Introduction to multi-currency accounting in Brightpearl

Brightpearl supports accounting in multiple currencies. This page provides webinars and documents explaining exactly how it works.

With multi-currency, the following can be in any currency:

  • Order payments
  • Bank accounts
  • Accounting for payments and receipts
  • Invoices and credits
  • Customer account balances
  • Vendor (supplier) account balances

Understanding multi-currency accounting in Brightpearl

All accounting journals in Brightpearl record the debit and credit values in both base currency and in the transaction currency. In order to achieve this, every journal must have a currency and exchange rate.

  • The base currency is the chosen currency for financial reporting; it is selected when the Brightpearl account is created
  • The transaction currency is the currency in which each individual transaction is entered
  • The base currency values are calculated from the transaction currency values using the transaction exchange rate

For all journals, the base currency debits and credits must balance, and the transaction debits and credits must balance.

Since both the base currency and foreign currency values are recorded, Brightpearl is able to display either one or both currencies throughout the rest of the system.

For example:

  • The balance sheet will display the base currency (GBP) accounts receivable amount
  • The customer account will display the transaction currency (USD) accounts receivable amount
  • The general ledger will show both the base currency (GBP) and transaction currency (USD) accounts receivable amount

Note: A base currency transaction still records the transaction currency debits and credits using an exchange rate of 1.000000.

Currencies and exchange rates

Exchange rates are always expressed as the relationship of the foreign currency to your base currency (i.e. the factor by which you'd multiply your base currency value to get the foreign currency amount).

Note: Brightpearl does not support exchange rates between foreign currencies.

You can create multiple exchange rates for each foreign currency, each with an "Active from" date. Doing so provides a full audit trail of rates used, and also allows future rates to be added and automatically come into effect on a given date.

Note: There is no automatic update of exchange rates in Brightpearl.

Foreign currency bank accounts and credit cards

Each bank account added in Brightpearl is assigned a currency.

When processing transactions:

  • Base currency bank accounts can handle transactions in any currency
  • Foreign currency bank accounts can handle only transactions in their assigned currency

Bank balances

In the bank account list (Accounting > List bank accounts), the balance displayed for each bank account will be in the assigned currency, although the current base currency equivalent value is also provided beneath.

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The conversion to base currency is made on a transaction-by-transaction basis using the exchange rate applied at the time of entry. 

Since exchange rates are always changing then it is likely that the bank account will need to be periodically revalued in order to keep the base currency asset value current.

Bank revaluation

Brightpearl provides a bank revaluation process. This allows you to revalue the base currency asset value of your foreign currency bank accounts at any point in time. Learn more about bank revaluation here.

Bank reconciliation

Bank reconciliations are always done in the currency of the bank account.

Bank matching/transaction import

Bank matching is always done in the currency of the bank account.

Bank transactions - receipts, payments and transfers

Once you have created foreign currency bank accounts, you can start to use them for bank payments, bank receipts and bank transfers.

The following types of bank transfer can be handled in Brightpearl:

  • Base currency to base currency
  • Foreign currency to same foreign currency
  • Base currency to foreign currency
  • Foreign currency to base currency

Learn more about foreign currency banking here.

Foreign currency accounts receivable and accounts payable

Each customer and vendor is assigned a currency which controls the currency of the orders/invoices and credits raised against them. 

Their currency can be changed at any time to allow account balances to be accumulated in multiple currencies. In addition to this, secondary contacts at a company can have different currencies from the primary contact (billing contact) which also allow for balances in multiple currencies to be accumulated on a single account.

Customer and vendor invoices

For every invoice or credit transaction there will always be a base currency conversion, which is used for financial reporting purposes.

The conversion to base currency is made on a transaction basis using the exchange rate applied at the time of entry (as seen on the accounting journal). Since exchange rates are always changing, it is likely that any outstanding accounts receivable or payable balances will need to be adjusted for the end of year.

Customer and vendor account balances

A customer or vendor will have a separate account balance for the amounts outstanding in each currency.

Each currency's balance is managed separately. A total overall balance for the customer or vendor can be seen in your base currency using the accounts receivable or payable report.

