New: Attach expense receipts as PDFs to your invoices

Have you tried the rockin’ new way of filing expenses in FreshBooks?

Some say you can’t have it all, yet we disagree. Starting today you can now upload your expense receipts in all file formats: jpegs, gifs, pngs and now PDFs too! Simply upload receipts from your desktop straight into FreshBooks Expenses and in a few clicks, attach them to your invoices. Shazam!

When we rolled out the ability to attach expenses to FreshBooks invoices, we learned that you had inboxes filled with online receipts for purchases, getting lost in the sea of e-mail and PDFs of scanned receipts taking up space on your hard drive. We are beaming with gladness today because you can now upload PDF receipts to your FreshBooks expenses!

When might this come in handy? For starters, whenever you get that email confirming payment for your purchase (for that flight, car rental, conference ticket, restaurant meal etc). Just log in to FreshBooks and attach this PDF directly to an expense. You can also upload those scanned receipts you’ve already printed out or have in that dusty shoebox, knowing they’ll be safe and organized in your account and re-bill your clients in a jiff! We support all PDF versions (except for password protected PDFs) and you can attach an individual file up to 2MB in size. There is no cumulative file size limit for expense receipts.

Time to get expensin’!

Follow these instructions to get your expenses on:

Step 1 – Visit your Expenses tab. Here you can create a New Expense or edit an existing one. You’ll see a new option called “Attach Image of Receipt” – check that box and choose the file you’d like to upload.

Attaching an Receipt to an Expense

Step 2 – Generate an Invoice. When you generate an invoice from your Projects, you’ll automatically pull in expenses.  Uncheck the box if you don’t wish clients to pay up for those included items.

Attaching a Receipt Image to a FreshBooks Invoice

Step 3 – Await Payment. When your client views the invoices, they can click a link below the invoice to see the receipt or see the receipt printed out if they receive it via Snail Mail. When online, 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 and tell us how it goes!


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  • fbuser

    Thank you for adding PDF support– this is great!

  • Philip

    Really nice feature. Is there any size limit for each individual PDF? How about for all your PDFs total?

    • Melina Stathopoulos

      @fbuser: You’re welcome, glad you like it!

      @Philip: Good question. The current size limit for any file attached to an expense is 2MB. There is no cumulative file size limit for expense receipts!

  • Roy Morejon

    Another great addition to your impressive product.. Congrats!

  • Wilma

    Awesome! Just awesome! This way, my clients will be even more impresses with such a professional way of invoicing. Attaching receipts to an invoice not just helps me get organized, but it increases the client’s trust for all work because they can see details… Thank you Freshbooks, Keep Rocking! 😉

  • Philip Downer

    YAY! I’m so glad that you folks at Freshbooks came out with this feature and in such a timely manner too. This is the missing link in my digital filing system.


  • Marcus J Wilson

    Perfect – just what I’ve been waiting for.

    Can you say a word or two about your storage, backup and disaster recovery procedures in terms of securing any receipts uploaded to Freshbooks? I’m wondering if we should keep copies of invoices elsewhere on the cloud too – DropBox or Amazon S3.

    Nice work

  • Nick Lopez

    Great idea

  • Casey McKinnon

    Roy, Wilma, Philip, thank you for the nice messages. We’re proud of this feature, and hope it helps you with less paperwork!

    Marcus, great questions around the storage, backup and disaster recovery. We use Rackspace hosting for all of our data, and have outlined the details here:

    Specifically, scroll down to the section about “Reliability”. Let me know if you have any more questions, happy to help.


  • Eric

    Great feature!! In the past I would generate the invoices to PDF, then attach my own receipts for sending. This saves me the extra work AND the record keeping of course is now in one place.

    Great work!! Thank you!!

  • Micah

    Yup…this is GANGSTA. Thanks a lot!

  • Curtis

    It would eliminate the step of creating a PDF if you were to allow e-receipts to be emailed to my Freshbooks account.

  • AK

    A much much much needed feature. Thanks for making it happen! :)

  • Andy Schmidbauer

    Looks great! Now how about a mobile app that allows for easy invoicing, expensing, and time tracking on the go.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Eric, Micah, AK – thank you! The kudos have been passed on to the team.

    Curtis & Andy – you guys are always one step ahead of us, but that’s what keeps us coming to work every day :). I can’t comment on additional features, but we’ve got your feedback accounted for.

