A guide to Sage Accounts Foreign Trader

Many businesses trade in different currencies. In Sage Accounts, the Foreign Trader option makes this easy. You can set up customers, suppliers and bank records to use other currencies, meaning you can enter payments and receipts in those currencies without the need for any manual calculations. You can also create customer and supplier documents such as invoices, orders and statements in the relevant currencies.

The Foreign Trader options are available as standard in Sage 50 Accounts Professional and Client Manager. In other variants of Sage 50 Accounts and Sage Instant Accounts 2014 (v20) and above, Foreign Trader is available as an add-on. Buy now >

Set up Foreign Trader

Activate Foreign Trader

If you're using Sage Accounts on subscription, to enable software features, please open Tools > Activation > Upgrade program > OK.

  1. On the menu bar click Tools then click Activation and click Enable Foreign Trader.
  2. Sage Accounts Plus and below - you maybe prompted to enter your Foreign Trader serial number and activation key.

  3. If an Information window appears click OK, then click Next.
  4. Enter your Revaluation N/C, by default 7906. This code is used to post automatic revaluations caused by fluctuations in the exchange rate when processing foreign currency transactions.
  5. Click the Update method drop-down and choose how you want your currency records to update when you enter an exchange rate for a transaction:
    Always Prompt to save exchange rate changes When you enter an exchange rate, this option prompts you to save the exchange rate to the currency record.
    Automatically save any exchange rate changes to currency record When you enter an exchange rate, this option automatically saves the exchange rate to the currency record, without warning.
    Never save any exchange rate changes When you enter an exchange rate, this option doesn't save the exchange rate to the currency record. To set your exchange rates manually, click Settings then click Currencies.

    To change this setting, click Settings then click Invoice & Order Defaults and click the Currency Exchange Rates drop-down list and choose which method you want to use.

  6. Click Next then click Finish.

Set up or check your currencies

  1. On the men bar click Settings then click Currencies.
  2. To change an exchange rate, click Exchange rate and enter the required rate.
  3. To edit the details of a currency, select the currency then click Edit and amend as required then click OK.
  4. For the Euro exchange rate, you can only change the the exchange rate, it's not possible to change any other details.

  5. Click Close.

The base currency is set when you first create your company in Sage Accounts. You can't change this.

Check or amend the currency on a customer or supplier record

  1. Click Customers or Suppliers then double-click the record you want to check or amend.
  2. Click the Defaults tab then click the Currency drop-down and click the currency you want to use.

    If there are already transactions on a customer or supplier record, you can't change the currency and you should create a new record and transfer any balances over.

  3. Clik Save then click Close.

Check or amend the currency on a bank record

  1. Click Bank accounts and double-click the bank account you want to check or amend.
  2. From the Currency drop-down click the currency you want to use.

    If there are already transactions on a bank record, you can't change the currency and you should create a new bank record instead.

  3. Click Save then click Close.

Post foreign currency transactions

Once you set up Foreign Trader and create your foreign currency bank account, customer and supplier records, you can start processing your foreign currency transactions.

You post foreign currency invoices, orders and transactions in the same way as your base currency postings. The only differences are:

  • You enter the foreign currency amount instead of the base currency value. For example, if an invoice is100 euros, you enter 100.00.
  • There's an extra field to show the exchange rate that will be used for the transaction. You can amend this if required.

For more information about the exchange rate settings, please refer to the earlier section, How to set up Foreign Trader.

Automatic revaluation postings

When you post foreign currency transactions, Sage Accounts automatically keeps track of the equivalent base currency values based on the exchange rates used. As currency exchange rates fluctuate, when you allocate transactions together, for example an invoice and a payment, the base currency values of these transactions may differ.

To account for these exchange rate differences, Sage Accounts posts automatic revaluation transactions with the following details:

A/C Date Ref N/C Dept Details Net T/C VAT
Customer or supplier account reference Receipt or payment date REVAL Exchange rate variance, by default 7906 0 Currency Reval [amount] to [transaction type and number] Revaluation amount T9 0.00

The revaluation postings made when using Standard VAT

Customers

If you use different exchange rates on a customer invoice and the payment or credit you allocate to the invoice, the following automatic revaluation transactions are posted to your customer's records:

  • If a sales invoice is paid by a sales receipt which uses a higher exchange rate - This leaves an outstanding amount on the sales invoice in the base currency, to correct this the software automatically raises a sales credit (SC) and allocates this to the sales invoice (SI).
  • If a sales invoice is paid by a sales receipt which uses a lower exchange rate - This leaves a sales payment on account in the base currency, to correct this the software automatically raises a sales invoice (SI) and allocates this to the sales payment on account (SA).

