How do I export/download actual images of receipts for document support storage.

GregLGregL Posts: 2 Expensify Newcomer

Everything I can find seems to only put a link to where the image is stored in expensify. I want to back up those images.

Answers

  • oschlipfoschlipf Posts: 11 Expensify Newcomer

    I have this same question as well.

  • Sheena TrepanierSheena Trepanier Posts: 1,762 Expensify Success Coach

    Hi @GregL and @oschlipf, great question! The only way to download an actual image of the receipt is to download the PDF copy of the report the receipt is on. (Below)

    Cheers!

  • oschlipfoschlipf Posts: 11 Expensify Newcomer

    Hi Sheena,
    Perhaps we are talking about different functionality. I'm looking to pull a pdf export with full receipt images from the API. I have a business requirement to store the reports and images on an internal server. The Integration Server documentation (Report Exporter section) indicates that exporting a pdf expense report with full receipt images is possible. Under the Output settings specific instructions are given about exporting a pdf. "Note: if the “pdf” option is chosen, one PDF file will be generated for each report exported." Additionally the documentation references an optional element called 'includeFullPageReceiptsPdf'. Is this documentation out of date or can you confirm this functionality is still available? Cheers!

    https://integrations.expensify.com/Integration-Server/doc/#report-exporter

  • GregLGregL Posts: 2 Expensify Newcomer

    Yes, I have the same issue. Our company is moving toward continued use of Expensify, but this could be a deal-breaker if we can't dump the receipt scans.

  • Ted PeetersTed Peeters Posts: 261 Expensify Success Coach

    Hi @GregL - I'd be really intrigued to understand your requirement for your own back-up, given Expensify keeps continuous back-ups of all your data for you in multiple locations for redundancy.

    The whole point of Expensify is generally so that you don't have to keep your own paper or digital copies of receipts!

  • glglasserglglasser Posts: 23 Expensify Newcomer

    I cannot speak for others, but I certainly appreciate that Expensify has backups. However, I do not think it unresasonable if a user decides it wants to also keep backups of all receipts. Redundancy is needed everywhere now.

    One use case is suppose Expensify goes out of business. Users would be well served to have backups elsewhere at that point.

    There seem to be some consistent requests popping up in these forums, this request included. If Expensify chooses NOT to provide certain functionality like this (or searching by dollar amount, for example), I think it is reasonable for us to ask why Expensify does not provide it. Is it for some philosophical reason? Is it becuase certain functionality would be difficult or expensive? Is it becuase Expensify does not fully understand its customers?

    Thanks for a great, if imperfect, product.

  • Ted PeetersTed Peeters Posts: 261 Expensify Success Coach

    Some great points there @glglasser. In all honesty, we love almost every idea proposed on our Community; they're usually idea's we all have internally too!

    It's hard to hear that folks here feel that Expensify is actively choosing not to build functionality, as it's mostly just a case of not having the time or resource to devote to all of these things at once, and I can tell you that not being able to support the use-cases and requirements of everybody definitely hits us as hard as you, but competing priorities are a very real thing for us.

    Some decisions are definitely philosophical - for instance, we're moving away from developing functionality in tandem with desktop accounting software as users move to the cloud and we'll always ask why in order to get the best understanding of desired accounting practices in case there's a better practice to be considered or developed, but we definitely try not to give any blanket "no's" without context.

    At the moment you can download images as part of PDF's, and even by means outside of Expensify addressed previously in the Community here. I acknowledge they're definitely workarounds for the time being though.

    We don't believe rushing anything out is the way to go and we're constantly hiring for our engineering team here to make sure our product stays great and able develop faster and faster through the years. We'd love to be the perfect product for everybody in the future, and we know we're not there yet, but we're glad to have a community of users here who are vocal, passionate and invested in what we're doing to help us get there.

  • jsleeterjsleeter Posts: 1

    I have this same question as well. In my case, we have software that doesn't integrate with Expensify. Expensify has been great to gather all the receipts for expenses and allow my staff to code them. However, I have to manually enter them into the other program. It would be wonderful if I choose a report and download just the full page receipt images as separate files (as I have to attach them separately to the transactions in our other program.) For example, if there are 10 receipts attached to a report, I could download 10 separate PDF files with just one click.

    I do have a work around for now. I download the report, pull apart the PDF into separate files. and rename each individual file. Just think it would be a nice feature to be able to download just the images.

  • maasjmaasj Posts: 12 Expensify Admirer

    We had the same business requirement back when we first started using Expensify in 2011. I tried to fight it but I lost. So I needed to find a way to get those receipt images or I wouldn't get permission to switch us to Expensify.

    YES, you can definitely download receipt images so you can control your own destiny and still be able to satisfy those auditors in the event that Expensify's data goes bye-bye (because you stop using them, they get bought and change things up, they go out of business, they get hacked and all their data is nuked beyond repair, etc). It's gonna require some programming if you want to automate it.

    Back in the olden days before the API existed we exported CSV files of reports and then ran them through a script. The downloaded CSV file includes a URL for each expense's receipt file (JPEG, PNG, PDF, etc) or an eReceipt web page generated dynamically on Expensify's servers. Conveniently those URLs are all unauthenticated (!!), so loading them programmatically is easy-peasy. For the actual files, just download using your favorite tool of choice (curl, wget, Python Requests library, etc). For the eReceipt web pages we use wkhtmltopdf to make a PDF of the web page and store that.

    Now that the API exists you can do the same process as described in the previous paragraph, but without having to first export a CSV file from the web app (the API still sends CSV though, which is pretty old-fashioned in this day and age of King JSON). Once you have the receipt URL and type from the exported CSV data you can either direct download or take some kind of snapshot of the eReceipt pages.

    Hope this info helps...

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