A new way to view expenses, receipts and documents in Expensify

Sheena Trepanier
Sheena Trepanier Expensify Team, Approved! Accountant, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 1,362 Expensify Team
edited December 2018 in Product Updates

When we folded the Receipts page into the Expenses page, many of you requested an easy way to view expenses without receipts, and receipts that weren’t yet linked to an expense. Today, we’re happy to say we’ve added new filters to do just that!

Moving forward, you will see a filter option to view Expenses, Receipts, Documents, or all of the above.

But you may be asking, what exactly is a document if it’s not a receipt? Below you’ll find some simple definitions to help explain the differences.

  • Expense - An expense is a record of a transaction; this can be a cash or electronic exchange of funds. The expense will contain all the information of the transaction, such as merchant, date and amount; it may or may not have a receipt linked to it.
  • Receipt - A receipt is an image file that is linked to an expense in Expensify. Generally a receipt contains point of purchase information for the transaction.
  • Document - A document is an image file or PDF that contains information about your expense, but it is not linked to any expense as a receipt. Some of these supporting documents are actually receipts, so filtering in documents helps isolate receipts that may need to be linked to an expense.

Just like before, you’ll still be able to link uploaded receipts to your expenses, the main difference is that receipt images not yet attached to an expense will be considered a Document.

If your document is not a receipt, it may still be supporting documentation for your report. In the past these were called “Attachments”. With this change you’ll still be able to add documents to your report in the same way, but we'll be updating "Add Attachment" button to read "Add Document."

As always, let us know questions you run into and happy Expensifying!


  • Sheena Trepanier
    Sheena Trepanier Expensify Team, Approved! Accountant, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 1,362 Expensify Team
    edited December 2018

    Hello @Swizzle, I'm happy to help here.

    If you have multiple cards connected to your account, you can filter to view expenses from a specific card, or all cards.

    This makes working on your business and personal expenses separately possible.

    For your second point, can you explain a bit more about your workflow when doing your expense report? Are you using SmartScan to automatically merge your uploaded receipt images with your imported card expenses?

  • Spamdrew
    Spamdrew Expensify Customer Posts: 4 Expensify Newcomer

    I agree with Swizzle that this is making me want to look for a new expense solution. If the Director of IT can't figure this out, what hope do I have for my users. I spent hours already on my expense report trying to find my receipts. They are all over the place, it's bring up receipts from years ago with no way to clear them out, no way to filter what receipts I want to see when I go to attach a receipt for an imported expense, if I attach a receipt but the wrong one, where in the world does it go? When I take a picture of a receipt on my mobile device, it requires me to put in at least a merchant. This then makes it an expense, with the receipt attached. But the receipt belongs with a credit card statement imported expense. But when I try to attach that receipt, it is no where to be found. After searching around for way too much time, I finally stumble on the fact that the receipt in question was attached to another expense, and I have to un-attach the receipt from the mobile uploaded expense, then I can finally find the receipt I need. Bottom line, this is a mess. Did you guys focus group test this at all? WAY more confusing. It is taking me 4x as long to do my expense report.

  • Sheena Trepanier
    Sheena Trepanier Expensify Team, Approved! Accountant, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 1,362 Expensify Team

    Hello @Spamdrew, happy to help with this. Can you tell me more about the decision to disable SmartScan?

    It sounds like you're having more manual work because SmartScan is disabled, and I'd live to learn why you prefer the manual method. With SmartScan enabled, your uploaded receipts should be merged with the matching company card expense for you.

    If you're finding this isn't working for you can you let me know what sort of issues you were running into?

  • KevinL
    KevinL Expensify Customer Posts: 3 Expensify Newcomer

    I’ve disabled Smartscan because it just takes too long. If I have a pile of receipts to enter, I can’t use Smartscan because it would take forever to enter them. Meanwhile, is there a way to disable it for everyone in our policy or domain?

  • Spamdrew
    Spamdrew Expensify Customer Posts: 4 Expensify Newcomer

    I agree with KevinL. It takes 30 seconds to enter in the info or 10 minutes to wait for SmartScan. And I still have to double check the info, add tags, verify the category, add a comment, pick a report.

    Still doesn't answer the question of being able to filter receipts on the expense screen-- it used to be easier to scroll through and pick the right receipt to go with the credit card expense import entry.

  • Theajj
    Theajj Expensify Customer Posts: 3 Expensify Newcomer

    Agreed! We've disabled smartscan from day one because of the tremendous lag. Furthermore, I can't find any of the receipts I've forwarded from my email account to "[email protected]" - this updated version is a mess in regards to receipts.

  • skipow
    skipow Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer

    Unfortunately I have to agree with all of the above. Receipts are now officially a mess. We too do not use SmartScan because of the time it takes. As I've discovered today, now (apparently) receipts that are emailed to [email protected] are attached as "documents" to the current expense report, not receipts. Then they have to be "attached" to an expense which was imported from a corporate card. This seems to work sometimes, but not all the time. And I'm a tech guy - our line employees are tearing their hair out.

