Enter a foreign currency transaction in QuickBooks Online

When it comes to foreign currencies or multicurrency in QuickBooks Online, bookkeeping can quickly get messy if you’re not careful about entering your expenses.

Let’s take a look at an example of a common transaction regarding a foreign Amazon marketplace and multicurrency in QuickBooks Online US.

You’ll need to have multicurrency enabled on QuickBooks Online US in order to be able to access these settings.

Exchange rates change day to day or from one second to the next. When Amazon charges you, your credit card or bank account may have a different amount in USD.

We’ll use CAD and USD in this article, but the concept is the same regardless of what currency you’re using.

Let’s say you start selling on Amazon Canada (CA). For your first settlement, you have a balance of -$50 CAD because of various fees. We’re using Amazon CA as the Payee here (the exchange rate field will only appear if your Vendor has a non-USD currency associated with it).

Amazon charges your credit card for $50 CAD, but the charge shows up on your card as $37.93 USD (using exchange rates for August 1, 2019). But you’re going to enter the transaction on August 20, 2019. That $50 CAD is now $37.54 if you’re not adjusting values on the document.

Note that even though we selected August 1, the Total (USD) charge still doesn’t match because of the fluctuations in rates throughout the day.

This difference between the currency can easily cause a discrepancy between your accounts in QuickBooks Online if you’re just entering in transactions monthly and using the default exchange rate.

QuickBooks Online doesn’t allow you to edit the Total (USD) amount. Instead, you’ll need to figure out the correct exchange rate.

To properly calculate the values, you’ll need to take how much your credit card was charged in USD. Then take the amount in CAD that you owe.

Divide the USD by the CAD amount to get the correct exchange rate so that you can enter this in the right field in QuickBooks Online.

Enter the exchange rate to as many decimal places as you need for the Total (USD) to match what you were charged on your credit card.

You may need to enter in a few more decimal places to get the correct value. Once you click OK, QuickBooks Online will recalculate the Total (USD). It should now match what your credit card charge shows for that transaction.

If it doesn’t, recalculate the rate and check that you’ve entered the correct values to the necessary decimal place, whether that’s 4 places or 7.

Notice in the corrected exchange rate above, the Total (CAD) value is correct and the Total (USD) value is now correct.

This document shows that you’re paying a vendor, Amazon Canada, $50 CAD. Your credit card account will show a charge of $37.93.

Whether it’s an expense or a settlement payment, you’ll need to go through the same process of calculating the correct exchange rate and verifying that the values are correct.

For instance, when you receive a disbursement or payment from Amazon for your sales, your Amazon Canada seller account will show a deposit in CAD. But the bank account may show a deposit in USD.

The process is the same here: edit the deposit document with the correct exchange rates to reconcile the amounts.

Read our other articles on QuickBooks Online below.

Learn all about Multicurrency in QuickBooks Online

Before you enable multicurrency in QuickBooks Online, make sure you understand the effects of enabling this feature in your QuickBooks Online company.

Some consequences you should note before you enable multicurrency:

  • Once enabled, you can’t turn this feature off
  • Once you set your home currency, you can’t change it
  • Rates are updated every four hours from real-time exchange rates
  • Enabled, this feature may prevent importing and exporting to other QuickBooks versions, like from Desktop to Online

Enable multicurrency and add currencies

To enable this feature, click on the Gear icon and go to Company Settings. Click on the Advanced tab and find the Multicurrency setting.

Gear icon Company Settings

Location of setting

Once multicurrency is enabled, you can add and remove currencies from your lists.

  • You won’t be able to delete a currency once you’ve added a transaction with that currency

You can add and edit currencies once you’ve enabled this feature. A Manage Currencies link will be available near the setting.

Manage currencies

You can also view a list of currencies by going to the Gear icon and All Lists > Currencies.

To add a currency, click on Add Currency and select the currency from the dropdown menu.

Add new currency

QuickBooks Online will maintain a history of the exchange rates for your list of currencies so that historical documents entered will have the correct rates. Rates may not be available if you go too far back.

What happens with a multicurrency transaction

Let’s take a look at what happens with a multicurrency transaction. Because exchange rates constantly change, you’re likely to have different rates between linked transactions.

For instance, you’re likely to see one rate on an invoice and a different rate when you receive payment. Then you may have another rate when you create the deposit. See how QuickBooks Online handles these different exchange rates below.

For this article, we’ll use USD as the home currency and EUR for foreign currency. The same principle applies regardless of what home or foreign currency you’re using.