Customer or vendor payments

Payments can either be processed in the same currency as an order or invoice, or in a different currency:

  Payment currency
Transaction currency Base currency Foreign currency
Base currency Yes No
Foreign currency Yes Yes, if it's the same

Where a foreign currency order or invoice needs to be paid in a different foreign currency, a two stage payment will need to be processed.

Accounts receivable and accounts payable reports

The accounts receivable and accounts payable reports provides a list of customers and vendors who owe or are owed money, with the amount and age of the debt - useful tools for managing collections and payment runs.

These reports provides a complete view of all accounts receivable and payables in base currency (matching the balance sheet value) but can be filtered by currency to view only the accounts receivable or payables in a particular currency, excluding transactions in all other currencies.

Credit limits

Credit limits can only be set in a single currency on each contact. The credit limit set will always be applied in the contact currency.

For example, a contact set to currency Euros with a credit limit of 1000 will have a limit of EUR1000. If their currency is changed to GBP, their credit limit will become GBP1000. No conversion is made on credit limits.

Customer statements

Customer statements are created in a single currency and will include only transactions on the customer account that are in the same currency.

Where a customer has balances in multiple currencies, separate statements will be available.

Supplier remittance advice

A remittance can be printed in order to inform your supplier of the invoices or credits you are clearing on your account when a payment is made.

The remittance advice printed for a purchase payment will always display in the currency of the invoice and payment.

Checks and vouchers (US only)

All payments are recorded in the currency of the bank account used. So when a check is printed from a particular bank account, those payments will all be in the bank account currency.

Exchange rate gains and losses

Brightpearl automatically accounts for exchange rate gains and losses to ensure both the foreign currency and base currency accounting remains in balance.

Gains and losses can occur when a different exchange rate is used for an invoice than the payments received. 

When an invoice is raised in a foreign currency, it also has a base currency value and when the invoice is paid, both the foreign currency and base currency values must be cleared. Where the same exchange rate is used the invoice and payment match in both base and foreign currency and are therefore both cleared.

However, if the exchange rate is no longer the same as the invoice, a discrepancy will be noted.

Where the full foreign currency balance has been cleared then the base currency balance must also be cleared. To do this Brightpearl automatically creates an adjustment for gains/losses.

Multi-currency rounding corrections

Brightpearl journals include the base currency and foreign currency values for a transaction, and both sets of debits and credits must balance.

The transaction currency is used to calculate the base currency value at the given exchange rate. However, due to rounding, there may be a discrepancy when they are added together, causing the base currency debits and credits to not balance. When this happens, Brightpearl will automatically make a rounding correction to ensure the accounting balances.

Handling inventory on foreign currency sales and purchases

Sales and shipping

Orders and invoices can be created in multiple currencies.

Inventory accounting is always managed in base currency.

When items are shipped against a foreign currency sale, the items are removed from stock at their base currency value.

Brightpearl uses the FIFO costing method.

Purchases and goods-in

Orders and invoices can be created in multiple currencies.

Inventory accounting is always managed in base currency.

When items are received into stock against a foreign currency purchase, the items are added into stock at their base currency value.

This value is calculated by converting the foreign currency purchase prices using the exchange rate on the order.

Landed costs

All inventory costs are managed in base currency, so when an inventory item value is uplifted by a landed cost, this is also made in base currency.

A foreign currency landed cost can be allocated to purchase order items of any currency since all values are converted to base for inventory cost management.

A foreign currency landed cost invoice can be entered and paid in the relevant currency.

Downloadable guides

Guide to multi-currency accounting in Brightpearl - accompanies webinar 1: Multi-currency accounting

Transitioning to multi-currency accounting - accompanies webinar 2: Transitioning to multi-currency

Webinars

FAQs

Some of my orders are in foreign currencies, but the accounting seems to be in base currency

Depending on how long you've been been a Brightpearl customer, your account may previously have operated in “base-only” accounting mode, even if you had foreign currency sales and purchase orders. If so, all payments, bank accounts and customer/supplier balances were in base currency. 

With multi-currency your payments, bank accounts, customer and supplier (vendor) balances and accounting behave in a different way:

  Before multi-currency activation After multi-currency activation
Orders Any currency  Any currency (no change)
Order payments Base currency or order currency  Base currency or order currency (no change)
Bank accounts Base currency only Any currency
Accounting journals Base currency only Any currency
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