Suppliers

If you use different exchange rates on a supplier invoice and payment, the following automatic revaluation transactions are posted to your supplier's records:

  • If a purchase invoice is paid by a purchase payment which uses a higher exchange rate - This leaves an outstanding amount on the purchase invoice in the base currency, to correct this the software automatically raises a purchase credit (PC) and allocates this to the purchase invoice (PI).
  • If a purchase invoice is paid by a purchase payment which uses a lower exchange rate than the purchase invoice this leaves a purchase payment on account in the base currency, to correct this the software automatically raises a purchase invoice (PI) and allocates this to the supplier payment on account (PA).

The revaluation postings made when using VAT Cash Accounting

If there's no VAT involved the revaluations are posted in the same way as Standard VAT. However if there's VAT on the transactions Sage posts the following revaluations:

Customers

If you use different exchange rates on a customer invoice and the payment or credit you allocate to it, the following automatic revaluation transactions are posted to your customer's records:

  • Sales invoice paid by a sales receipt with a higher exchange rate - This leaves an outstanding amount on the sales invoice in the base currency but also leaves the VAT amount too low as this should match the VAT amount on the invoice. To correct this the software automatically raises a sales invoice (SI) to correct the VAT value and then a sales credit (SC) to correct the net value and the tax control account. It then allocates both of these to the sales invoice (SI) and the sales receipt (SR).
  • Sales invoice paid by a sales receipt with a lower exchange rate - This leaves a leaves a sales payment on account in the base currency but also leaves the VAT amount too high as this should match the VAT amount on the invoice. To correct this the software automatically raises a sales credit (SC) to correct the VAT value and then a sales invoice (SI) to correct the net value and the tax control account. It then allocates both of these to the sales invoice (SI) and the sales receipt (SR).

Suppliers

If you use different exchange rates on a supplier invoice and the transaction you allocate to it, the following automatic revaluation transactions are posted to your supplier's records:

  • Purchase invoice paid by a purchase payment with a higher exchange rate - This leaves an outstanding amount on the purchase invoice in the base currency but also leaves the VAT amount too low as this should match the VAT amount on the invoice. To correct this the software automatically raises a purchase invoice (PI) to correct the VAT value and then a purchase credit (PC) to correct the net value and the tax control account. It then allocates both of these to the purchase invoice (PI) and the purchase payment (PP).
  • Purchase invoice paid by a purchase payment with a lower exchange rate - This leaves a leaves a purchase payment on account in the base currency but also leaves the VAT amount too high as this should match the VAT amount on the invoice. To correct this the software automatically raises a purchase credit (PC) to correct the VAT value and then a purchase invoice (PI) to correct the net value and the tax control account. It then allocates both of these to the purchase invoice (PI) and the purchase payment (PP).

To view the revaluation transactions you must view the activity in the base currency. To do this open the customer record or supplier record > Activity tab > click to view in the base currency option. For example, if your base currency is sterling click the View in pounds option to view the activity in sterling.

Post foreign currency bank transfers

To process a base currency to foreign currency or foreign currency to base currency bank transfer

  1. Click Bank accounts and select the bank account you want to transfer from.
  2. ClIck Bank transfer and complete the Bank Transfer window as follows:

    From Enter the bank account you want to transfer from.
    To Enter the bank account you want to transfer to.
    Date Enter the date of the transfer.
    Reference Automatically displays TRANS. If required, you can amend this.
    Ex Ref Sage Accounts v22 only

    Enter an extra reference if required.

    Details or Description Automatically displays Bank Transfer. If required, you can amend this.
    Department Enter the department.
    Payment Amount Enter the payment value of the transfer.

    This value is the same currency as the bank account the transfer is from.

    Receipt Amount Sage Accounts v22 only

    Enter the receipt value of the transfer.