  • Marc Schärer

    A really great addition :)
    But its only half the equation, isn’t it?
    Showing how cool it is with mobile devices while refusing to create an own one is a bit twin edged out of my view and I would really like to see this to be addressed, either with your own one or one thats officially backed by Freshbooks at least (to ensure its always up to date with your changes).
    Right now on iOS for example there is MiniBooks and MiniBooks only as far as I’m aware, anything else seems to rely on the oAuth login path which does not work at all.

  • Eddie

    Great addition to an already great product.
    keep on keeping one!

  • Joe T.

    This is a great enhancement! It’s almost what i asked for in a feature request some time ago. Are there any plans to allow generic attachments to an invoice? My particular request was to provide a work detail, compiled from help ticket reports & such. i suppose i could cheat by adding a “help desk” expense or something, but it’s not quite the way this feature was intended.

    Thanks for this, though!

  • Marian

    You guys are absolutely fabulous!

  • steven

    can you take a photo and upload via a app?

  • Kristen Osorio

    Woohoo!!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This will save me the extra step of converting each pdf to jpg!

  • muhupower

    Isn’t this sort of retarded? Why not just create an iphone/driod app you can take a pictures and upload right from there.

    This way you actaully have to bring the photo to your computer, then find it, then upload it..

    Better solution.

  • Eileen

    Because I purchase wholesale and then mark it up, I don’t want my clients to be able to see the receipts. I do like the feature of having the ability to have them in my system though. Is this possible?

  • steven

    totally agree muhupower why is there not a app for this, i really love freshbooks but a app would be killer! any ideas anyone?

  • artooro

    I agree with these other guys. The Minibooks iPhone app needs to be able to attach a photo to new expenses as well. Otherwise this is practically useless.

  • BK


  • al

    Will the ability to add PDFs be available soon that are not expenses. PDFs such as data cards, price sheets and etc. That will really be helpful.

  • Brian Shaffer

    I agree about the iPhone app, but it would really begin to shift the focus of FreshBooks. They’d then be competing with Expensify and all the other expense reporting apps. I say stick to your core competencies and bring up your audience numbers, and then make the jump.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Marc, Steven, Muhupower, Artooro, it does seem logical that this would also work via mobile device, I agree. We don’t share plans, or commit to delivering things publicly, but your feedback is appreciated.

    Eddie, Marian, Kristin, thanks again! We do this for folks like you :).

    Eileen, you can choose not to include them on an invoice if you just invoice for them and then delete them before sending the invoice. If you want to contact support, someone would be happy to walk you through a few different workflows to accomplish this.

    Joe T. – thanks for submitting the idea, I’ve shared it with the team here.

  • Casey McKinnon

    BK – thank you!

    Al – we don’t talk about things before they are released, but your feedback has been considered!

    Brian – thank you for your insight here, enjoy your day!

  • Chad Galloway

    Just wanted to put in my 2 cents and say that I’ve been using this feature for a couple months now and have found it WAY more valuable then I thought it could be. I couldn’t go back to the old way. Thanks for constantly making an already great product even better.

  • Andrew

    now if there was an Mobile Freshbooks app that could do this in one swoop.

  • Niklas

    If I scan in a pdf to my invoice and send it as a snail mail will it be included in the envelope?

    And if it is, will it be extra papers? extra stamps for more added reciepts?

  • Jennifer

    Thank you so much for this feature! I haven’t been attaching receipts to invoices because pdf wasn’t supported, but I will definitely do it from now on.

    To others who are frustrated by the lack of mobile app support for this feature – I can see using a scan app with Dropbox to easily get the receipt pdfs on your computer, and then entering an expense record in Freshbooks as usual.

  • Andrew Robulack

    That’s just what the doctor ordered — thanks!

  • Melina Stathopoulos

    @Eileen I can elaborate a little bit on how to hide receipts from your clients if you mark up expenses:

    Record your expense as usual, and attach your receipt. When it comes time to generate your invoice, simply uncheck the box at the bottom of the invoice labelled “Attach all expense receipts” (pictured in “Step 2″ in the blog post instructions).

    Hope this helps!

  • Luis Perez

    Great feature long waited, thanks!!

  • Cassie

    It is rare that I would attach a receipt for any product to an invoice going to my customer; however, I do need to attach pdf, jpg, png files to invoices. This is so important for my business, because showing a customer what they are being billed for is ideal and usually helps with gaining that customer’s trust in the end product. This situation is best portrayed through marketing material. If I sell brochures and send the invoice to a potential client; it would be great to be able to show them what the product would look like or show them the proof alongside the invoice. To me, this would be a fantastic addition! ~ Cassie

  • namit

    Where is android app to do this? would love to see this.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Luis – thank you!

