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Bookkeeping Services Best Practice | Leveraging QBO & Multi-Currency for Managing International Operations


Bookkeeping Services Best Practice | Leveraging QBO & Multi-Currency for Managing International Operations


Kathryn-Beres-for-webThese days it’s not so rare for a small business to operate internationally in addition to their U.S. operations. We live in an increasingly globalized world and businesses that outsource abroad and do business abroad are more and more common. Earlier in my career, I provided bookkeeping services to a company that was based in the Cayman Islands, developed its software in Ireland and had a sales office in the U.S. While this company enjoyed many benefits in setting up its operations in this way, it did create the bookkeeping challenge of dealing with multiple currencies.

The company used the international version of QBO (QuickBooks Online), which could handle multi-currency but had no support for U.S.-based users, which was a limitation to us working in the U.S. However, this version was a better fit than the other option of QuickBooks Enterprise, which did not have the ease of access that the online version afforded us. Thankfully, QBO just released a multi-currency feature for the U.S. version. If you are a U.S. based business operating internationally here’s what you need to know about using this new feature.

With the QuickBooks multi-currency feature, you will be able to assign different currencies to different customers, vendors, banks, and credit cards. QuickBooks will also track currency exchange rate fluctuations (and will automatically update this information every four hours by connecting with WOSD – Wall Street On Demand). And on a practical level, the feature will allow you to pay and to receive payments in different currencies from different locations.

Once you turn on the multi-currency feature in QuickBooks you can’t turn it off, so make sure before you turn it on the feature that it’s what you need for your business. Your bookkeeping services provider can assist you as needed with getting started with multi-currency in QBO. Activating the feature is simple enough. Go to Gear > Company Settings > Advanced > Currency. Select the multicurrency checkbox and confirm that you understand that this feature cannot be turned off and then hit save. From then on out your regular currency will be your “home currency.” A currency column will appear in your QB chart of accounts and you will be prompted to choose a currency every time you add a client or vendor.

From here you should be all set to manage your international business transaction in QBO. You can always turn to your bookkeeping services provider for assistance with your multi-currency transactions, just so long as you don’t forget to send him or her a postcard the next time you check in on operations in the Caymans.

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Kathy Beres


Kathy Beres

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This website is created by Supporting Strategies to provide general bookkeeping and accounting information only. Supporting Strategies does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice, and the information contained herein is not intended to do so. As such, the information provided should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, legal, and accounting advisors, and you should consult with a tax, legal and accounting professional before engaging in any transaction.