PwC is pleased to offer our updated Foreign currency guide. The accounting guidance on foreign currency matters was written more than 40 years ago; yet this topic remains particularly relevant in today’s global economy. Since the accounting literature was originally issued, many companies have changed their operating structures, expanded internationally, and often transact business in multiple global currencies. Although accounting for foreign currency matters has always been a challenging area, globalization has led to increased complexities with respect to the application of this guidance.
This guide begins with a summary of the overall framework for accounting for foreign currency matters. The ensuing chapters further discuss each step in the framework, including identifying foreign entities, determining functional currencies, accounting for foreign currency transactions, and translating financial statements of foreign entities. This guide also discusses accounting implications related to highly inflationary economies, intercompany transactions denominated in foreign currencies, and acquisitions and dispositions of foreign operations.
This guide summarizes the applicable accounting literature, including relevant references to and excerpts from the FASB’s Accounting Standards Codification (the Codification). It also provides our insights and perspectives, interpretative and application guidance, illustrative examples, and discussion on emerging practice issues.
This guide should be used in combination with a thorough analysis of the relevant facts and circumstances, review of the authoritative accounting literature, and appropriate professional and technical advice.
Guidance on financial statement presentation and disclosure, foreign currency-related hedging activities, and income tax accounting can be found in other PwC guides.
References to US GAAP
Definitions, full paragraphs, and excerpts from the FASB’s Accounting Standards Codification are clearly labelled. In some instances, guidance was cited with minor editorial modification to flow in the context of the PwC Guide. The remaining text is PwC’s original content.
References to other PwC guidance
This guide provides general and specific references to chapters in other PwC guides to assist users in finding other relevant information. References to other guides are indicated by the applicable guide abbreviation followed by the specific section number. The other PwC guides referred to in this guide, including their abbreviations are:
- Business combinations and noncontrolling interests (BCG)
- Derivatives and hedging (DH)
- Financial statement presentation (FSP)
- Income taxes (TX)
- Leases (LG)
- Loans and investments (LI)
Summary of significant changes
The following is a summary of recent noteworthy revisions to the guide. Additional updates may be made to future versions to keep pace with significant developments.
Revisions made in May 2022
FX 3, Determining the functional currency
- FX 3.2 was updated to discuss situations in which an operation is not considered distinct and separable, but is not clearly an extension of its immediate (legal) parent.
- The discussion around determining the functional currency of a holding company in FX 3.2.1 was expanded.
- Example FX 3-6 was added to FX 3.3 to address a change in functional currency as a result of business expansion over time.
- FX 3.3.2 was added to discuss observations from the SEC regarding changes in economic facts and circumstances and considerations around disclosure of changes in functional currency.
FX 4, Foreign currency transactions
- FX 4.7.1 (after adoption of ASC 842) and FX 4.7.1A (before adoption of ASC 842) were updated to reflect lessee accounting for foreign currency leases.
- FX 4.7.2 was updated to reflect the impact of the adoption of ASC 842 on lessor accounting for foreign currency leases.
- FX 4.8.1 was updated for ASU 2016-13.
FX 5, Translating the financial statements of a foreign entity
- FX 5.5.4 was added to discuss alternative exchange mechanisms.
FX 8, Acquisitions and dispositions involving a foreign operation
- FX 8.4 was updated to discuss the evaluation of an investment for impairment when the CTA balance must be included in the carrying amount of assets held for sale.
- FX 8.4.1 was added to discuss abandonment of a foreign entity.
- FX 8.5 was added to discuss deconsolidation of a foreign entity.
This publication has been prepared for general informational purposes, and does not constitute professional advice on facts and circumstances specific to any person or entity. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication. The information contained in this publication was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of avoiding penalties or sanctions imposed by any government or other regulatory body. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, its members, employees, and agents shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person or entity that relies on the information contained in this publication. Certain aspects of this publication may be superseded as new guidance or interpretations emerge. Financial statement preparers and other users of this publication are therefore cautioned to stay abreast of and carefully evaluate subsequent authoritative and interpretative guidance.
The FASB Accounting Standards Codification® material is copyrighted by the Financial Accounting Foundation, 401 Merritt 7, Norwalk, CT 06856, and is reproduced with permission.