Let SmartScan Do The Work For You!

Nobody likes typing or waiting for scans to finish; just scan it and forget it! It'll be auto-reported upon completion and auto-submitted that same night. Just scan your receipts immediately after making the purchase, and let us take care of them for you!

For the ultimate hands-free experience, we recommend importing Expensify Guaranteed eReceipts directly from your bank account — this means you can ignore paper receipts entirely, no typing and no SmartScanning required. Take it a step further and setup auto-categorization in the policy settings and really begin feeling the awesome power of what Expensify can do for you!

It’s FREE to upload/forward an unlimited number of receipts to Expensify. SmartScan is separate from receipt upload. Individual users with no policy access will have 10 SmartScans per month. Team and Corporate policy users have unlimited SmartScans per month.

The SmartScan Process

Scan your receipts immediately after making the purchase, and let us take care of them for you. SmartScan will read the receipt and type the following information: 

  1. Merchant Name
  2. Transaction Date
  3. Transaction Amount
  4. Transaction Currency

Using this information, SmartScan will create a new cash expense. Or even better, if you import a credit/bank card then SmartScan will automatically attach the receipt image to the associated expense.

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SmartScan saves you the trouble of having to reconcile receipts and expenses. Not using SmartScan for credit card expenses means having to go into Expensify and manually tell the system which receipt is associated with which expense. Not using SmartScan for cash expenses means having to type in the merchant name, transaction amount, transaction currency and transaction date for all your expenses. SmartScan saves you time by doing all of this for you!

How SmartScan Works

SmartScan is a multi-layered system that works as follows:

  1. First it uses “optical character recognition” (OCR) on receipt images to extract the text from the image. 
  2. Then it analyzes that text to determine what portions correspond to the merchant name, amount, currency and date of the purchase. If it can't detect a specific currency symbol, it will default to the currency based on your current location.
  3. Finally, it consults your list of existing expenses to see if the newly processed receipt image corresponds to a purchase that has already been imported via a credit card connection.
  4. If necessary, the receipt can also be flagged for human review by one of our secure technicians. At the end of the day, nothing beats the human eye for ultimate quality.

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Enabling SmartScan

SmartScan is automatically enabled for all accounts so that you can take advantage of the 10 free SmartScans per month. If you’d like to SmartScan more than the free monthly allotment, you can create a Team or Corporate policy and add a billing card. Users on Team and Corporate policies get unlimited SmartScans. 

  • To change this setting on the web log into your Expensify account and go to Settings > SmartScanning, then click the button to enable or disable the feature.
    • To SmartScan a specific receipt from the web, go to the Receipts page, and click the SmartScan button.
  • To change this setting on the mobile app go to Account > SmartScanning, then click the button to enable or disable the feature.
    • When uploading a receipt from your mobile app, be sure the setting is enabled (on by default), and the app will take care of it for you!

Help SmartScan get the best results

SmartScan is trying to solve a very, very difficult problem. You can help simplify that problem and achieve the best possible results with the following simple tips:

  • Clean your lens. It’s obvious, but it’s amazing how easy it is to forget.
  • Enable auto-focus. This typically happens automatically, but just in case.
  • Enable your flash. The best way to get good lighting is to just turn on the flash.
  • Use a dark background. A white receipt on a dark background is the easiest to process.
  • Include background on all sides. To help us find the edges of the receipt, capture a bit of border all around.
  • No fingers on the receipt. If possible, lay the receipt out flat and don’t cover with your fingers.
  • No sensitive information. Don’t take a picture of anything you wouldn’t be willing to throw into the trash.

Why is SmartScan taking a long time?

Often times, SmartScan takes a while to read complex or poor quality receipts. It can also be affected by high receipt volumes. As long as you still see the SmartScanning notation on the receipt, it will eventually complete. If you can't wait, you can click Stop SmartScan and manually process the receipt. During periods of high receipt volumes, delays can take between one to four hours. If you feel that there might be something wrong, don't hesitate to reach out to help@expensify.com.

What does "SmartScan Failed" mean?

Your receipt was most likely missing one or more of these: merchant name, purchase date, or total amount. SmartScan requires these to be present because it’s the only way to ensure it’s a traceable, legitimate receipt. Image quality can also cause this message.

Still need help?

Our friendly success team is here to help! Send us an email to help@expensify.com and we'll get back to you within 24 hours.