    Cassie – attaching other files to invoices isn’t supported right now, but the team knows you’d like to see it. Thanks for letting us know.

    Namit – sorry no android support at this time, but we hear you.

  • Laura Kinoshita

    Awesome, guys, really really great work. You heard that this was something we needed and came through. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Nathan

    Very glad to see the PDF option available. Was not very functional without it.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Laura, Nathan – you are both very welcome!

  • Melina Stathopoulos

    @Niklas: Good question!

    Yes, the PDF version of the invoice (which is what is printed and then mailed in the post) does indeed include any attached receipts.

    This will increase the number of pages of paper in your invoice, yes. But don’t worry about the postage–one stamp is fine.

  • Richard

    I’m not sure, is this actually new? I signed up with Freshbooks a few months ago and have not been able to use it because I can’t attach PDF’s to my invoices in the field.
    I thought I was able to attach documents to Freshbooks invoices when using my desktop computer already.
    So if I have to use my desktop I will just use software I already own to create and track invoices, with no monthly fee!

  • Cinda

    Love it, love it, love it! Thanks for including the PDF option in (as opposed to the original JPG idea). This is SO much easier than creating client-specific folders in Documents, uploading invoices there, then continually having to clean things out to avoid hitting the GB cap.

    Which begs the question:
    Does this mean there’s no longer a cap on how much file space receipts occupy?

    Thanks, guys. You rock!

  • anthonyhsiao

    Great feature – just a small thing (not trying to be anal here or anything) but I wouldn’t encourage people to use mobile phones at the petrol pump like shown in your video. Just a small point – you woudn’t want you users to burn like this guy

  • Nicolas Roberge

    When I started the video I thought we were talking about a way to email a picture to Freshbooks and have it added automatically as a new expense. That would be a really efficient and helpful feature. This new feature is a bit dissapointing for me. This is only a file attachment. We didn’t really innovate here.

  • SHU Books and Taxes

    This is PERFECT for my clients!!!

  • Justin Parra

    This is a wonderful feature, keep up the good work!

  • Seth

    When I saw the video, I thought the snapped images were going to be automatically parsed and added to Freshbooks as expenses, like how NeatReceipts works. THAT would be a huge time saver. I have months of expenses that I still haven’t entered, simply because the FreshBooks web interface doesn’t exactly lend itself to rapid data entry.

    I wish they would put as much time and development effort into giving us a way to customize the appearance of our invoices (PLEASE!!!) or coming up with an actual system to handle pre-billing and retainers. Harvest has it, but their app lacks in many other ways. Freshbooks, a lot of us work on retainers where clients pre-pay for billable hours. We really need a way to manage this elegantly without having to delete pre-paid invoices in order to convert them to a “credit!” and Credits don’t even show up on P&L reports, which is a huge accounting issue. Ugh.

    Cute idea though, attaching an image of a paper receipt to an invoice.

  • Karen

    When I am in Kashoo and want to sync with Freshbooks, will my PDF receipts also upload?

  • Paul Horne

    Oh great — now what am I supposed to complain about???

    LOL — thanks guys, much needed and appreciated feature.

  • Phillip

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for the PDF ability! You guys ROCK!!

  • Matt

    YES! This is awesome. And that was a quick turn around from the previous blog post about receipts where everyone was asking for the PDF attachment in the comments. Nice work guys!!!

  • Sid Burgess

    Great job guys. As always. Keep it up!

  • Eamonn

    A big step in the right direction but like a lot of the comments, the final piece is a mobile app where I can take a photo of the receipt and create an expense all in one go.
    *I’m not even suggesting you process the image to extract the text and values.

  • Mike Fleming

    Well done! It’s gettin’ better all the time!

  • http://startanisp joann

    what an great ideal, thanks!

  • James Ehrke

    This is great, BUT I would like to see it assigned to a project instead of the Client.
    As it is now, when I go to invoice it will bring in all expenses for that client but I invoice on a per project basis. So I do not want an invoice for one project with expenses mixed in from other projects.

  • Russell Adams

    I use PDF expense reports from another system that are consistently larger than 2MB but less than 10MB, so I still can’t use this feature. I also second the need to attach an expense to a project, not a client. Both is fine.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Cinda – there is no cap for number of receipts you store with FreshBooks, or the space they occupy.

    Anthony – good catch. I’ll tell Wayne (new guy here at FreshBooks!) not to text and pump gas. Yipes!