    This value is the same currency as the bank account the transfer is to.

    Exchange Rate Enter the exchange rate for the transfer. You can enter an exchange rate with up to 6 decimal places.

    The comment indicates what rate to use. For example, if the comment is One pound Sterling is worth 1.5 US Dollar, enter a rate of 1.5 would give you 1.5 dollars for every pound.

  3. If you amend the Exchange Rate box and the currency Update method is set to Always prompt to save exchange rate changes, you can update your currencies list with the rate from this transaction. To update the currencies list with the rate from this transaction click Yes or if you don't want to update the currencies list click No.

    If you amend the Exchange Rate box and the currency Update method is set to Automatically save exchange rate changes, the new exchange rate saves to the currencies list.

    If you amend the Exchange Rate box and the currency Update method is set to Never save exchange rate changes, this doesn't affect the currencies list.

  4. Click Save then click Close.

To process a foreign currency to the same foreign currency bank transfer

  1. Click Bank accounts and select the bank account you want to transfer from.
  2. Click Bank transfer and complete the Bank Transfer window as follows:

    From Enter the bank account you want to transfer from.
    To Enter the bank account you want to transfer to.
    Date Enter the date of the transfer.
    Reference Automatically displays TRANS. If required, you can amend this.
    Ex Ref Sage Accounts v22 only

    Enter an extra reference if required.

    Details or Description Automatically displays Bank Transfer. If required, you can amend this.
    Department Enter the department.
    Payment Amount Enter the payment value of the transfer.

    This value is the same currency as the bank account the transfer is from.

    Receipt Amount Automatically displays the same figure as the payment value. You can't change this.
    Exchange Rate

    Automatically displays as 1.000000. You can't change this. You can enter an exchange rate with upto 6 decimal places.

  3. Click Save then click Close.

To process a foreign currency to a different foreign currency bank transfer

For the revaluation journals to post on the same date as the bank transfer you must change the software date. To do this click Settings then click Change Program Date.

  1. Click Bank accounts and select the bank account you want to transfer from.
  2. Click Bank transfer and complete the Bank Transfer window as follows:
    From Enter the bank account you want to transfer from.
    To Enter the bank account you want to transfer to.
    Date Enter the date of the transfer.
    Reference Automatically displays TRANS. If required, you can amend this.
    Ex Ref Sage Accounts v22 only

    Enter an extra reference if required.

    Details or Description Automatically displays Bank Transfer. If required, you can amend this.
    Department Enter the department.
    Payment Amount Enter the payment value of the transfer.

    This value is the same currency as the bank account the transfer is from.

    Receipt Amount Enter the receipt value of the transfer.

    This value is the same currency as the bank account the transfer is to.

    Exchange Rate This automatically calculates. It divides the receipt value by the payment value to calculate the exchange rate.

    The exchange rate is the foreign to foreign rate. If you amend the exchange rate this changes the payment value.

  3. Click Save and click Close.

To automatically reverse a foreign currency bank transfer

  1. Click Nominal codes then click Journal reversal and click OK.

    Sage Accounts 2014 (v20) - Click Modules then click Nominal Ledger then click Journal Reversal and click OK.

  2. In the Date box enter the date of the bank transfer then click OK.

    If you receive the Warning message 'Please note: one or more foreign bank revaluation journals have been excluded from the reversal list.' Please refer to the section How to manually reverse a foreign bank transfer.

  3. Select the bank transfer journals you want to reverse then click Reverse.

    To reverse the journals the balance must be 0.00.

  4. Click Save.

To manually reverse a foreign currency bank transfer

  1. Click Bank accounts then select the bank account you want to transfer from.
  2. Click Bank transfer and complete the Bank Transfer window as follows:
    From Enter the bank account you want to transfer money from.
    To Enter the bank account you want to transfer money to.
    Date Enter the date of the transfer.
    Reference Automatically displays TRANS. If required, you can amend this.
    Ex Ref Sage Accounts v22 only

    Enter an extra reference if required.

    Details or Description Automatically displays Bank Transfer. If required, you can amend this.
    Department Enter the department.
    Payment Amount Enter the payment value of the transfer.

    This value is in the currency of the account the money is leaving.

    Receipt Amount Enter the receipt value of the transfer.

