How it works

1. Take a picture of the receipt

Take picture of the receipt

Either with a mobile phone with a good camera on it or with a normal compact digital camera.

About camera phones, About using a digital camera

About camera phones

Taking detailed enough pictures with camera phones will only work if the camera phone has macro mode or other features that makes it possible to take close-up shots. Some mobile phones refer to it differently and the best test is usually to just try taking a close-up of printed text with your camera phone and see if the numbers and letters are readable enough. Expect that your mobile will need to have at least 2 mega pixels to be able to take close-ups fine enough to pass as pictures of receipts.

This is the Macro mode symbol you should look for: Macro mode icon

About using a digital camera

Unlike a mobile camera phone, a digital camera is less practical by its sheer size but it usually takes better pictures and copying pictures from the camera to your desktop is usally quite easy. If you don't have a camera phone or if you have a pile of receipts that you want to snap and upload a compact digital camera will be your best choice. Taking pictures is quick and most digital cameras support taking rather large pictures even in macro mode.

2. Upload/Send the taken picture

Upload/Send the taken picture

Either you log in and upload it normally as any other file in a web browser or you send the taken picture via email to us. Alternatively you can use a dedicated mobile application that we help you install that uploads the picture automatically.

About uploading files, About emailing files in, About keeping the original image

About uploading files

You can upload JPG, GIF or PNG images of any size but you can also upload ZIP, PS and PDF files too. If you upload a ZIP file all images within gets automatically extracted and uploaded one by one. If you upload a PDF or PS (Postscript) file the first page of the file is converted to an image so that you can preview the receipt as you're completing the details about the expense claim.

About emailing files in

If the file can be uploaded, it can be emailed in. The email address is add(...) The inbound email is authenticated to your account as long as the sender of the email is the same as your username or alternatively your alternative emails which you can set up in your settings.

If you forward an email which is a receipt the system will not attempt to work out any details from the subject line and the whole email becomes a PDF file that you can preview. File attachments in the email that are just inline supported images will not be uploaded. If you send an email with PDF or image attachements (that is not embedded in the email body) each PDF or image will be uploaded. You can then also use the subject line of the email to specify some details about the expense. The rules are simple, the first value number becomes the amount, the second valid number (if present) becomes the VAT if it's smaller. Any word that is a recognized category, project or vendor gets noticed and entered for the expense.

About keeping the original image

Whatever transformations you do to the uploaded image such as rotation and zoom and cropping the system always keeps the original file you sent in that is never changed.

3. Complete the details about the receipt

Complete the details about the receipt

Once uploaded into your account you use the website (or the website for mobile phones) to enter the required information about the receipt such as amount, VAT, category etc.

About required details, About splitting expenses

About required details

The company Administrator can configure precisely what is required and and what is shown on the expense completion form. Since every company has different policies, this system is very flexible. Added to that, users can have different configurations depending on what type of expenses they have. For example, one user who travels abroad a lot might enable the Country and Currency input fields.

About splitting expenses

When you're completing the expense details it's quite possible that the same image should be used for multiple separate expense claims. For example a receipt from a hotel should maybe be split as £123.00 in the Accommodation category and £23.40 in the Substinance category for the champagne you bought. When you split an expense a new expense is created that only shares the same image but is its own entity.

4. Submit the receipt entry and await your cash

Your expenses

Once submitted, your receipt will be processed by your line manager or company accountant. She will check the details and push the expense through a workflow for approval. Your company accountant will then wire the money to you, if it was a cash expense.

About user access levels, About the expense workflow, About email reminders

About user access levels

Every company in SnapExpense has an Administrator. The first Administrator is responsible for setting up the specifics for her company. This Administrator can invite other colleagues to also be Administrators.
Apart from the basic colleague role that everybody has, certain colleagues are set up as being Approver and/or Accountant of other colleagues and this is done user by user. Therefore, an Approver for example is not a general role but only applies for a particular user.
Depending on how the Administrator sets up the roles the same user can have multiple roles. The system is very flexible but still easy to set up.
More about submission of expenses

About the expense workflow

Quite simple, this is the expense workflow:
Incomplete/Unsubmitted → Submitted → Approved → Paid

An incomplete expense is an expense with just the image or PDF with no details entered.
Once the user has submitted the expense the user's approver takes over. The Paid state can be used by the company to differentiate which expenses have been reimbursed.

About email reminders

An Approver or Accountant won't have to keep a peeled eye on new expenses to be dealt with. They can be set up to be sent either daily, weekly or monthly but no reminders are sent out if there's nothing to be reminded about.
More about individual email reminders