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Multi-currency tips and tricks

by Lauretta Finis

6 min read

QuickBooks Online can help international business owners tackle common challenges, from handling 145+ currencies using Wall Street on Demand to automatically updating exchange rates every four hours.

If you would like more information on setting up the foreign currency Customer and Supplier function as well as payments, download QuickBooks Online Multi-Currency How to Guide.

QuickBooks Online downloads the exchange rates every four hours from Wall Street On Demand. With QuickBooks Multi-Currency feature, you can:

  • Assign a currency to customers, suppliers, bank accounts and credit cards
  • Track and manage currency exchange rate fluctuations
  • Track and reconcile your foreign bank accounts in QuickBooks Online
  • Manually enter other bank exchange rates and revalue them
  • Pay and receive payments in a supplier’s or customer’s currency
  • Revalue a currency

Let’s look at some other situations and some important tips.

Setting up the customer and supplier card correctly

When entering information for your customer or supplier, add the foreign currency code after the name of the customer, then choose the correct currency.

In this example we are adding a customer called Beagles and Pets. We have also added ‘USA’ after the business name, so you can easily see the card is in US dollars.

Choose the correct currency for the customer. This is found under the Payment and billing tab, then under This customer pays me with dropdown menu.

This customer pays me with will default to the home currency, so in this instance it is AUD, and by clicking on the dropdown menu you can choose the currency required.

Note: This card will only have USD transactions associated with it and you cannot change this customer back to any other currency.

Setting up foreign currency bank accounts

Ensure the Currency chosen is the foreign currency required.

Hint: Add the currency code after the bank so it is easy to find, such as USD shown below.

Receiving or paying payments

Follow these steps if customers or suppliers are paying you in the same foreign currency.

Note: The amount will differ because of bank fees.

Example: If you have an invoice of USD $2,072.00, the payment received will be USD $2,062.00:

  • A fee of USD $10 has been applied in this instance, as the customer has allowed the fee deduction from the total outstanding amount
  • Foreign currency bank accounts in USD will need to be reconciled to USD bank statements in QuickBooks Online
  • Use the exchange rate within QuickBooks Online – Wall Street on Demand

Step 1: Date of payment in Bank – the rate will reflect the date paid:

  • Deposit to: Choose the USD bank account Wells Fargo Bank USD
  • Amount received: Matching the bank amount that was received

Note: This will match in your online bank feeds if you have your bank account linked to QuickBooks Online.

 

Step 2: Apply the bank fee of USD $10.00 (this will be the outstanding amount of the invoice):

  • Payment date: This will reflect the USD rate on day paid
  • Deposit to a clearing account – ‘USD Clearing account’
  • This has to be moved in the AUD amount to Bank charges

 

Step 3: Move the bank fee into your Profit and Loss account Bank charges. Zeroing out the USD Clearing account is also required:

  • From your Chart of Accounts choose USD Clearing account, click into Account History right-hand side under Action column
  • This ledger will give you the foreign curency amount, the exchange rate and the AUD amount
  • The AUD amount is the bank fee charged at the currency rate used on the day of payment converted to AUD amount (the conversion has been worked out for you)
  • To move the AUD amount to the Bank charges account, you can process as an expense as below using the Clearing account as your bank
  • Add Cheque field, then add the account – bank fee adds the Payment amount and GST code and Save

 

Looking at the above transaction in our Exchange Gain or Loss account, QuickBooks Online has automatically posted the difference in exchange rates for both the USD $2,062 and $10 payment transactions.

 

Follow these steps if customers or suppliers are paying you and you receive the payment in your AUD currency bank account.

Example: If you have an invoice for USD $4,490 and the current exchange rate is 1.32279 on the 15 November, when converted to AUD the invoice will be $5,939.35:

  • But if payment is received from the client on 20 November, the outstanding amount on the invoice will be AUD $5,657.05
  • A calculation is required to match the remittance advice from the bank.
    AUD $5657.05 ¸ USD $4490.00 = 1.26000 as the new exchange rate
  • Bank credited $5642.05 only in AUD bank
  • Fee AUD $15, in this instance the customer has opted for the fee deduction from the total amount paid

Step 1: When you are receiving payment in US dollars:

  • Change the rate to the above calculation of 1.2600 and select only for this transaction

 

This will change the amount on the invoice to AUD $5657.05 before fees:

  • Apply the USD $4490.00 Amount received and Deposit to the USD Clearing account using the 22 November payment date

 

Step 2: USD Clearing account now has the total AUD amount, which needs to be transferred to the correct accounts for Matching:

  1. Transfer AUD $5642.05 received into your AUD bank account. This will allow the transaction to Match your online bank feeds:
    • You can process this directly from Cheque > Add transfer or by creating a Transfer from the Global button. Make sure you choose the correct bank account to deposit these funds
  2. Bank fee of $15.00 moved to Bank charges:
    • Note: As per balance left in USD Clearing account $15.35
    • This is a small currency conversion discrepancy
    • You can either process the 0.35 cents to Exchange Gain/Loss or, as below, move this total amount to Bank charges
  • Process this fee via an Expense transaction. You can create a button or process directly with the Add cheque field > Add expense, and allocate to Bank charges and total amount of $15.35, click Save, which will zero out the USD Clearing account
  1. Hint: Process the amount deposited to the bank which will be matched in bank feeds first.

 

Step 3: Online bank feeds:

  • Match the amount received in the bank to the amount transferred out from the USD Clearing account in the AUD amount

 

Looking at this transaction, the exchange rate was manually changed in QuickBooks Online, which automatically posts this difference to the Gain/Loss account. This can be viewed from the Proft and Loss report or Reports > All Reports > Business Overview > Realised Exchange Gains & Losses report.

Transferring from your AUD to foreign currency bank account

This can be treated just as you would a transfer from bank account to bank account.

Global Create button > Other > Transfer

Example: If you transfer AUD $1000 to USD Wells Fargo Bank and use the currency exchange, this rate will be applied and USD $1356.21 will be moved into your ledger account.

Foreign currency expenses paid via a foreign currency bank account

Processing a direct expense in a foreign currency bank account is straightforward:

  1. Choose the supplier name previously set up with the foreign currency required
  2. Then the foreign currency and exchange rate will appear automatically underneath the supplier name
  3. When processing the amount, the converted AUD amount will also appear in the columns

 

Hint: If a foreign currency expense has been paid in AUD via an AUD bank account:

  • Process the AUD amount
  • The supplier card needs to be in AUD, as this will then match in the AUD bank account

Reporting on multi-currency

Various reports can be found in QuickBooks Online for reviewing.

Reports > All reports > Business overview

 

Or via your Profit and Loss > click into the account Exchange Gain or Loss.

APPS: Intuit QuickBooks Online apps that intergrate with foreign currency

Use TransferMate for a faster, cheaper way to make international payments.

 

Using a separate clearing account for the currency being transacted creates flexibility with some of the many varying transactions that occur when receiving or making foreign currency payments.

If you have a remittance advice from the bank, it will note the date used, the currency conversion rate and the bank fee charged, which makes life easier when entering this information into QuickBooks Online.

To read more articles related to product updates, visit here.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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