    Expensify seems to be banking on the fact that smartscan is the solution - and I might agree - IF (big IF) users actually maintained their expenses and receipts as they incur them. Reality is that most people still wait until after the trip, or the end of the month, to do expense reports. This makes SmartScan unhelpful due to lag discussed above. You must know this is reality, right?

    We have used expensify for many years. Personally I've been a fan and admired where you were going with this platform. However, it's usefulness is fading fast and expense reports are starting to suck again.

  • Sheena Trepanier
    Sheena Trepanier Expensify Team, Approved! Accountant, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 1,362 Expensify Team
    edited December 2018

    We always recommend snapping a photo of your receipt at the time of purchase instead of waiting to upload receipts when you're ready to do your report. This takes very little time "in the moment" and by the time you're ready to do your report at the end of the week or month you'll have removed the manual work of entering that information yourself. I understand this may not work for your flow but to see the biggest benefits of using SmartScan we do recommend it.

    To locate your receipt images that include your manually entered expense details, you'd want to filter in Receipts and Cash/Other on your Expenses page.

  • Spamdrew
    Spamdrew Expensify Customer Posts: 4 Expensify Newcomer

    When I snap a picture of my receipt "in the moment", it created it as an expense. But the expense I needed to add that receipt to is the credit card import that I don't get until the first of the month. Finally realized I had to first unattached that receipt, delete the mobile created expense then I could attach the receipt to the credit card import expense.

    I too am noticing that emailing [email protected] is not working. It did work coming from my personal gmail account but nothing from my normal work account (same email address as my Expensify login.) Then why must it land in 'documents'? It is just one more place I need to look to find the correct receipt to attach it to the expense.

    Bottom line, this update is a mess. I agree with skipow that expense reports are starting to suck.

  • tomcal
    tomcal Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer
    edited February 2018

    This new interface is terrible, I cannot find my receipts and it keeps saying it is ignoring them because they are duplicates. But where are they?? I am spending more time wrestling with your UI when I just want to complete a simple expense report. I am emailing the Uber reciepts in and cannot find them.

  • Spamdrew
    Spamdrew Expensify Customer Posts: 4 Expensify Newcomer

    @tomcal I haven't had luck emailing receipts to [email protected]. That seems broken now. I've had to do it old school and print to PDF, then upload manually to the receipt. If the receipt did load for you via email, it's under 'Documents' now.

  • mfauth
    mfauth Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer

    This has turned into a complete mess! We have duplicates as cash (email receipts) and the credit card import- it is taking forever to complete a report and reconcile all the errors or find the proper receipts or to merge them. Good luck with Smart Scan- it scrolls processing forever and may never actually complete. I still have items from years ago in process. Cash receipts and CC receipts from YEARS ago are showing up in my list and now I'm worried- did I expense those or not? What in the world am I going to have to do to determine that.

    I'm glad that expensify believes that you should enter the receipt at the moment of use- that is not real world and not what is possible or what most people can or will do. For the first time ever, I am very disappointed and expense reports do SUCK again.

    My employees and I are wasting time and not confident in the system. Maybe time to look at new options, which I'm disappointed to say.

  • pdxjoe
    pdxjoe Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer

    Thank you to all the other people that have commented here. I'm glad I'm not alone!!

    The idea that an emailed receipt is now a document and not a receipt??? I don't think that will ever make sense.

    Then the only way to show these is to ensure you are looking at 'OPEN' versus 'Unreported' ???? It turns out that these have been auto added to the first open report in my list... It's like someone thinks we all use expensify in only one limited workflow use case.

    I've been looking all over for my emailed receipts... Something that worked for years is now broken.

    Have you tried to select a several receipts and delete them? I couldn't figure out how. I had to open each one and hit the trash can.

    This is so bizarre. To see a great product go downhill at the same time that the prices are going up. I'm wishing the best for expensify. I've enjoyed the product, but wonder why such a lousy update can be flung onto the user base so haphazardly. Does anyone do user testing? I'm not talking about sending the engineers out to lunch and asking them to expense it... that isn't enough to grasp the multitude of different ways that expenses are processed with this product.

    I'm in Portland. I'll be happy to talk shop and help out.


  • Theajj
    Theajj Expensify Customer Posts: 3 Expensify Newcomer

    @Sheena Trepanier how do I match my credit card expense (from credit card upload) with a forwarded receipt from my email in this system? Are you saying that isn't possible?

    I have a team of 5 admins I oversee. Every month they are handed a stack of receipts from their team of executives to create a report. IF THEY ARE LUCKY, their executives have forwarded their own receipts to [email protected] - this is a HUGE time saver for those admins.

  • jfg2003
    jfg2003 Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer

    I hate to pile on... but I'm piling on. I've been such an advocate of Expensify, but this new release is making me crazy. My e-mailed receipts feel completely hidden and illogically categorized. Only help I got was from other users who have untangled this mess... not from our Expensify moderator.

    Please go back to a sidebar category of "Receipts" and get rid of this documents thing. What a pain.