    This value is in the currency of the account the money is going to.

    Exchange Rate Enter the exchange rate for the transfer. You can enter an exchange rate with upto 6 decimal places.

    The comment after the Exchange Rate box indicates how the rate is used. For example, if you enter an exchange rate of 1.3 and you're transferring from Euros to US Dollars the comment would be One euro is worth 1.3 US Dollars.

  3. If you amend the Exchange Rate box and the currency Update method is set to Always prompt to save exchange rate changes, you can update your currencies list with the rate from this transaction. To update the currencies list with the rate from this transaction > Yes or if you don't want to update the currencies list > No.

    If you amend the Exchange Rate box and the currency Update method is set to Automatically save exchange rate changes, the new exchange rate saves to the currencies list.

    If you amend the Exchange Rate box and the currency Update method is set to Never save exchange rate changes, this doesn't affect the currencies list.

  4. Click Save then click Close.

To reverse a bank transfer between two foreign currency bank accounts, if the original transfer includes a revaluation

Sage Accounts v21 and above

The below example is based on a company with a Sterling base currency.

  1. Click Transactions then locate the bank transfer journals and revaluation journals and write down the transaction values. For example a bank transfer from a Euro bank account (1200) for €1000.00 to a Dollar bank account (1210) for $1500.00 produces the following transactions:
    Type Nominal Details Date Ref Net Tax T/C
    JC 1200 Bank Transfer 15/04/14 TRANS 937.50 0.00 T9
    JD 1210 Bank Transfer 15/04/14 TRANS 937.50 0.00 T9
    JC 7906 Foreign Bank Transfer Revaluation Journal from (number) 17/04/14 REVAL 168.27 0.00 T9
    JD 1200 Foreign Bank Transfer Revaluation Journal from (number) 17/04/14 REVAL 168.27 0.00 T9

    The revaluations always post using the program date.

  2. Calculate the value of the transaction in sterling by deducting the revaluation value from the bank transfer value. For example, using the values above 937.50 - 168.27 = 769.23 therefore this is the original sterling value.
  3. Calculate the exchange rate required for each currency.
    • For the bank account which hasn't had a revaluation posted, the exchange rate can be found in Transactions > Edit. For example, using the transactions above the bank transfer transaction for nominal code 1210 hasn't had a revaluation posted. In corrections the exchange rate shows 1.600000, this is the Dollar exchange rate.
    • For the bank account which has had the revaluation posted, divide the foreign gross value by the value you calculated in step 2. For example, using the transactions above, the foreign gross value is 1000.00 and the value in step 2 is 769.23, therefore the exchange rate is 1.300001, this is the Euro exchange rate.

      The foreign gross value can be found in corrections. Transactions > Edit.

  4. Enter the exchange rates in the currency list. Settings > Currencies > select the required currencies > note down the existing exchange rate then enter the exchange rates calculated in step 3 > Close. For example, using the values from step 3 the Dollar exchange rate would be 1.600000 and the Euro exchange rate would be 1.300001.
  5. Change the program date to the date of the original revaluation. Settings > Change Program Date > Yes to close any open windows > enter the date of the revaluations > OK. For example, using the above transactions the date would be 17/04/14.
  6. Post the opposite bank transfer. Bank accounts > Bank transfer > enter the relevant details.
    From or Account from This is the bank account the original bank transfer was posted to.
    To or Account to This is the bank account the original bank transfer was posted from.
    Payment Amount This is the foreign gross value and should match the original bank transfer value for the bank account the original bank transfer was posted to.
    Receipt Amount This is the foreign gross value and should match the original bank transfer value for the bank account the original bank transfer was posted from.
    Date This is the bank transfer date and should match the original bank transfer date.

    For example, using the transactions above:

    From or Account from 1210 Dollar Account
    To or Account to 1200 Euro Account
    Payment Amount USD $ 1500.00
    Receipt Amount EUR € 1000.00
    Date 15/04/14
  7. Click Save then click Close.
  8. Change the program date to the current date.

    Click Settings then click Change Program Date and enter the current date and click OK.

  9. Change the exchange rates back to the original rates.

    Click Settings then click Currencies and select the relevant currencies and enter the exchange rates which were entered before you changed them then click Close.

