In this article, you will learn how to configure Multi-Currency/Foreign Exchange (FX) Billing within Actionstep. You can also refer to the video embedded below for a quick overview of the process.
Multi-Currency Billing is the process of billing to a client in a different currency. It works by applying a currency conversion to your base currency.
Actionstep also does not support Multi-Currency billing with Xero or Quickbooks Integrations.
To start off, you'll want to enable the feature. Navigate to Admin > Accounting > Accounting Preferences.
Under the 'Currency' section, toggle the 'Multi-Currency banking' option to 'On'. Make sure you save this change.
Entering Currencies/Exchange Rates
- Now that you've enabled this option, you should see a new menu item under Admin > Additional Settings > 'Currencies & Exchange Rates. Click on this new option.
- At first, you'll only see your base currency (eg. USD). Click on 'Add currency' in the top-right corner to start adding additional currencies to the system. You'll be prompted to enter the abbreviated currency code (eg. GBP for Great British Pound), its name, and corresponding symbol.
- After you enter additional currencies, you'll be able to click on the exchange rates shown in the column next to the currency names to adjust them. Click on 'add row' and choose a date from which you'd like the exchange rate to be effective.
- Then, enter the rate and the source of the rate, and hit 'Save'.
Updating Your Accounts
Now that you've entered new currencies and their corresponding exchange rates, you'll need to update your 'System Accounts' and your 'Accounts List.' To access your system accounts, navigate to Admin > Accounting > System Accounts
You'll find that there are now a number of 'System Account Types' that are not linked to any ledger accounts. Once you've identified which system account types need configuring, you'll need to create new ledger accounts in the 'Accounts List' for them to be mapped to. You'll also need to configure any system account that starts with 'FX Gain/Loss' to a general ledger account.
System Account Configuration
Things you need to know
- The table below explains what system accounts will have to be created for your system to work with a bank account in more than one currency. Some of the system accounts can be created and linked to existing accounts in your chart of accounts but many will require you to create new accounts in your chart of accounts so that a system account can be mapped to it.
- Some of these system accounts will already exist in the system under your base currency, eg: Accounts payable, accounts receivable, deposits paid, etc. For these create a new account in your chart of accounts that is under the same header as the original. Make sure you label the new account in the chart of accounts with its currency and update the existing account's name so that it lists the currency. For example, you should end up with accounts called "Accounts Payable USD" and "Accounts Payable CAD".
- If this is the first time that you are adding another currency to your system some accounts will need to be created from scratch. There are no default "FX Gain/Loss Receivables" in a standard Actionstep chart of accounts. You will have to create these new accounts in your chart of accounts. The accounts you have to do this for are all the ones that start with "FX Gain/Loss... ". These should be income accounts in your chart of accounts. Again, you will have to create an account of these types for each currency that you will be trading in.
- Lastly, some of the system accounts have to be created in the different currencies you will trade in but they can be mapped to the same account in your chart of accounts. For example, Sale/Purchase Rounding Errors can be mapped to the same account in your chart of accounts for all currencies.
- In the table below we list the account number and name on your chart of accounts based on a default chart of accounts in Actionstep. The example of accounts to create is based on these numbers. Your chart of accounts may have been altered already. Use the account numbers listed as a guide, not as a compulsory setting.