  • CBAP
    CBAP Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer

    I agree with all of the above, you have taken a useful tool and made it useless.
    An Expense is and expense and a Receipt is a receipt - not a document and not an Expense. What sense does it make to have a expense come in from my credit card and then when I email or upload the receipt for you create another Expense that I then have to reconcile somehow with the cc expense. This is maddening!
    We all understand what an Expense is, we all understand what a Receipt is and we all understand what a supporting Document is. Obviously Expensify does not!

  • DJM
    DJM Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer

    I am glad I am not alone in this disaster, though it still is infuriating. I've been emailing a tech 'support' person for a week, one email a day, and they don't even read the questions enough to provide an answer. Randomly, my "smartscan" (used loosely) receipts go into an automatic report, either under my credit card or this stupide cash/other card. I have the same issues as well with the 3 step process to detach, delete and then re-assign receipts to the correct corporate card.
    This started as a good system that flowed, but each time they attempt to improve the interface or system, it goes sooooo backwards. Looking for another system to use for our company

  • Theajj
    Theajj Expensify Customer Posts: 3 Expensify Newcomer
  • GregCohen
    GregCohen Expensify Customer Posts: 0 Expensify Newcomer

    I too would like to pile on - can we PLEASE have receipts back?

    Also PLEASE stop auto assigning my receipts to a report - this is never helpful for me.

  • Sheena Trepanier
    Sheena Trepanier Expensify Team, Approved! Accountant, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 1,362 Expensify Team

    Thank you for sharing your frustrations. I have compiled them and we are discussing these concerns as a team. I'll keep you all updated with information as it becomes available.

    I hope to share news with you all soon.

  • Sheena Trepanier
    Sheena Trepanier Expensify Team, Approved! Accountant, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 1,362 Expensify Team
    edited December 2018

    Hi again everyone. While we're discussing this and determining any changes that need to be made, I wanted to share some information on using the current filters to locate your receipts.


    Finding receipt images (no expense information, not SmartScanned)


    Finding receipts that have gone through SmartScan and have expense information populated. This could be receipts linked with a credit card expense, those waiting to link to a credit card expense, and receipts that do not have a credit card expense to match to (cash expense).


    Finding expense entries that do not have a receipt image. This is most often expenses imported from a personal, business or company card, but can also include manually created expenses.

    Receipts that you forward to [email protected] should be SmartScanned, if SmartScan is enabled.

    After the receipt is SmartScanned you should be able to find it under the Receipts filter with the merchant, date and amount populated. If a matching credit card transaction has imported or will import, our system should merge the two together when possible. If you're experiencing issues with the receipt and credit card merging, please take a look at this troubleshooting guide we put together.

    If SmartScan is disabled, the receipt image should be under the Documents filter.

  • Irratated
    Irratated Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer

    Simply put - change it back to previous version. Recent new "improvements" are unacceptable.

  • Sheena Trepanier
    Sheena Trepanier Expensify Team, Approved! Accountant, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 1,362 Expensify Team

    Hi @Irratated, would you mind sharing a bit about the frustrations you're having? I'd love to help you out if you'll let me.

  • aevange8
    aevange8 Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer

    How do I go back to the old interface? I used to be able to drag and drop to assign expenses to multiple reports. It also used to be much easier to edit expenses descriptions, amounts, and everything. There is lots of lag and it is slow. Since I have to do multiple reports at a time, it is now a mess.

  • Blu
    Blu Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer

    Ditto all the negative feedback on this string. @Sheena Trepanier why is it that we can't give a negative vote on the comments? Don't like the "up"dates -- they are more like "down" grades - anything that causes me to take more time, do more clicking, and more searching (filters) is not a welcome addition. Please let us go back to the way we were.
    1. receipts@ not working as well
    2. documents ARE receipts - no need for 2 types
    3. smart scanning - sometimes helpful but mostly not.

    bummed . . . . :'(

  • Rachael Hopkins
    Rachael Hopkins Expensify Success Coach - Admin, Expensify Team, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 904 Expensify Team
    edited March 2018

    Hi @Blu - a negative vote suggests that you take issue with the opinion of the commenter and isn't a helpful way to communicate this. We'd far rather that if you have a contradictory opinion that it's outlined in a discussion format.

    At Expensify we try to keep the product moving forward with momentum. Unfortunately sometimes this means there will be updates you don't like, but this is exactly why we have this forum for gathering feedback, so that we can ensure we are listening to the voice of the user.

    Can you expand on your three comments so that we can address them? I'd love you to email in with specific examples for each, so that we can take a look at the receipts in question. If it's a technical issue we want to log, track and fix it. Just send your email to [email protected] - feel free to mention that you're speaking to Rachael so that I can follow it up personally.

  • tech_user
    tech_user Expensify Customer Posts: 1 Expensify Newcomer

    This is GOD AWFUL. Why would you remove all the search features in the expense page?! This used to be a super simple platform and is now nothing but a headache.

  • Sheena Trepanier
    Sheena Trepanier Expensify Team, Approved! Accountant, Expensify Student Ambassador Posts: 1,362 Expensify Team

    Hi, @tech-user can you tell me more about the search features you're referring to?

    You can still search by merchant name and adjust quite a few other filters from the Expenses page. (below)