Sage Accounts 2014 (v20) and below

The below example is based on a company with a Sterling base currency.

  1. Click Modules then click Financials.
  2. Locate the bank transfer journals and revaluation journals and write down the transaction values. For example a bank transfer from a Euro bank account (1200) for €1000.00 to a Dollar bank account (1210) for $1500.00 produces the following transactions in Financials:
    Type Nominal Details Date Ref Net Tax T/C
    JC 1200 Bank Transfer 15/04/14 TRANS 937.50 0.00 T9
    JD 1210 Bank Transfer 15/04/14 TRANS 937.50 0.00 T9
    JC 7906 Foreign Bank Transfer Revaluation Journal from (number) 17/04/14 REVAL 168.27 0.00 T9
    JD 1200 Foreign Bank Transfer Revaluation Journal from (number) 17/04/14 REVAL 168.27 0.00 T9

    The revaluations are always posted with the program date.

  3. Calculate the value of the transaction in sterling by deducting the revaluation value from the bank transfer value. For example, using the values above 937.50 - 168.27 = 769.23 therefore this is the original sterling value.
  4. Calculate the exchange rate required for each currency.
    • For the bank account which hasn't had a revaluation posted, the exchange rate can be found in Corrections.

      Click File then click Maintenance then click Corrections and locate and select the transaction and click Edit.

      For example, using the transactions above the bank transfer transaction for nominal code 1210 hasn't had a revaluation posted. In corrections the exchange rate shows 1.600000, this is the Dollar exchange rate.

    • For the bank account which has had the revaluation posted, divide the foreign gross value by the value you calculated in step 3.

      For example, using the transactions above, the foreign gross value is 1000.00 and the value in step 3 is 769.23, therefore the exchange rate is 1.300001, this is the Euro exchange rate.

      The foreign gross value can be found in corrections. Click File then click Maintenance and click Corrections then select the transaction and click Edit.

  5. Enter the exchange rates in the currency list. Settings > Currencies > select the required currencies > note down the existing exchange rate then enter the exchange rates calculated in step 4 click Close.

    For example, using the values from step 4 the Dollar exchange rate would be 1.600000 and the Euro exchange rate would be 1.300001.

  6. Change the program date to the date of the original revaluation.

    Click Settings and click Change Program Date and enter the date of the revaluations then click OK.

    For example, using the above transactions the date would be 17/04/14.

  7. Post the opposite bank transfer.

    Click Bank then click Bank Transfer and enter the relevant details.

    From This is the bank account the original bank transfer was posted to.
    To This is the bank account the original bank transfer was posted from.
    Payment Value This is the foreign gross value and should match the original bank transfer value for the bank account the original bank transfer was posted to.
    Receipt Value This is the foreign gross value and should match the original bank transfer value for the bank account the original bank transfer was posted from.
    Date This is the bank transfer date and should match the original bank transfer date.

    For example, using the transactions above:

    From 1210 Dollar Account
    To 1200 Euro Account
    Payment Value USD $ 1500.00
    Receipt Value EUR € 1000.00
    Date 15/04/14
  8. Click Save and click Close.
  9. Change the program date to the current date.

    Click Settings then click Change Program Date and enter the current date and click OK.

  10. Change the exchange rates back to the original rates.

    Click Settings then click Currencies then select the relevant currencies and enter the exchange rates which were entered before you changed them then click Close.

Revalue the foreign currency bank accounts

To revalue a foreign currency bank account

The Foreign Bank Revaluation Wizard changes the sterling balance of a foreign bank account.

  1. On the menu bar click Modules then click Wizards and click Foreign Bank Revaluation.
  2. Click the Currency drop-down and click the currency of the bank account you want to revalue.
  3. Select the bank account you want to revalue then click Next.
  4. Click Date and enter the date you want to revalue the bank account.
  5. Click Exchange Rate and enter the rate you want to use to revalue the bank account then click Next.
  6. Check the figures in the Revalued Balance and Revaluation Amount boxes are correct then click Post.

    If the figures aren't correct, click Back and amend the Exchange Rate box to the correct rate.

