This article provides guidelines on how to handle multiple currencies within your QuickBooks account when Amazon pays you in a foreign currency.
We will use an example of a US business selling on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca in USD and CAD, respectively. The same functionality applies for businesses selling in other multi-currency scenarios such as GBP on Amazon.co.uk and EUR on Amazon.de.
When you sell on Amazon in a foreign currency, you have two ways to define how Amazon will pay you:
- Amazon can pay you in the foreign currency into a bank account denominated in that currency. For example, you are a US business, selling on Amazon.ca and you are paid Canadian dollars (CAD) into a CAD bank account held with your US based bank.
- Amazon can convert the foreign currency into your preferred currency (USD) and pay you to your normal bank account (USD account with US bank).
The option you choose for the payments from Amazon will affect how you handle the payments in QuickBooks, and also how you reconcile them to your bank account deposits.
We will cover both options separately below.
Before you begin
- Ensure you have the multi-currency option enabled in QuickBooks (Company settings > Advanced) and select the correct currencies that you need for the Amazon marketplaces where you sell.
- Ensure you understand which option from the two you need to use - it depends on how you have configured Amazon to pay you in Seller Central.
1) Being paid in the foreign currency from Amazon
In this scenario, you will select an actual bank account for each currency payout. When there are multiple currencies detected, A2X will offer you a bank account selection option for each currency in settings (as shown in the screenshot below).
Choose your USD bank account for the USD payments and your CAD bank account for the CAD payments.
This will ensure that each payment is being properly accounted for in QuickBooks, in the bank account where Amazon is paying you.
After sending settlement journals from A2X to QuickBooks, you can then 'match' them to the corresponding deposit in the bank account for that currency.
Please Note: If you want to transfer the foreign currency from the bank account it was paid to, into your home currency account, then you will need to initiate a transfer in QuickBooks and apply the correct currency rate that you paid when converting.
2) Being paid in a converted currency from Amazon
As of late 2017, QuickBooks added support for matching foreign currency journals to home currency deposits.
If your Amazon deposits are being converted by Amazon and paid directly to you in your home currency, you can now select your home currency bank account when choosing an A2X account for the deposit.
A2X will detect the exchange rate paid by Amazon and use the correct amount on the journals sent to QuickBooks.
Let's take a Canadian seller who sells on Amazon.com as an example. The settlements are in USD, but Amazon converts them to CAD for the seller to deposit directly into their Canadian bank account.
In the Connections settings, you can select your home currency bank account as shown below (in our example, we chose CAD checking account):
After the USD settlement journal is sent to QuickBooks, you can match it directly to the CAD deposit as shown below:
You need to select the radio button 'foreign currency' when searching for a match:
Please Note: This saves the need for a clearing account, except in special circumstances. For example, if Amazon converts to a currency that is not your home currency, you would still use a clearing account, as described below.
A note for 2017 A2X + QuickBooks users
In the old version of QuickBooks you had to create a special 'clearing' account for your CAD deposits from Amazon.
The clearing account was receiving the correct amount of CAD from Amazon and then, instead of directly matching the journals from A2X against the USD deposit in QuickBooks, you had to 'transfer' the amount from the clearing account in CAD into the USD bank account.
It had to be done in such way, because QuickBooks had a limitation on matching one or more journals that deposit foreign currency into a home currency bank account.
In the newer version of QuickBooks you do not need to do this anymore.
Please Note: In late 2017 Intuit released changes to the way they handle and match multi-currency journals, which made it easier for A2X users to match their foreign currency journals to their home currency payments. The old method of using a clearing account described below is no longer needed, but will be kept here for reference.
STEP 1: Create a clearing account in QuickBooks Online
To create a clearing account that you will use as a 'bank account' (it's not a real bank account - the foreign currency funds simply pass through this account), add a new account in QuickBooks like shown below:
STEP 2: Link the clearing account to A2X
To link the newly created clearing account to A2X, go to Settings > Connections and select it from the drop-down menu as shown below:
STEP 3: Transfer the funds
When the amount arrives to your bank account in QuickBooks, you can initiate a transfer between the clearing account for the amount of CAD that Amazon deposited. QuickBooks will automatically calculate the exchange rate based on the amount of CAD you input. The exchange rate that Amazon charges will typically be 1-2% lower than the daily market rate.
The transfer is created as shown below:
The transfer will convert CAD funds to the USD deposit amount at the correct exchange rate provided by Amazon at the time of the transfer.
If you will need assistance with setting this up, or have any questions about how it works, please let us know.