A good number of people from countries like Australia, South Africa, India, Ireland and others have been asking how they can change the currency in the UK version Office Accounting, so it shows their local currency symbol rather than £.

There is a way to get around this issue, but it does come with downsides, so do read through the end of this article before you go about and do so.

Office Accounting works with what we call a base currency as well as transaction currency. In the UK version of Office Accounting the base currency is GBP with the pound “£” currency symbol. You can fake a different base currency by simply replacing the text strings we use to describe the sterling.

If you are using Office Accounting Express check the end of this post...

Here are the steps (for South Africa):

1.       On the Company menu select Preferences and turn on Use Foreign Currencies

2.       On the Company menu, select Currency, Currency list

3.       Select GBP on the list and click Edit

 

GBP as base currency

 

4.       Change “GBP” to “ZAR” in the code, change the description to South African Rand and the symbol to R. Save

 

 New base currency

 

5.       Turn off foreign currencies.

The application now displays amounts in ZAR (R) rather than GBP (£). For Ireland and other Euro-based countries you need to delete or rename EUR to make the steps above work.

You have to remember either to add the local VAT/GST rates or change the standard rate.

However there are side effects. Because Office Accounting 2008 is a country-specific application, the side effects can cause Payroll, PayPal, OFX bank statement import and BACS to work incorrectly.

If you use foreign currency another side effect is the currency exchange base - the way we quote foreign currency in the UK is “how much do I get for 1 GBP”, rather than what is the price of 1 (or 100) foreign units

You should note that we have only "trained" Office Accounting in the British / US postal address formats, so if your country uses a different format for addresses, you probably want to wait for a true international release of Office Accounting (timing TBD).

So what about those of you that are using the Express product? You can download the Professional trial version (you actually only need the product key) to make it work. After the trial expires, the product will revert to Office Accounting Express.