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12 Multinational Accounting: Translation of Foreign Entity Statements Mc. Graw-Hill/Irwin © 2008 The Mc. Graw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
2 Multinational Accounting • When a U. S. multinational company prepares its financial statements for reporting to its stockholder, it must include its foreign operations measured in U. S. dollars and reported using U. S. GAAP. • These foreign operations may be subsidiaries, branches, or investments of the U. S. company.
3 Multinational Accounting • Accountants preparing financial statements must consider both the differences in accounting principles and the differences in currencies used to measure the foreign entity’s operations. • For example, a British subsidiary of a U. S. company provides the parent with statements measured in British pounds sterling, using the British system of accounting, which is different from U. S. accounting methods and measures.
4 Multinational Accounting • The U. S. parent company must typically perform the following steps in the translation and consolidation of the British subsidiary (see next slide):
5 Multinational Accounting • Receive British subsidiary’s financial statements, which are reported in pounds sterling. • Restate the statements to conform to U. S. generally accepted accounting principles. • Translate the statements measured in pounds sterling into their equivalent U. S. dollar amounts. • Consolidate the translated subsidiary’s accounts, which are now measured in dollars, with the parent company’s accounts.
6 Determining the Functional Currency • There are three possible alternatives for the exchange rate to be used in converting foreign currency values to the U. S. dollar: – Current Rate: the exchange rate at the end of the trading day on the balance sheet date. – Historical Rate: the exchange rate that existed when an initial transaction took place. – Average Rate: the period is usually a simple average for a period of time.
7 Determining the Functional Currency • Functional currency is defined as “the currency of the primary economic environment in which the entity operations; normally that is the currency of the environment in which an entity primarily generates and receives cash. ”
8 Determining the Functional Currency • FASB 52 indicates that the following six items must be assessed in order to determine an entity’s functional currency: • • • Cash Flows. Sales Prices. Sales Markets. Expenses. Financing. Intercompany Transactions.
9 Determining the Functional Currency • Most foreign affiliates use their local currency as the functional currency because the majority of cash transactions of a business generally take place in the currency of the country in which the entity operates. • Also, the foreign affiliate usually has active sales markets in its own country and obtains financing from local sources.
10 Determining the Functional Currency • Some foreign-based entities, however, use a functional currency different from the local currency: for example, a U. S. company subsidiary in Venezuela may conduct virtually all of its business in Brazil, or a branch operating in Britain may well use the U. S. dollar as its major currency although it maintains its accounting records in British pounds sterling.
11 Functional Currency Designation in Highly Inflationary Economies • An exception to the criteria for selecting a functional currency is specified when the foreign entity is located in countries such as Argentina and Peru, which have experienced severe inflation. • Severe inflation is defined as inflation exceeding 100 percent over a three-year period.
12 Highly Inflationary Economies • The FASB concluded that the volatility of hyperinflationary currencies distorts the financial statements if the local currency is used as the foreign entity’s functional currency. • Therefore, in cases of operations located in highly inflationary economies, the reporting currency of the U. S. parent—the U. S. dollar— should be used as the foreign entity’s functional currency.
13 Highly Inflationary Economies • Once a foreign affiliate’s functional currency is chosen, it should be used consistently. • However, if changes in economic circumstances necessitate a change in the designation of the foreign affiliate’s functional currency, the accounting change should be treated as a change in estimated: current and prospective treatment only, no restatement of prior periods.
14 Translation versus Remeasurement • Two different methods are used to restate foreign entity statements to U. S. dollars: » Translation » Remeasurement
15 Translation versus Remeasurement • Translation is the most common method used and is applied when the local currency is the foreign entity’s functional currency. • This is the normal case in which, for example, a U. S. company’s Swiss subsidiary uses the Swiss franc as its recording and functional currency. • The subsidiary’s statements must be translated from the Swiss franc into the U. S. dollar.
16 Translation versus Remeasurement • To translate the financial statements, the company will use the current rate, which is the exchange rate on the Balance Sheet date to convert the local currency balance sheet account balances to the U. S. dollar.
17 Translation versus Remeasurement • Remeasurement is the restatement of the foreign entity’s financial statements from the local currency measures used by the entity into the foreign entity’s functional currency. • Remeasurement is required only when the functional currency is different from the currency used to maintain the books and records for the foreign entity.
18 Translation versus Remeasurement • One application of remeasurement is for affiliates located in countries experiencing hyperinflation. • For example, an Argentinean subsidiary of a U. S. parent records and reports its financial statements in the local currency, the Argentine peso. Because the Argentine economy experiences inflation exceeding 100 percent over a three-year period, the subsidiary’s statements must then be remeasured from Argentine pesos into U. S. dollars.
19 Translation • Most business entities transact and record business activities in the local currency. • Therefore, the local currency of the foreign entity is its functional currency. • The translation of the foreign entity’s statement into U. S. dollars is a relatively straightforward process.
20 Translation Exchange Rates ACCOUNTS Revenue & Expense EXCHANGE RATES_______ Generally, weighted-average exchange rate for period covered by statement Assets & Liabilities Current exchange rate on balance sheet date Stockholders’ Equity Historical exchange rates
21 Translation Adjustment • Because a variety of rates are used to translate the foreign entity’s individual accounts, the trial balance debits and credits after translation generally are not equal. • The balancing item to make the translated trial balance debits equal the credits is called the translation adjustment.
22 Translation Adjustment • The translation adjustment resulting from the translation process is part of the entity’s comprehensive income for the period. • FASB 130 requires the reporting of comprehensive income as part of the primary financial statements of the entity.
23 Remeasurement • A second method of restating foreign affiliates’ financial statements in U. S. dollars is remeasurement. • Although remeasurement is not as commonly used as translation, some situations exist in which the functional currency of the foreign affiliate is not local currency.
24 Remeasurement • Remeasurement is similar to translation in that its goal is to obtain equivalent U. S. dollar values for the foreign affiliate’s accounts so they may be combined or consolidated with the U. S. company’s statements. • The exchange rates used for remeasurement, however, are different from those used for translation, resulting in different dollar values for the foreign affiliate’s accounts.
25 Remeasurement • The remeasurement process divides the balance sheet into monetary and nonmonetary accounts. Monetary assets and liabilities, such as cash, short-term or long-term receivables, and shortterm or long-term payables, have their amounts fixed in terms of the units of currency. Nonmonetary assets are accounts such as inventories, and plant equipment, which are not fixed in relation to monetary units.
26 Remeasurement • The monetary accounts are remeasured using the current exchange rate. • These accounts are subject to gains or losses from changes in exchange rates. • The appropriate historical exchange rate is used to remeasure nonmonetary balance sheet account balances and related revenue, expense, gain, and loss account balances.
27 Remeasurement Gain or Loss • Because of the variety of rates used to remeasure the foreign currency trail balance, the debits and credits of the U. S. dollar equivalent trial balance will probably not be equal. • In this case, the balancing item is the remeasurement gain or loss, which is included in the period’s income statement.
28 Remeasurement Gain or Loss • Any exchange gain or loss arising from the remeasurement process is included in the current period’s income statement, usually under “Other Income. ” • Various account titles are used, such as Foreign Exchange Gain (Loss), Currency (Loss), Exchange Gain (Loss), or Remeasurement Gain (Loss). Gain