FX Rates

John Ralls jralls at ceridwen.us
Sat Jan 8 15:59:47 EST 2011

On Jan 8, 2011, at 11:26 AM, Ken wrote:

> On 8 January 2011 18:58, John Ralls <jralls at ceridwen.us> wrote:
>> On the other hand, if you have a US brokerage account denominated in USD from which you bought the IBM, then at some point you had to fund that account from a GBP account and use the USD to buy the IBM. If your US brokerage account has a cash account on it, the two transactions might be separated in time; indeed, there may be many transfers between your GBP-denominated accounts and your USD-denominated brokerage account. There's no meaningful way for Gnucash to know how to convert a particular USD transaction into GBP. I can easily think of several ways to do the calculation, but only one will be correct: The one that the English tax authorities require. It's way beyond the abilities of the handful of volunteers writing Gnucash to incorporate the accounting rules into the program -- and trying would very likely get us in serious trouble.
> Agreed, there are many ways one might calculate the conversion of IBM
> into GBP historically and for correct tax reporting.  But at this
> point, I am thinking more about just viewing a simple snapshot report
> in a different currency.  At the moment, I can't really seem to do
> this.  I have, for example, IBM/USD holdings and prices and I have
> GBP/USD quotes stored in the price editor. If I want to print out a
> report of, say, my account balances or net worth in GBP this
> functionality simply does not exist. I would have to enter some price
> data on IBM/GBP to do so but it seems more logical for the GnuCash
> reporting system to make this simple conversion based on some function
> of the IBM/USD and GBP/USD prices.
> Anyway, it is just a thought and I wondered if it was an issue for
> anyone else and if there would be much demand for a "1-jump"
> conversion. Perhaps most users get around the issue by simply manually
> entering IBM/GBP prices and leaving it at that,

Please remember to copy the list when you reply.

That capability is already supported, at least for the Balance Sheet, Advanced Portfolio, and even Transaction Reports (maybe others, those were the only ones I checked): In Options>General, set the account currency to GBP and the price source to whatever you think makes sense. Click Apply or OK, and the report will regenerate with the currency you want. You need to have exchange rates for the two currencies in your price dataset or the amounts in the selected currency will be zero.

John Ralls

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