    Nicholas, Seth, Eammon, James – thanks for the feedback, I’ve shared it with the team.

    SHU, Justin, Paul, Phillip, Sid, Mike, joann – glad you like it!

    Karen – any integrations we have with third parties will need to have their integrations updated for anything to transfer between the apps. We are working now to update our API documentation, as well as working with those partners to make sure they understand the changes and what they can do to take advantage of it.

    Lastly, just wanted to thank everyone again for posting their kind words of support. It isn’t every week that we get this kind of positive and direct customer feedback… the Dev team here is especially happy today. In particular, Colin, who pulled off some crazy dance moves to make this feature happen in a timely way. Send a high-five if you liked this feature ;).

  • Raúl Colón

    This sounds like an awesome function. Who could we talk too with the opportunity of synching our iPhone and Android App that captures receipts and send them directly into Freshbooks!

  • Lily Dart

    I’ve just had a play with this feature – it’s a great idea, but I’m finding it really frustrating that I can’t upload straight from my phone or email direct to Freshbooks. I visited the site in my android browser in the hope there was a mobile version that would at least mean I could enter expenses from my phone. There obviously isn’t a mobile site/template, and the input fields are kind of buggy on the android browser (particularly the autocomplete options).

    So, good start – this was a feature I didn’t know I was missing – but needs some work before it’s very usable. The video kind of misrepresents the functionality – making it look like you can upload directly from your phone, which has left me a little disappointed!

  • Tom Ostlund

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

    This is a big improvement!

  • LS

    Ok. I have a consulting company and use multiple subcontractors on projects. Our subs can use this feature to invoice us (though unfortunately only by client and not by project), but ultimately I need to be able to produce a single expense receipts ‘report’ file for each contractor that I would then attach to the invoice my company sends to the client. Happy to speak with someone in support to explain better what I need. And please please please deliver us a smart phone app.

  • Lee Peterson

    Oh thank heavens!!! Saving my PDFs as PNG files first was getting annoying. :)

  • Chad

    Please add this feature to the iPhone App so I can import the photo and log the expense on the spot and not have to wait until I get home and/or sync to my computer.

  • James

    Either they read my comment and added the assign to project or they did it on their own. Not sure, but when I used it today, the capability was there.

    Thanks Freshbooks!

  • Casey McKinnon

    Raul – you’re talking to the right person.

    Chad – gotcha!

    James – always a pleasure!

    Tom, Lee – Glad you like it.

    LS – Give us a call on our support line to explain, sounds good.

    Lily – thank you for the feedback, it has been shared with the team.

  • Jon Elkin

    Thank you! You read my mind!

  • Dale

    Thanks for adding this feature. I used it to attach supporting documents to my receipt… not expenses. It would be nice to be able to do this for non-expense documents. I had to add a note explaining why the “dummy” expense was created, as a container for the documents.

  • Dale

    Correction: I used this feature to attach supporting documents to my *invoice*.

  • Tina

    Really nice and smart step on the part of Freshbook. Now get rid of the huge cliff of expense receipts.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Jon, Sieuthionline, Bodrum, Mobile App guy, happy to help, glad you like it.

    Dale – We hear you on the need to attach other kinds of files, I’ll pass it on to the team.


  • Jamie Davey

    QUESTION – Any update or details on uploading expense attachments via the API?

    Great functionality – Thanks!

  • Pascal Coenen

    Great feature indeed.
    It is great to be able to send these attachments to my customer.

    Question: the expenses have been done trough my management company and I am now able to easily attach them to an invoice. But how can I reprint the whole batch (that was sent trough multiple invoices) for my own bookkeeping as at the end of the day I also need to justify them? Right?

    As an example I wish I could tell the system this expense has been paid cash, this one via my debit card, this one via my credit card, this one via my PayPal account,etc,…

    So that at the end of the month I print a report per customer with each invoice along with its own expenses attachment AND for my own bookkeeping I print a master report which groups all expense per month per category per way of payment (visa,PayPal,cash,…) and a print of each expenses attachment associated to that.
    I give that to my bookkeeping company and voila!

  • Ralph Miller

    I may be overlooking this, but is there a way to view more than the small thumbnail image of the receipt? Small text on the receipt is not legible at this thumbnail size.

  • Melina Stathopoulos

    @Ralph Miller: Yes, all you need to do is click on the receipt link itself. The thumbnail is only a preview image that is generated when you hover over the receipt link. Hope this helps.