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IAS 21 The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates

IAS 21 The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates prescribes how to include foreign currency transactions and foreign operations in the financial statements of an entity, and how to translate financial statements into a presentation currency.

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IAS 21 prescribes the accounting for:

  • Transactions in foreign currencies
  • Translating the accounts of foreign operations prior to consolidation.

Individual transactions in foreign currencies are initially recorded at the exchange rate prevailing on the date of the transaction. At the date of settlement, cash transferred is recorded at the rate prevailing on the settlement date. Any exchange difference arising is recognised in profit or loss.

The statement of financial position of a foreign operation is translated using the closing rate, being the exchange rate at the reporting date. The statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income is translated using the exchange rates at the dates of the transactions. Where this is impracticable, an average rate for the year may be used provided that exchange rates do not fluctuate significantly. Exchange differences arising are reported as other comprehensive income.

Recent amendments

All amendments issued up to and including the publication date of 1 January 2022 are included within the IFRS Foundation’s latest version of the issued standard: 2022 Issued Standard – IAS 21. Issued amendments may, therefore, have a mandatory effective date that is later than 1 January 2022 – see below for details.

Any amendments issued after 1 January 2022 will not be included in the IFRS Foundation’s 2022 Issued Standards but will be listed below and identified as such.

See the Corporate Reporting Faculty’s annual IFRS factsheets for a more detailed discussion of recent IFRS amendments.

  • Lack of Exchangeability

    Mandatory date: Annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2025. Earlier application is permitted.

    The amendments require entities to apply a consistent approach in assessing when a currency is exchangeable into another currency and when is it not. When a currency is not exchangeable, entities are required to determine the exchange rate to apply and to provide additional relevant disclosures.

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