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New: Attach expense receipts to your invoices

by Melina Stathopoulos  |  April 25/2012  |  , ,

Managing expenses in FreshBooks is easier than ever: You can now choose to attach receipt images to your invoices!

Why is this a good thing? Well firstly, if you re-bill your expenses to your clients, they can see those expense receipts attached right to your invoice (no separate approval process required). Also, your receipts are backed up, organized by expense/project/client, and all in one place–no scraps of paper floating around everywhere!

If you’re not already using FreshBooks to manage expenses, this is a great time to try it out. Here’s how:

1) When logging an expense in FreshBooks, you’ll now see a link to upload a photo or scan of your expense receipt (in .png, .jpg and .gif file format). Of course, you can still add expenses without uploading a file, too.

Attaching an Receipt to an Expense

2) When you generate an invoice and choose to include your expenses assigned to your Project, your receipts automatically get added to your invoice. To leave off the receipts (or expenses altogether), use the Edit Invoice screen to set your preferences.

Attaching a Receipt Image to a FreshBooks Invoice

3) Here’s what your client will see when they view the invoice:

  • If viewing the invoice online, they can click a link below the invoice to see the receipt
  • If viewing the invoice as a PDF, the image of each receipt is displayed on a page
  • If receiving the invoice via Snail Mail, each receipt gets printed on its own dedicated page and included in the envelope with the invoice.


Bonus! A thumbnail of your receipt will appear when you mouse over the image links:

Attached Receipt - FreshBooks Invoice

We’re betting that a client will be mighty impressed to receive their expense receipts as neatly organized digital files – and that those clients will be inclined to hit “pay now” even sooner. Give it a try!

  • Jack

    Yep, PDFs would be so much better.

  • W411

    +1 also on PDF format otherwise there is too much duplication of the same information

  • Finbar Mulholland

    Another vote for pdf as an acceptable upload format. All email receipts I turn into pdf and store them online so it’s a problem if I can’t upload those.



  • Lorie Kayler

    How does this affect allowable disk space?

  • andhrus

    Yes Please! we love PDF documents!!

  • Arthur

    Good step in the right direction-tx ! Three comments:
    (1) I asked for decent Expensify export in the regular Q&A blog. Expensify offers OCR receipt scanning and jpg+pdf receipt storage: if that is possible, it covers many of the comments above. Minibooks or Fb app might decide to do the same, of course…
    (2) JPG is essential for many if not all out of pocket expenses on the fly. Many mobile apps allow for image enhancement and upload to email or the cloud. PDF is more of an office thing.
    (3) expenses still cannot be condensed into 1 or a few invoice lines, so that manual aggregation is necessary to avoid an ‘exploding’ and/ or graphically unbalanced invoice sheet (try it out..): could we have the default setting switched to “off” to avoid even more bloated invoices?

    Keep up the good work!

    bst rgArts

  • Peg Riou

    I agree, PDF format is a must.

    Also the little flag that pops up explaining what the field is for blocks out the “notes” field if accidentally hovered over – so one has to reach for the blasted mouse again to clear it. If the “attach receipt” was more useful (would accept PDF) it might not be so bothersome, but since the feature is so little used because of it’s limitations, it is more of a hinderance than a benefit.

    Aside from that, a great feature… :)

  • Casey McKinnon

    Lorie – this does not affect allowable disk space at all. :)

    Peg – I’m looking into that hover-over issue you mentioned, and will try to get it resolved.

    Andhrus, Finbar, W411, Jack, Fusion6, Caryn, Steve, Justin, Michael, Tom, Martha, Josef – Your votes for PDF capabilities have been counted :) .

    Fusion6 – you can choose not to include the original receipt on the invoice if you want to mark it up. Un-click “attach all expense receipts” after you’ve created the invoice, and the images will not be part of the invoice.

    Troy, Dean – hear you on the iOS/mobile comments – thank you.

  • Joe Fletcher

    While we’re giving our attachment wishlists, I’ll add a vote for the ability to add all kinds of attachments. When I send out an invoice, I’d like to be able to attach other documents related to the work I did for the invoice. I understand this getting beyond the receipt idea, but this overall attachment ability would be very handy.

  • Drew McManus

    This is a GREAT feature addition–thank you!

    Now a little enhancement request:
    - One of my subcontractors enters expenses, attaches receipts, and attributes them to a project.
    - When I rebill the client for all that, I’d love those expenses and receipts to pass through to the invoice. Right now, I have to re-enter them (and download and re-upload the receipts).

    Thanks again!


  • Sonja

    BRILLIANT! I’ve been waiting for this feature for years. Thanks again Freshbooks!

  • Peter

    Will I be able to pull images in from Receipt Bank (and if not, can you/they build that feature in please)?

    Based on the suggestions (photos from app, email in etc) it sounds like you might want to just fully integrate / acquire Receipt Bank into the Freshbooks stable.

  • Megan

    +1 for PDFs

    I truly appreciate that attaching the receipt is now possible. It was worse, and less professional, to have to send them as attachments on a separate email!

    But I scan all my receipts and expense reports as PDFs, and would LOVE to have that supported as well.

    Thanks for a great program! Keep up the good work!

  • Scott Wright

    +1 for PDF, and I think its a great idea to integrate a ‘receipt photograph taker’ into the Freshbooks mobile app. You take the picture and its automatically added to the project. Extra credit for an attempt at OCR here?

  • Steve

    Great feature! A time saver. I would lend my voice to those suggesting a PDF option.

  • Gerald Jackman

    I like it….but it would be great is the attachments also included pdf’s….since now you have to submit expenses one line item or 1 image at a time…whereas if the system would upload pdf’s 1 only expense number could be submitted and all of the receipts could be in one pdf document.

