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Deep dive: Troubleshooting expense/receipt merge failures
We like to toot our own horns about how great our automatic merging of SmartScanned receipts and imported card transactions is but what do you do if your expenses don't match? We've put together a troubleshooting guide to help resolve the question "why didn't they merge?"
Helpful terminology when using this guide
- A SmartScanned expense is any receipt that was captured and SmartScanned using the mobile app (where Expensify reads the date, merchant and amount of the receipt). This also includes receipts that are forwarded to [email protected], Chrome-extension-created receipts, Uber or Lyft integration receipts, or any of our other travel integrations that automatically route your receipts to Expensify.
- A Cash expense is not necessarily an expense paid with cash but rather any expense that wasn't imported from a personal card or company card. If a SmartScanned expense was made with a personal or company card then it will appear as a cash expense until it merges with the imported card expense. At this point, the icon will change to the appropriate personal or company card icon.
What do the icons mean?
- Cash icon + receipt image = SmartScanned receipt or manually created expense with a receipt. This expense was not imported from a bank (on either a personal card or company card). If the expense was purchased with a personal or company card then it has not yet merged with an imported card transaction:
- Cash icon + blank receipt = Manually created expense without a receipt attached. This expense was not imported from a bank (on either a personal card or company card). It was manually entered via the mobile or web app or uploaded via a CSV and does not have a receipt attached:
- Card with lock icon + receipt image = Company card expense with a receipt. This expense was imported from a company card that has been assigned by an Expensify admin in Domain Control. A receipt has been attached to the imported card expense either automatically or manually:
- Card with lock icon + blank receipt = Company card expense without a receipt. This expense was imported from a company card that has been assigned by an Expensify admin in Domain Control. A receipt has not been manually attached to the imported card expense and there is no matching SmartScanned receipt for Expensify to automatically merge:
- Card with lock icon + e icon on receipt = Company card expense with an eReceipt. This expense was imported from a company card that has been assigned by an Expensify admin in Domain Control. An eReceipt was created for this expense and there is no matching SmartScanned receipt for Expensify to automatically merge:
- Card without a lock + blank receipt = Personal card expense without a receipt. This expense was imported from a card that was imported in your Account Settings. A receipt has not been manually attached to the imported card expense and there is no matching SmartScanned receipt for Expensify to automatically merge:
1. Was the receipt SmartScanned and did the SmartScan complete?
If the expense was manually entered, we will not apply our merging magic. A receipt will need to be SmartScanned via the app or forwarded to [email protected] in order to merge with a card expense. Note that the scan must be fully completed and not stopped or edited.
2. Have you checked the expense types (cash vs. card)?
If you aren't sure, check the icons on the expense line (see the guide just above this Troubleshooting section). You can only merge a SmartScanned receipt (which will initially show with a cash icon) with a card transaction imported from a bank or via CSV.
3. Are the currencies different?
We're pretty smart cookies when it comes to handling two currencies, so these will merge based off the daily exchange rate for the date of the transaction, as long as the converted rates are within +/- 5%. If the currencies are the same, then the amounts must be an exact match to merge.
4. Are the dates different?
If the card expense is older than the receipt then they will not merge. This would indicate that the purchase was made after the card transaction was posted to the bank. This, of course, wouldn't make much sense! If the receipt is dated more than 7 days prior to the card expense then they also will not merge.
5. Were these transactions imported via the API?
Transactions imported via the Expensify API via the Expense Importer will not automatically merge with SmartScanned transactions.
6. Does the reimbursable status differ and one is exported to an accounting integration?
We will merge a SmartScanned receipt and card expense on any report as long as the reimbursable flags of both transactions agree.
7. Are the expenses more than 90 days old?
Any expenses which are more than 90 days old (the date they were incurred, not the date they were imported to Expensify) then Expensify will not automatically merge them.
8. Are the expenses on different accounts?
Expenses will only merge if they are on the same account. If one expense is in the account of User A and the other one is in the account of User B then they will not merge. The users will need to designate one submitter and transfer the expense information to that user's account.
We'll still merge transactions together if they have different reimbursable flags, but the SmartScanned receipt must NOT be on a report that is Reimbursed and/or exported to an external accounting integration (CSV-exported reports are okay). The merge will fail in those two specific cases, as doing so would change the report's reimbursable amount after it has already been reimbursed or after the amount has already been recorded in an external ledger system.
Manually merge expenses
- If your expenses don't meet our automatic merging criteria then you will need to manually merge them together
- If your expenses meet our automatic merging criteria but didn't merge, then give us a shout at [email protected] to let us know!