The revaluation journals

If, after running the Foreign Bank Revaluation wizard, the new balance on your foreign currency bank account is higher than it was before you ran the wizard, the following journal is posted:

Type Nominal Date Details Net T/C Tax
JD Foreign currency bank account Date of revaluation Foreign Bank Revaluation Journal Revaluation amount Non-vatable tax code 0.00
JC Exchange rate variance nominal code Date of revaluation Foreign Bank Revaluation Journal Revaluation amount Non-vatable tax code 0.00

If required, to print a list of the revaluation journals, use the Nominal Ledger Day Books report.

If, after running the Foreign Bank Revaluation wizard, the new balance on your foreign currency bank account is lower than it was before you ran the wizard, the following journal is posted:

Type Nominal Date Details Net T/C Tax
JD Exchange rate variance nominal code Date of revaluation Foreign Bank Revaluation Journal Revaluation amount Non-vatable tax code 0.00
JC Foreign currency bank account Date of revaluation Foreign Bank Revaluation Journal Revaluation amount Non-vatable tax code 0.00

The automatic revaluation journals are always posted with a reference of REVAL and flagged so that they aren't included in a bank reconciliation.

How to view or amend the foreign currency bank revaluation

To view the foreign bank revaluations:

  1. Click Bank accounts and select the required foreign currency bank account then click the New/edit drop-down and click Edit.

  2. To show the list of existing revaluations click the Revaluations tab.

  3. To show the Foreign Balance, the Prior Base Balance and the Revalued Base Balance click Show Balances.

To amend the exchange rate used:

  1. Click Bank accounts and select the required foreign currency bank account then click the New/edit drop-down and click Edit.

  2. Click the Revaluations tab then click Show Balances and select the revaluation then click Edit.

  3. Click Rate and amend the exchange rate as required then click OK.

    You can't change the date.

  4. Clcik Save then click Close.

To reverse a revaluation:

  1. Clcik Bank accounts and select the required foreign currency bank account then click the New/edit drop-down and clcik Edit.

  2. Click the Revaluations tab then click Show Balances and select the revaluation then click Reverse.

  3. Click Save then click Close.

What the Foreign Trader Setup wizard does

Changes to the customer record, supplier record and new wizards

  • If you create a new customer or supplier record, the default currency and credit limit is taken from the customer or supplier defaults. To check or amend these settings, open Settings > Customer Defaults or Supplier Defaults.
  • On the Details tab of the customer or supplier record, the Balance box displays the account balance in the base currency. The Activity tab shows the transactions and balance in the account's currency. To avoid confusion, the appropriate currency symbol is used.
  • When you enter opening balances via the Opening Balance (OB) option, you must enter the transactions using the appropriate exchange rate.

Changes to the bank accounts and new wizard

  • Bank records display the balance in their currency and the company's base currency. This is calculated using the foreign currency values on bank transactions.
  • Bank accounts display the base balance from the nominal ledger in the base currency, and the foreign balance in the bank's currency.
  • When you enter an opening balance using the Opening Balance (OB) option, you must enter the transactions using the appropriate exchange rate.

Credit Charge Wizard

  • You can't use the Credit Charge wizard for customers using a foreign currency. To post a credit charge to a customer's record, you must raise a batch invoice.

Bank Recurring Entries

  • You can't set up recurring entries for foreign currency bank accounts. You must post these manually.

Bank Reconciliation

  • The Bank Reconciliation window shows the transaction details for the bank account in the relevant currency.
  • If you process transactions using the Adjustment option, you can specify the exchange rate.

Journals

  • You can't post a journal to a foreign currency bank account.
  • If you need to reverse a journal that's posted automatically by Sage Accounts, such as a bank transfer, you must use the reversal option or post a reversing bank transfer.

Global Changes Wizard

  • You can't use the Global Changes wizard for customer or supplier records that use foreign currencies. Any changes to these records must be made manually.

Contra Entries

  • You can't post contra entries for foreign currency records. Any contra entries for these records must be posted manually.

Fixed Asset Disposal Wizard

  • You can't use a foreign currency bank account in the disposal of a fixed asset.

Corrections

  • If you amend a foreign currency transaction, you can only amend the following non-critical boxes: Reference, Description, Bank Rec on, Ex Ref and Rate.

Training

Need a bit more help with Foreign Trader? We have a range of training options available or we can send an expert out to your business to help you get up and running. Read more >