New: Attach expense receipts to your invoices

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!

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  • Joseph

    I’m liking it so far. Any chance we could get PDF as an acceptable format as well?

  • andy

    Me too on the PDF format. Also, how about multiple currencies – i.e. a reciept in one currency invoiced in another?

  • Andrea

    Expenses cannot currently be managed in multiple currency, so we had to go ahead with our current solution. When Freshbooks becomes a little more “international” we’ll certainly check it out again. And yes, PDF is the format to go for expenses.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Joseph, Andy, Andrea,

    Thanks for commenting. I am sharing the feedback with the team here today, and will keep you in the loop with any updates.

    Head of Product & Design @ FreshBooks

  • Kevin Barr

    Most of my receipts are in email format. Currently, I would need to take a screenshot in order to attach them. It would be much easier to print as pdf and then attach.

    Or is there another solution I’m not aware of?

  • Melina Stathopoulos

    Hi Kevin,

    No you are correct–currently there is no support for PDF receipts and your workaround is probably the best one for now. Thanks for your feedback!

    Melina @ FreshBooks

  • Michaela

    Just want to chime in on the need for currency conversion and attaching invoices in PDF format. This feature is good but not functional for me without these elements!

  • MSFX

    another +1 for attaching PDFs, alot of expenses are web reciepts / emails…

  • Curt

    PDF support is critical. Here’s why:

    I re-bill one Meals&Expenses line item per day, but that’s usually comprised of multiple receipts, which I scan into a single PDF. Requiring me to create multiple jpgs for each receipt, then create a separate line item for each would be so time consuming as to prevent me from using this feature. I imagine others are in the same boat. Thanks!

  • Nicolas Boulet-Lavoie

    PDF please, no damn JPG. Who really scan their expenses as JPG? :)

  • Lin

    I use Neat Receipts to scan my receipts into one PDF document…it would be great if I could just upload that document to attach to my invoice.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Michaela, MSFX, Curt, Nicolas, Lin,

    Thanks for chiming in. Definitely hear you on the PDF requirement, and I agree it would make this feature even better.

    As you may know, we don’t comment or commit to new features before they are delivered, but we are aware of your needs for PDF receipt handling.

    Head of Product & Design @ FreshBooks

  • Andrew Lee

    MUST be pdf, otherwise, while a cool idea, it’s practically pointless because the extra effort to convert scans or screen shots or upload photos makes it not worth the trouble

  • Lee

    +1 for PDF upload – this will be a killer feature once this is possible!

  • Casey McKinnon

    Andrew Lee, Lee,

    Thanks for chiming in. Got it.


  • Lindsey

    I have been using this function for a few weeks and love it! If you have a Mac you can save a pdf as a jpeg via Preview.

  • Alan Lipschultz

    I currently use Expensify and link it to FreshBooks. Advantage is that they have an app on my Droid to take pictures of receipts as I get them without having to save till I get a chance to log into my computer.

  • Antonio

    Thanks for what you’ve included in the meanwhile until you can add pdf formats. Keep up the good work!

  • Micah

    Love this idea! Definitely +1 on the PDF. I would never take the time to convert all to JPG.

    Thanks as always for a great product.

  • Louis-Philippe

    I would love to just picture invoices with my phone and have them entered as expenses automatically, or at least queued for future entry. Stacks or invoices are annoying to manage.

    Any tips for this?

  • Nathan Stone

    Yet another chime for PDF format. Most document scanners (fujitsu’s ScanSnap, most office copiers, etc) save in PDF by default and converting each receipt’s files to a JPG is no fun at all.

    Great feature though – I love being able to attach my receipts to expense records.

  • Geoffrey Wiseman

    In addition to PDF receipts, if you could forward your email to a particular email address to have it become a receipt, that might be valuable as well.


    Of course that’s a lot more work than PDF support. PDF support is a little awkward in that you can’t easily view inline, but I suppose FreshBooks could render an image from the PDF.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Roger all those!

    I just tested the work-around from Lindsey, and it worked great for me on my Mac. Steps are as follows:

    – Open your PDF using Preview (on Mac only)
    – Click the “File” menu, then choose “Save As…”
    – Select “JPG” from the “Format” drop-down menu.
    – Hit Save

    You can then upload that PDF as a JPG.

    Not totally awesome, I agree, but will work in a pinch.


  • http://nesbittresearchdotcom allen

    How bout expensify integration to pull pdf of expense report as link. Would be far simpler as expensify automagically generates receipts. No photographing needed.

    • Casey McKinnon

      Another good idea, thanks Allen.