|System Account||Should it have its own account in your chart of accounts||Existing account in the chart of accounts for this system account||Example Account to create and use for the secondary account||Explanation|
|Sale/Purchase Rounding Errors||No||6-9999 - Sale & Purchase Rounding Errors||When 1c rounding errors are detected in a database, the difference is posted to this account.. Can occur in FX or BASE currency and appears to only occur when the invoice is inclusive of tax|
|FX Gain/Loss Receivables Realized||Yes||n/a||4-8310, 4-8312, etc||Difference between sales invoice posted rate and the actual payment rate.|
|FX Gain/Loss Receivables Unrealized||Yes||n/a||4-8320, 4-8322, etc||Difference between sales invoice posted rate and the current rate for unpaid amounts.|
|FX Gain/Loss Payables Realized||Yes||n/a||4-8330, 4-8332, etc||Same as above but purchases.. Can be linked to the same account for convenience if wanted|
|FX Gain/Loss Payables Unrealized||Yes||n/a|
4-8340, 4-8342, etc
|Same as above but purchases.. Can be linked to the same account for convenience if wanted.|
|FX Gain/Loss Bank Revaluations||Yes||n/a||4-8350, 4-8352, etc||Money gained or lost in bank transactions is based on the value of the money deposits/withdrawals vs the current calculated balance.|
|FX Gain/Loss Other Asset||Yes||n/a||4-8360, 4-8362, etc||This calculates the revaluation of asset accounts that have a non-base currency (excluding bank + linked A/R + A/P accounts).|
|FX Gain/Loss Other Liabilities||Yes||n/a||4-8370, 4-8372, etc||Same as assets, but for Liabilities :)|
|Accounts Payable||Yes||2-1210 - Accounts Payable||2-1220, 2-1220, etc||A system account that controls what is due to be paid to your debtors. An account in your chart of accounts will have to be created for each currency you will be paying invoices in and it will have to be mapped as a system account.|
|Accounts Receivable||Yes||1-1710 - Accounts Receivable||1-1720, 1-1725, etc||A system account that controls what is due to be paid to your creditors. An account in your chart of accounts will have to be created for each currency you will invoice in and it will have to be mapped as a system account.|
|Customer Deposits||Yes||2-1600 - Deposits Received||2-1610, 2-1615,etc||A system account that offsets your deposits when a debtor pays you. An account in your chart of accounts will have to be created for each currency you will invoice in and it will have to be mapped as a system account.|
|Supplier Deposits||Yes||1-1600 - Deposits Paid||1-1620, 1-1630, etc||A system account that offsets your withdrawals when a creditor pays you. An account in your chart of accounts will have to be created for each currency you will invoice in and it will have to be mapped as a system account.|
|Electronic Payments||No||The other currency bank account you have created.||This controls what bank account details will show on your invoice. Link this to the bank account that you have set up for that currency.|
|Invoice Payments||No||The other currency bank account you have created.||This controls who invoice payments will be receipted by default. You will not have to create a new account in your chart of accounts but you will have to create a system account for this in each currency that you operate in.|
|Invoice Receipts||No||The other currency bank account you have created.||This controls who invoice payments will be receipted by default. You will not have to create a new account in your chart of accounts but you will have to create a system account for this in each currency that you operate in.|
|Sales Tax Collected||Yes, if billing taxable amounts in another currency||2-1310 - Sales Tax Collected||2-1312, 2-1314, etc||While not common there could be instances where you are charging sales tax in another currency. If this is the case then a new account should be created in the chart of accounts and mapped as a system account|
|Sales Tax Paid||Yes, if paying taxed amounts in another currency||2-1330 - Sales Tax Paid||2-1332, 2-1334, etc||While not common there could be instances where you are paying sales tax in another currency. If this is the case then a new account should be created in the chart of accounts and mapped as a system account.|
For more information on creating new accounts within the accounts list, please see Accounts List, or refer to the video embedded above.
You won't need to create new accounts for system account types you haven't configured for your base currency. For example, if you don't have a 'discounts given' account type for your base currency, there is no need to create one to support a newly added currency.
Once you've added the new accounts, navigate back to the System Accounts list and click on the blue text that reads '(Not configured)', and select the newly created corresponding ledger account for each required system account type.
Lastly, when you access your global billing settings via Admin > Billing Settings.
You'll see that there is a new section labeled 'FX Billing' - switch this toggle to 'On' - You'll need to set a default conversion rate.
Conversion Rates vs. Exchange Rates
Conversion rates are used to convert the value of time entries or expenses you record for billing purposes, whereas exchange rates are configured and used automagically in the background to calculate the accounting side of things.
Make sure to save this change. This is your default conversion rate, but you can select different ones for individual matters.
You've now completed your Multi-Currency Billing config.
Q. Should all general ledger accounts have an equivalent account set up in a foreign currency?
A. No, the purpose of mapping some accounts in multiple currencies is to allow users to receive funds in multiple currencies and convert the value of that currency into the system's "Base Currency" by the time those balances hit the financial statements. This means that every balance shown on the financial statements (Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Trial Balance Report, Cash Flow Report) will display their balances in the base currency.
Current Year Earnings and Retained Earnings are equity accounts seen on the balance sheet whose balances are calculated automatically by taking the sum of the Income statement (total income-total expenses). So basically, before closing out a financial year, the total you see at the bottom of your income statement flows into that one account on the balance sheet.
Since all the foreign currency conversion happens before any balances make it to the income statement, there is no reason to set up a separate Current Year Earnings and Retained Earnings account for each currency. So at no time should equity accounts be set up in a separate currency as it is not required and will cause an imbalance.
Q. Can I use Trust Accounting on a matter with FX Billing enabled?
A. No, Trust Accounting is not available on matters using Foreign Currency. A work around would be to create a Related Matter without FX Billing enabled to hold and manage the Client's Trust Funds.
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