When you enable multicurrency, QuickBooks Online will create a new account called Exchange Gain or Loss. This account will contain the difference due to changing exchange rates.

Below, we have an invoice for 100 EUR at an exchange rate of 1 EUR to 1.1 USD for a total of 110 USD. When you create the invoice, your Accounts Receivable (A/R or AR) account will be debited the 110 USD.

Sample Multicurrency

Then we’ll receive payment with a rate of 1 EUR to 1 USD. This payment will credit the A/R account 110 USD and debit the Undeposited Funds account for the 100 USD you received.

Payment with multicurrency

Since the exchange rate on the day of payment is 1 instead of 1.1, there’s a 10 USD difference, which is posted to the Exchange Gain or Loss account.

The amounts are reconciled because of the Exchange Gain or Loss account.

Journal with Multicurrency transaction

What happens when you create a deposit to move the funds to your bank account?

QuickBooks Online will automatically calculate the rate based on the deposit date.

For example, you create a bank deposit and the exchange rate is now 1 EUR to 1.3 USD, QuickBooks Online will automatically calculate and post the difference.

See below for the transaction journal with the bank deposit.

Transaction journal with bank deposit

The new difference of 30 USD is posted as a credit to the Exchange Gain or Loss account.

The net difference between the invoice, payment, and deposit is 20 USD.

By posting the differences to the Exchange Gain or Loss account, you’ll be able to track the differences caused by changing exchange rates.

When you run a Profit and Loss report, the Exchange Gain or Loss account will factor into your numbers. Because of this account, you’ll have a better idea of the impact exchange rates have on your business.

Profit and Loss with Exchange account

Ultimately, the Exchange Gain or Loss account allows you to accurately track your finances and throughout the entire transaction flow.

Why is my reporting wrong for multicurrency accounts?

You may see strange balances for your bank accounts on your balance sheet due to how QuickBooks Online handles exchange rates. These balances may also affect your Profit and Loss reports.

One common problem is that foreign currency bank accounts may hold a balance in the home currency value even though the actual bank balance is zero.

For instance, you receive 1000 EUR from a customer for a sale. At the time of the transaction, QuickBooks Online used an exchange rate of 1 EUR to 1 USD. Your bank account balance is now 1000 USD.

Then you purchase inventory for 1000 EUR and paid with that bank account. But the exchange rate at the time of purchase is 1 EUR to 2 USD.

While your bank account may reflect a 0 EUR balance, QuickBooks will show a home currency value of -1000 USD balance.

The home currency value is now different because of the differences between the exchange rate at the time of transaction and the payment date.

EUR Bank Balance

See the balance sheet for this transaction below.

Balance sheet with negative bank balance

You’ll also see a balance in your Exchange Gain or Loss account, leading to a negative net income because of the higher currency exchange rate.

Exchange Gain or Loss balance

In order to resolve this issue, you’ll have to create a home currency adjustment on the bank account.

Before you do this, you’ll want to speak to your accountant to ensure that these adjustments don’t affect other accounts.

You should only make these adjustments once you understand the impact they’ll have on your accounts.

  • Home currency adjustments only affect the home currency value of your foreign accounts, not the actual foreign balance

Learn more about home currency adjustments from QuickBooks Online.

Click on the Gear icon and go to Currencies.

Gear Icon Currencies

Find the currency you want to revalue (the currency of the bank account). In this case, it’s EUR. Click on the little down arrow and select Revalue currency from the dropdown menu.

Revalue currency option

Make sure the bank account you want to revalue is selected. Click on Save.

Revalue currency screen

Afterward, you can run your balance sheet report to see that home currency adjustment fixed the balance on the bank account.

Balance sheet fixed

When you create the home currency adjustment, QuickBooks Online creates a currency re-evaluation journal entry with the date and rate used. These $0.00 journal entries can be used to track all adjustments made.

  • You won’t be able to edit certain details like exchange rate, dates, or amounts for currency adjustments
  • You may have to delete the journal entry if you’ve made a mistake and need to adjust those values

In our example above, QuickBooks Online created a journal entry to credit the Exchange Gain or Loss account 1000 USD and debit the EUR bank account 1000 USD. The result is that your accounts will show properly when you run reports.

Screenshot of Exchange Gain or Loss report

You shouldn’t constantly revalue currencies because these adjustments will affect your accounts.

If some of your bank accounts are in foreign currencies, then reconciling all your transactions can be a little tricky because of the way QuickBooks Online handles multicurrency transactions.

Read frequently asked questions about home currency adjustments if this article doesn’t help with your situation.

Like this QuickBooks Online article? Check out other related articles: