IAS 21 Functional currency

IAS 21 The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange RatesIAS 21 Functional currency

IAS 21 Functional currency

Reporting foreign currency transactions in the functional currency

Initial recognition

20 A foreign currency transaction is a transaction that is denominated or requires settlement in a foreign currency, including transactions arising when an entity:

  1. buys or sells goods or services whose price is denominated in a foreign currency;
  2. borrows or lends funds when the amounts payable or receivable are denominated in a foreign currency; or
  3. otherwise acquires or disposes of assets, or incurs or settles liabilities, denominated in a foreign currency.

21 A foreign currency transaction shall be recorded, on initial recognition in the functional currency, by applying to the foreign currency amount the spot exchange rate between the functional currency and the foreign currency at the date of the transaction.

22 The date of a transaction is the date on which the transaction first qualifies for recognition in accordance with IFRSs. For practical reasons, a rate that approximates the actual rate at the date of the transaction is often used, for example, an average rate for a week or a month might be used for all transactions in each foreign currency occurring during that period. However, if exchange rates fluctuate significantly, the use of the average rate for a period is inappropriate.

Reporting at the ends of subsequent reporting periods

23 At the end of each reporting period:

  1. foreign currency monetary items shall be translated using the closing rate;
  2. non-monetary items that are measured in terms of historical cost in a foreign currency shall be translated using the exchange rate at the date of the transaction; and
  3. non-monetary items that are measured at fair value in a foreign currency shall be translated using the exchange rates at the date when the fair value was measured.

24 The carrying amount of an item is determined in conjunction with other relevant Standards. For example, property, plant and equipment may be measured in terms of fair value or historical cost in accordance with IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment. Whether the carrying amount is determined on the basis of historical cost or on the basis of fair value, if the amount is determined in a foreign currency it is then translated into the functional currency in accordance with this Standard.

25 The carrying amount of some items is determined by comparing two or more amounts. For example, the carrying amount of inventories is the lower of cost and net realisable value in accordance with IAS 2 Inventories. Similarly, in accordance with IAS 36 Impairment of Assets, the carrying amount of an asset for which there is an indication of impairment is the lower of its carrying amount before considering possible impairment losses and its recoverable amount. When such an asset is non-monetary and is measured in a foreign currency, the carrying amount is determined by comparing:

  1. the cost or carrying amount, as appropriate, translated at the exchange rate at the date when that amount was determined (ie the rate at the date of the transaction for an item measured in terms of historical cost); and
  2. the net realisable value or recoverable amount, as appropriate, translated at the exchange rate at the date when that value was determined (eg the closing rate at the end of the reporting period).

The effect of this comparison may be that an impairment loss is recognised in the functional currency but would not be recognised in the foreign currency, or vice versa.

26 When several exchange rates are available, the rate used is that at which the future cash flows represented by the transaction or balance could have been settled if those cash flows had occurred at the measurement date. If exchangeability between two currencies is temporarily lacking, the rate used is the first subsequent rate at which exchanges could be made.

Recognition of exchange differences

27 As noted in paragraphs 3(a) and 5, IFRS 9 applies to hedge accounting for foreign currency items. The application of hedge accounting requires an entity to account for some exchange differences differently from the treatment of exchange differences required by this Standard. For example, IFRS 9 requires that exchange differences on monetary items that qualify as hedging instruments in a cash flow hedge are recognised initially in other comprehensive income to the extent that the hedge is effective.

28 Exchange differences arising on the settlement of monetary items or on translating monetary items at rates different from those at which they were translated on initial recognition during the period or in previous financial statements shall be recognised in profit or loss in the period in which they arise, except as described in paragraph 32.

29 When monetary items arise from a foreign currency transaction and there is a change in the exchange rate between the transaction date and the date of settlement, an exchange difference results. When the transaction is settled within the same accounting period as that in which it occurred, all the exchange difference is recognised in that period. However, when the transaction is settled in a subsequent accounting period, the exchange difference recognised in each period up to the date of settlement is determined by the change in exchange rates during each period.

30 When a gain or loss on a non-monetary item is recognised in other comprehensive income, any exchange component of that gain or loss shall be recognised in other comprehensive income. Conversely, when a gain or loss on a non-monetary item is recognised in profit or loss, any exchange component of that gain or loss shall be recognised in profit or loss.

31 Other IFRSs require some gains and losses to be recognised in other comprehensive income. For example, IAS 16 requires some gains and losses arising on a revaluation of property, plant and equipment to be recognised in other comprehensive income. When such an asset is measured in a foreign currency, paragraph 23(c) of this Standard requires the revalued amount to be translated using the rate at the date the value is determined, resulting in an exchange difference that is also recognised in other comprehensive income.

32 Exchange differences arising on a monetary item that forms part of a reporting entity’s net investment in a foreign operation (see paragraph 15) shall be recognised in profit or loss in the separate financial statements of the reporting entity or the individual financial statements of the foreign operation, as appropriate.

In the financial statements that include the foreign operation and the reporting entity (eg consolidated financial statements when the foreign operation is a subsidiary), such exchange differences shall be recognised initially in other comprehensive income and reclassified from equity to profit or loss on disposal of the net investment in accordance with paragraph 48.

33 When a monetary item forms part of a reporting entity’s net investment in a foreign operation and is denominated in the functional currency of the reporting entity, an exchange difference arises in the foreign operation’s individual financial statements in accordance with paragraph 28. If such an item is denominated in the functional currency of the foreign operation, an exchange difference arises in the reporting entity’s separate financial statements in accordance with paragraph 28.

If such an item is denominated in a currency other than the functional currency of either the reporting entity or the foreign operation, an exchange difference arises in the reporting entity’s separate financial statements and in the foreign operation’s individual financial statements in accordance with paragraph 28.

Such exchange differences are recognised in other comprehensive income in the financial statements that include the foreign operation and the reporting entity (ie financial statements in which the foreign operation is consolidated or accounted for using the equity method).

34 When an entity keeps its books and records in a currency other than its functional currency, at the time the entity prepares its financial statements all amounts are translated into the functional currency in accordance with paragraphs 20–26.

This produces the same amounts in the functional currency as would have occurred had the items been recorded initially in the functional currency. For example, monetary items are translated into the functional currency using the closing rate, and non-monetary items that are measured on a historical cost basis are translated using the exchange rate at the date of the transaction that resulted in their recognition.

Change in functional currency

35 When there is a change in an entity’s functional currency, the entity shall apply the translation procedures applicable to the new functional currency prospectively from the date of the change.

36 As noted in paragraph 13, the functional currency of an entity reflects the underlying transactions, events and conditions that are relevant to the entity. Accordingly, once the functional currency is determined, it can be changed only if there is a change to those underlying transactions, events and conditions. For example, a change in the currency that mainly influences the sales prices of goods and services may lead to a change in an entity’s functional currency.

37 The effect of a change in functional currency is accounted for prospectively. In other words, an entity translates all items into the new functional currency using the exchange rate at the date of the change. The resulting translated amounts for non-monetary items are treated as their historical cost.

Exchange differences arising from the translation of a foreign operation previously recognised in other comprehensive income in accordance with paragraphs 32 and 39(c) are not reclassified from equity to profit or loss until the disposal of the operation.

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IAS 21 Functional currency