email address and/or commonalities in subject lines for their receipts) automatically gets labeled with "Receipt" in your email inbox. You can use whatever label you like.
    2. In IFTTT, set things up like in the following screenshots:

    Note that I removed the part in the body about it being forwarded via IFTTT, as my fear is that that could cause us to look at IFTTT's section rather than the important receipt's section.

    Hope that works--let me know if it doesn't!

  • adambraultadambrault Posts: 1Expensify Customer Expensify Newcomer

    This is a disappointing answer, as is the uniform [email protected] approach.

    What IFTTT generates from these emails is nearly useless in Expensify, as it’s a single paragraph blob devoid of the design and structure of the original receipt email.

    I and others on our team had almost all receipts in the past set to auto-forward to our bookkeeper based on filters in Gmail.

    It’s unfortunate that we have this hacky “secondary login” business in order to allow us to even send receipts from multiple addresses for the same user.

    But now I come to find I can’t even use the automated filters I have created in order to pass these on?

    Can you please add a team-by-team “dropbox” email like [email protected] like, well, almost every other app that accepts email does? This approach is forcing users to do the work the software should be doing.

    At a minimum please figure out how to surface those forwarding authorization emails or have your support team offer to go fetch them yourselves from your transactional email logs. This is an unfortunate barrier of usability to your service right now.

    Love the product. Thank you again for it. You deserve thanks and appreciation for your hard work making Expensify awesome. That also means you’ve earned candid feedback on how you can make it better. :)

  • JW_Equity_2017JW_Equity_2017 Posts: 4Expensify Customer Expensify Newcomer

    Expensify, are you looking into a better solution for this?

  • Sheena TrepanierSheena Trepanier Posts: 1,914Expensify Success Coach - Admin Expensify Success Coach

    Hello @JW_Equity_2017, there isn't anything on our near-term roadmap but if I hear of anything coming down the line I'll update this thread.

  • thirtytwothreethirtytwothree Posts: 1Expensify Customer Expensify Newcomer

    Expensify team - with your recent rate hike, I would expect you to raise automation of receipt forwarding from Gmail and Outlook accounts to be a top priority, without this capability your claim of 'From receipt scanning to reimbursement, Expensify automates every step of the expense reporting process.' comes up really short. Manually forwarding receipts, for me a majority of non-card transactions get sent to a GSuite domain or personal account, is a total waste of time.

  • medic6408medic6408 Posts: 0Expensify Customer Expensify Newcomer

    +1 could automatically scan Google inboxes for receipts and invoices and upload.

  • EdFEdF Posts: 3Expensify Customer Expensify Newcomer

    Rather than doing an IFTTT recipe, I just set up a rule in my Outlook. I set a filter in Gmail to auto forward to my Outlook. Once it hits Outlook, it automatically forwards to [email protected], marks it read, and then puts it into a folder called Expensify Uploads. Very easy.

  • micradotmicradot Posts: 1Expensify Customer Expensify Newcomer

    Come on guys - this seems like something you should be looking at PLEASE! It works for TripIt (though I can't recall how they did it) - so this piece should be simple.

  • tirmasontirmason Posts: 1Expensify Customer Expensify Newcomer

    Expensify appears to be one of the very few expenses systems which does not allow automatic forwarding of e-mail receipts from systems such as gmail. As stated above, the IFTTT solution does not work (as receipts aren't attached).
    Most Expensify competitors have a solution to this (even if they have a single inbox for all expenses, they have a process for returning the verification code back to the appropriate person). This appears to be a very basic piece of functionality to be missing. Please fix asap.

  • tylerzolltylerzoll Posts: 434Approved! Accountant Expensify Champion

    @micradot & @tirmason, I might be able to add a little bit of context here. I know that Expensify has put a significant amount of thought and work into how email is handled. I think there is more traction available looking at alternative ways to submit receipts besides email. For example, the Uber integration works great when you have your uber receipt auto forward over to Expensify. I realize that this is probably the harder road, but it seems more in line with what Expensify's core philosophies than improving how email works. Just my 2 cents worth.

  • brianrbrianr Posts: 2Expensify Customer Expensify Newcomer

    I'm pretty surprised that this isn't supported. I'd really like to be able to set up auto-forwarding rules in Gmail, but Gmail won't let me do that unless I can enter a verification code.

  • KerrickKerrick Posts: 1Expensify Customer Expensify Newcomer

    @Keagan I feel like this is a feature that should be supported. Can you please ask your engineering team to implement this feature?

    When someone requests forwarding to [email protected] using GMail, an email will be sent to [email protected] with the title "ORGNAME Forwarding Confirmation - Receive Mail from [email protected]". There will be a link in the email of the form The bot that checks for emails to [email protected] just has to do a POST to in order to confirm the forwarding address.

    Can you please have your engineering team look at this? This would be a huge time saver for me. IFTTT is too difficult and cumbersome to set up, and I'm not very familiar with it.

  • Ted PeetersTed Peeters Posts: 294Expensify Customer, Expensify Success Coach Expensify Success Coach

    Hi @Kerrick - thanks for getting back to us on this! It's not actually that common of a request, but we definitely see it from time to time. The real issue we'd need to spend a good amount of engineering time around is the Verification step you've highlighted (from Step 8 on Google's Auto-Forwarding documentation). Currently Google (possibly rightly!) don't allow users to auto-forward to an address they don't own or cannot verify. Our current architecture doesn't allow for the solution you proposed, but we'd love to see some more votes on the Community Idea for it to prioritise as currently it has 0!

    Regarding the troubles you're having with IFTTT, we'd love to check those out for you - as we know plenty of our users are making use of it to automate some of their Expensify work! Below I've just included a quick 30 second GIF of my automating all Amazon receipts to my Expensify account:

    It shouldn't take much longer than that! Let us know where you're running into trouble.

  • pp_pp_ Posts: 1Expensify Customer Expensify Newcomer
    edited July 2018

    Well, now it has 4 votes.

    Really disappointed this isn't supported, if I were in charge of which expenses software we use at my company, I'd go back to our previous vendor just for this.

  • debenedictisdebenedictis Posts: 2Expensify Customer Expensify Newcomer

    Gmail Forwarding is now the third most popular idea, with 30+ votes.

    Now will you implement it?

  • EdFEdF Posts: 3Expensify Customer Expensify Newcomer

    Using IFTTT. However I would like to retain original formatting of email. Does anyone know an alternative to the "bodyplain" in IFTTT that fixes this. Thanks

  • ladybradyladybrady Posts: 1Expensify Customer

    Hi Kaegan,

    I appreciate your IFTTT pro tip but I followed your instructions to the t (tee?) but they didn't work - as others have mentioned a blank image saying 'file not found' keeps coming through. Now I have 100 expenses to delete in Expensify as IFTTT keeps trying to send the same receipts over and over again. Not particulary efficient after all! HELP!

    I would also like to jump on the please-set-up-auto-forwarding-in-expensify-like-yesterday bandwagon.


  • shawncaseyshawncasey Posts: 1Expensify Customer
    edited July 8

    Just for anyone who's looking at this in 2019, the IFTTT functionality in gmail has been completely changed. This is no longer a viable option.

    "Almost all of IFTTT’s Gmail functionality is disappearing this week"

    However, I was able to achieve this functionality using Zapier. Any email that gets labeled as XYZ in my gmail account, send an email to [email protected] Attachments are also allowed.

  • Sheena TrepanierSheena Trepanier Posts: 1,914Expensify Success Coach - Admin Expensify Success Coach

    @shawncasey, that's awesome! Thank you for sharing with the Community.

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