  • ShareNet Group, LLC

    Another vote for allowing PDFs to be uploaded. Most of my receipts are from online purchases and I save all of those as PDFs. This is a great feature addition, btw. Thanks!

  • Casey McKinnon

    Sharenet, Gerald, Steve, Scott, Megan, thanks for speaking up on the need for PDFs, got it.

    Peter – our integrations will start to take advantage of this functionality at a later date. Stay tuned for details from those partners.

    Sonja – glad you like it!

    Drew – regarding re-billing submitted expenses, I’m sharing this with the team now.

    Joe – on your idea to add other file type attachments – yes, we agree it would be ideal, but again I can’t commit to a specific delivery date on this.

    Happy Friday everyone,

  • MK, LLC

    At last! We made numerous requests for the receipt attachment option on the surveys. +1 PDF.
    Will review the other products mentioned in comments.

  • Adam Schrager

    PDF is the defacto standard…..lets git-r-dun!!!

  • Jeni

    It would help to add more functionality with expenses as in order to mark them up when billing. Specifically to keep a record of the original expense, receipt and markup differentiated for tax time on reports.

  • Jon P

    Another vote for PDF here. Meanwhile, a stopgap for those of you not on Macs: there are a number of free online utilities for PDF to JPG conversion; just Google “online convert pdf to jpg”

  • Joe

    If you need a screen shot of your receipt, just use snagit. ( It’s an awesome little program that allows you to capture what ever is on your screen or a portion of it. You then can save as an image file. You can also mark things up easily. 30 day trial. I’ve used it for 10 years and wouldn’t be without it.

  • Steve

    +1 for PDF support.

    Evernote integration would be handy as well (right now I paste a share URL into a line item on my invoices for job notes).

    Another temp workaround is to use Skitch (FREE) to generate grab a screenshot and / or censor certain info, and save the file to Evernote (free access available, though I use the paid version).

  • John A

    I also really need PDF support for receipt images. Please add my vote.

    Note, the workaround of opening in Mac Preview and saving as JPEG doesnt totally work in Mac Lion– i.e. you can only export a multi-page PDF to a single-page JPG (so you lose the other pages of the receipt)

  • Mike B

    pdf or jpg work for me and yes, multi-currency support – namely CAD would be wonderful. Thanks guys.

  • Paul Horne

    PDF is crucial. Tech support told me there are some technical issues that could hinder this feature (like locked or password protected PDFs), but I just don’t think that’s a common issue. Who has password protected PDFs of their receipts? And if someone tries to attach a locked PDF, just return an error — they can search the Freshbooks FAQ for the reason why. But for the rest of us, PDF is CLEARLY the first choice based on this comment thread.

    I love Freshbooks because it makes invoicing fast and easy — THAT is why it’s worth it for me to pay a monthly fee. If I have to waste time taking screenshots of documents I already have as PDFs, or any other workaround, it’s inefficient and undermines the whole process.

    And bottom line, PDF is a standard and if another company comes along that offers it, your customers are going to jump ship. I hope the Freshbooks team is taking this as seriously as we are.

  • Casey McKinnon

    MK, Adam, Jon, Steve, John, Paul – your comments have been tallied. Thank you again!

    Mike – thanks for chiming in about the mult-currency request, also noted.

    Steve, Jon, & Joe, I love that you are helping other FreshBooks customers here… this is the ultimate thing for someone to do! Love it.

    Jeni – Thanks for your comment about marking up expenses. We aren’t actively considering this right now, but will let you know if this comes more onto our radar in the future.


  • Cindy Morus

    PDF a real must! Looks like it would be a winner for you to have it.

  • Matthias

    Looks like the verdict is clear: Everyone loves .jpg format, no need for changes…

    …just kdding, yes PDF or bust.

  • Jeff

    Would also be great if this feature was available through MiniBooks so you could snap a photo of the receipt and attach

  • Frank

    great feature. pdf is needed!

  • Robert

    +1 on PDF. Right now we have to email a “supplementary” PDF report to support data on the invoice.

  • Bridgette Birdie

    Love that you’ve added this. Can you check out turboscan and see if you can add similar scanning features?

  • Christian Rodriguez

    +1 to better Shoeboxed support. Also, I will import a large number of receipts from Shoeboxed, but can’t bulk assign them to a client or project. I have to go one by one and manually assign them — so tedious.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Thanks again folks! For people requesting PDFs (I think there’s at least a few of you out there ;) ) can you tell me which version of PDF your software generates? To find this out on a Mac, right-click (or control-click) on the PDF file, and choose “Get Info” you will see in the info box it will say “Version”… and it should say something like “1.4″. Please email me the version number, and the kind of software you are using to generate the PDF (typically scanner software, or an app like Word or Illustrator).

    Send to caseymck @ Freshbooks dot com

    Thanks again for your help here.


  • fresh123

    How about creating a live polling survey on key issues in a posting area by Freshbook.

    File format for attached receipts.
    (A) PDF
    (B) Jpeg
    (C) Other
    So as user choose option , it updates live % for each option.
    Example: Results: PDF 45%, Jpeg 27% etc.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Thanks fresh123,

    I think we’ve got a consensus here that PDF is an absolute must-have for folks posting here. I’m definitely not questioning that.


  • Cheyne

    All my receipts are in PDF format, but great idea.

  • James McCullough

    +1 for PDF support
    +1 for smartphone app (Android, iPhone/iPad)

    Love, love, love this new feature!

  • Lindsay

    Wanting to know when this is coming for invoices for clients. I would love to be able to attach pictures of large pallet orders leaving the warehouse and or damaged returned goods!!

  • Deny

    +10000 for multiple currencies for expenses

  • Philippe

    it would be great to attach expenses receipts directly from Android Mobile …

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