Sage 50cloud Mythbusters: Sage 50 Foreign Currency Transactions

In Sage 50 by Paul Newton

Reading Time: 5 minutes

On my many visits with Sage 50cloud customers throughout the years, several things have become apparent to me.

In no order of priority:

  • Filing cabinets are very much still a thing. Even in the days of “Paper-free” offices and workspaces.
  • The water in the North of England and in Scotland tastes so much nicer than in London.
  • Regardless of turnover, most customers using 50 deal with customers and suppliers outside of the United Kingdom.
  • Any meal deal that offers a proper fruit smoothie as a drink is an absolute bargain. Bottled water? If you are up north just use the tap, it is delicious.
  • Always charge your devices before jumping on a train, plugs on the train are quite often broken – think I have about a 60% success rate.
  • In my experience, Sage 50cloud customers aren’t aware that they can use multiple currencies for customer and supplier transactions. Time lost converting values which could be done in the product.

On this last point, it’s all about how you have set up your accounts. With some investigation and setup, the product could be working much harder for you. It can also record any profit (or loss) that you may have made on exchange rate variances.

In this article, we will look at how to set up foreign currencies and all of the considerations around using them in Sage 50cloud Accounts.

Sage 50 Foreign transactions: Myth Number One. “You can’t have more than one currency set-up in Sage 50 Accounts”

By default this is true, however, if you are on Sage 50 Accounts Professional then you have the option to activate multi-currency out of the box. No extra costs involved at all.

Things to consider before activating the module are.

  • What nominal code to use for any gain or loss made on the exchange rate variance?
  • Where does that nominal code sit within your chart of accounts?
  • Balance Sheet item or Profit and Loss?
  • How many other currencies do you need to be able to use for your Sales and Purchase ledgers?

As a default, Sage will offer nominal code 7906 in the Overheads of your Profit and Loss. This can be overwritten upon setting up or changing later if needed.

To turn on the foreign trader module, go to Tools > Activation > Enable Foreign Trader and follow the steps.

Now click next,

The section around the Update method is where you can control how the currency table is updated. There are three options for this.

  1. Always Prompt to save exchange rate changes. Upon entering an exchange rate, this option prompts you to save the exchange rate to the currency table.
  2. Automatically save any exchange rate changes to the currency record. This second option automatically saves the exchange rate to the currency table, without any warning.
  3. Never save any exchange rate changes. After entering an exchange rate, this option doesn’t save the exchange rate to the currency record.

Then click next and finish. Success, the Foreign Trader option has now been activated within Sage 50cloud Accounts.

Looking for period control of your currencies? Sage 200 Standard could be a much better software fit.

Foreign transactions: Myth Number Two. “You need to have different bank accounts active in Sage 50 for the module to work”


Yes, this myth I am unable to burst! In Sage 50  you will need a different bank account set up for each currency you would like to deal in.

This does mean that you will need to transfer values from the dummy accounts to the actual account to reflect real-life and make reconciliation possible.

An added feature in Sage 50 is that you can revalue the non-Sterling accounts at any point you need to.

If you do not want to have individual accounts then Sage 200 or Sage Intacct would be an option as you would still need individual currency bank accounts but they can be linked to the one nominal code and all conversions are done in the background from the currency tables.Sage-Intacct-Coffee-Break-Demo-Small-Banner-CTA

In order to set up your individual bank accounts in Sage 50 go into your Bank module.

Once there click on “New” along the top of the window. Choose a new nominal code for the bank and choose the currency type, then Save.

Repeat for the next currency and once all set up you are good to go. Your list could look something like this.

Foreign transactions: Myth Number Three. “You can revalue customer and supplier accounts at Month End”

The sales and purchase ledgers work almost identically to the banks except when it comes to revaluations.

So, each account can only be assigned to one currency so if you have a customer who could be invoiced and pay you in £, $ and € then you would need three customer accounts setting up.

Normal rules apply – unique codes for each and the correct currency attached. Once you process on an account you cannot change the account currency.

You would then invoice, credit and show money in and out via each of those accounts and the correct bank account.

However, at month-end or year-end there is no automated way of revaluing these accounts – Sage 200 can and would be the perfect option if you need to do so.Sage-200-Standard-Coffee-Break-Small-Banner-CTA

What happens if I invoice a customer in $ and they pay me in £?

A very common question – show the receipt in dollars for the correct value using an exchange rate to reflect what you received and then use the bank transfer option to move that value from your dollar account to your sterling account.


Yes, it is an option to process in multiple currencies in Sage 50cloud  you may need to consider that all reporting is done in the base currency.

This means manual manipulation of transactions to reflect the exchange rate gain and losses for each transaction, is it difficult? Not particularly but it can be better handled in other Sage products such as Sage 200 Standard, Sage 200 Professional and Sage Intacct, see Sage Intacct’s multi-currency module for more information.

If you would like more information then please do get in touch.