  • MaryAnne Gobble

    One more vote for PDF support — it’s so easy to print email receipts to PDF that the whole thing would be painless if I could take PDFs directly to Freshbooks. I have been using the save-as-jpeg workaround, and it works, but it adds extra steps.

    Still, it’s great to be able to include receipts at all — I was having to add these manually after generating an invoice.

    • Casey McKinnon

      Thanks MaryAnn, glad you like it so far. We’ll post here any future updates to the feature.

  • Scott Silver

    PDF please! Thanks.

  • Dave Therault

    I’m not clear about who implements the API, but I want Shoeboxed to add the image of the receipt to FreshBooks expense record. Currently, they only add a link to an image in Shoeboxed.

  • James Hall

    So excited about this feature, especially after it adds support for PDFs! Thanks for your awesome software.

  • Stan Byers

    Please add the ability to PDF’s.

  • Nikki

    The only downside to this is that creatives & agencies can’t add their normal mockup to the expense, which is standard for most of us. It’d be nice to be able to track expenses, markup, assignment etc the way QuickBooks does. That’s the number one reason I’m thinking of going back to QuickBooks at this point…

  • Ryan

    This is great, except it’s not useful to us until PDF support is added. Thanks!

  • Hugo

    It would be super to attach images to invoices as proof of the work done, not just as expense receipts. I will try to use the feature. Thanks.

  • Adam

    you REALLY need an smartphone app for this. because uploading an image from email is really, really tiresome for a company that has lots of expenses on a daily basis.

  • Olga

    Would be great if we could do this straight from the iPhone app.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Scott, James, Stan, Ryan – got you on the PDF need.

    Dave – regarding Shoeboxed, they would need to implement the API changes on their side to attach the image. We’ll talk to them about that possibility, and update you here with any news.

    Nikki – on attaching other file types to invoices, I’ll say receipts is the focus for the time being, but we do see possibilities to attach other types of files in the future.

    Adam, Olga – I hear you on the camera-phone idea, and I’ve shared it with the team here.

  • Ron Antonette

    Is another +1 for the PDF addition even useful at this point, or is it loud and clear? Anyway, terrific addition.

  • Alfreda

    Love this – thanks for the great feature. Ditto on .pdf.

  • Casey McKinnon

    Ron – Yes, loud and clear, and I’m not just saying that. I’m a real person over here, who really cares about these requests, and am advocating for all of you here at FreshBooks.

    Alfreda – thank you!

  • Josef Hudson

    To have both options of PDF and JPEGS would be awesome. I currently use Neat Receipts so they already are scanned as PDF’s. However, now I can just take a picture of my receipt with my phone, saving me the extra step of having to scan the receipt, which I love. It works most of the time. Only when it’s a long receipt that it doesn’t work perfectly.

    Thanks Freshbooks for making my life and business so much easier. You guys are great!!! :)

  • Martha

    Thank you for offering this awesome feature. Though I don’t use it at the moment, I agree with the numerous people about making .PDF a choice. Most of my receipts are PDFs. Hope you guys can get that out soon. Other than that you guys are AMAZING.

  • Tom

    Add me to the list of those needing PDF support. That’s the way all of my receipts are scanned.

    Otherwise, great!

  • Michael Faber

    Add me to the list of folks requesting PDF format for receipts. Much more practical and current than using picture files.

  • Justin Devine

    +1 on PDFs. For web receipts I had to use snipping tool. This is great for any physical receipts, but a lot of us are here because we prefer paperless right? You’re doing a great job FreshBooks team.

  • Steve

    PDF is imperative. Some receipts (e.g. airline tickets, hotel bills, etc.) are more than one page and it’s impossible to get that into a single JPG image.

  • Dean

    Add a smartphone (BB, iPhone, Android) app that allows you to scan receipts would be nice. Expensify has this and it’s great!

  • Caryn

    Another vote for PDF! Surely it would be the number 1 format. I receive invoices from everyone else as a pdf.

  • Fusion6

    Good Idea, But one issue I have:
    Is exposing expenses to the client and are unable to upsell the expense.

    After all, most are in the business of resale of products and services…yes?

    An example
    would be an expense for supplies that we buy for $10 and resell for $20. We would like to keep track of the expense as well as mark it up for resale.

    This feature shows the actual expense, well that’s not a real “Profitable” way of doing business.

    +10 for .pdf’s – jpg’s scans were eft behind in the 90’s …. :)

  • Troy

    Its really sad that there isn’t a good connection to iOS, this could be very cool! Minibooks is lame!

  • 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 …