Deep Dive: Understanding how we determine your exchange rate

Alejandro Paz
Alejandro Paz Expensify Team Posts: 87 Expensify Team
edited July 2021 in Deep Dive Docs


Expensify logs expenses in almost every currency in the world! As an admin, you just need to indicate the output currency your employees need to be reflected on their reports and we will take it from there. 

When adding up expenses in multiple currencies (such as to calculate the total of a report), we need to convert all expenses to a single currency. The currency used is the “output currency” of that report’s expense policy, (or your personal output currency if no policy is being used).

Important notes:

  • Currency settings on a policy are "all or nothing". If you need reports to reflect a different output currency, you will need to create a new policy for those employees and set up the currency accordingly.

  • Currency settings set up in the policy will override the currency that a user has set up in his/her account settings. 

Change the account’s default currency

The default currency for all expenses added to your account is set by the primary company policy. 

To go to this section of the company policy editor, go to Settings > Policies > [Group Policy Name] > Reports > Report Basics and then change the Report Output Currency.

(If you are not shared on a policy, you can change your default currency under Settings > Policies > [Individual Policy Name] > Reports and then change the Report Output Currency. Please note that the currency selected here will be overridden should you begin reporting on a policy.)

Any expenses entered in a foreign currency will automatically be converted to this default currency using the day’s trading average provided by the touchstone Open Exchange Rates converter.

If you wish to bypass the exchange rate, simply add the expense manually and enter the total amount in your default currency. Any manually entered expenses will not be converted until they are added to a report in which the default currency is different.

How we determine the conversion rate 

How do you determine this, and why does it sometimes vary?

When converting an expense from one currency to another, we look up the average bid and ask rate on the date the expense occurred using  Open Exchange Rates. This rate is reported to us after the market closes on that given day. This means the actual conversion rate used will differ depending on the day the expense occurred, based on how those two currencies were trading against each other on that day. 

In the event that the markets weren’t open on the day the expense was incurred (such as on a weekend), we’ll use the daily average rate on the last day the market was open prior to the purchase. If the expense is logged as being in the future, (perhaps to anticipate a purchase that hasn’t yet been made,) then we’ll use the most recent data available. This means the value of the report will fluctuate up to the day of that expense, which might produce unexpected results. You will not be able to submit reports until the markets have closed for the dates of all the expenses on the report.

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