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Currency Symbols and QuickBooks

| April 8, 2008 | 44 Comments

The US editions of QuickBooks prior to the 2009 release don’t provide support for multiple currencies. One common question I see from non-US businesses using these versions is “How do we change the currency symbol on my invoices?”. Today I’ll give you a few pointers on how to handle this. I will not be talking about how to deal with multiple currencies from an accounting standpoint. Please note that with the 2009 release the product supports multiple currencies.

In a typical installation for a US based business you will see the US dollar symbol on the total of your invoice.

 

There isn’t a way within QuickBooks itself to either hide that symbol, or to change it. QuickBooks picks this up from the Regional and Language Options settings in the Windows Control Panel. There are several ways we can alter these settings to affect your currency symbol, depending on what you are trying to do. Let’s discuss two scenarios:

  1. You want to conduct all of your transactions in a currency other than dollars – such as the Euro.
  2. Most of your transactions are in dollars but occasionally you need to generate an invoice in a foreign currency, such as the Euro.

Windows Currency Settings

For both of these situations you need to make changes to your Windows currency settings. Open your Windows Control Panel and locate the Regional and Language Options settings. In Windows Vista you would select that from the following screen:

In Windows XP you might see something like the following:

In both versions of Windows you will see the Regional and Language Options dialog – Vista’s version differs a bit from the one in XP, but they are similar. We’ll use XP to illustrate.

Changing the Symbol for ALL documents

If you want to change the currency symbol for every invoice, all you have to do is to select the new currency symbol. Once you do this QuickBooks will use the new symbol – note that all other Windows applications will use the new symbol as well. From the Regional Options tab (in Vista it is the Formats tab) click the Customize button.

Select the Currency tab, and then select your Euro symbol from the currency dropdown list.

If you are looking for a different currency than dollars or Euros you can simply type in the symbol that you want.

After you make this change and click the apply button you need to restart QuickBooks. As you see below, it now displays the new symbol.

Changing the Symbol for Selected Documents

A more complicated solution is needed if you only want to select the currency symbol for selected invoices. If, for example, most of your invoices are in dollars, but occasionally you need to send one in Euros, it would be very tedious to use the method described above. The problem here is that QuickBooks doesn’t provide a means of altering or dropping the currency symbol from the total on the invoice. I’ve seen a number of different attempts at working around this, usually involving extra work like dropping the total field and manually entering the value, and so forth. Here is an approach that I think works reasonably well.

First, go to the Currency tab of the Customize Regional Options window as shown above. Click on the Currency Symbol field, highlight the symbol that shows, and press the space bar once. You are replacing the symbol with a single space character. You aren’t allowed to just delete the symbol, you must replace it with a space.

After clicking apply and restarting QuickBooks, the program doesn’t display a symbol in the documents. Most likely you do want something to display, so you need to edit your template to show the proper symbol. There are several ways to dealing with this.

  • The simplest is to create two templates, one for US dollars and one for Euros (or whatever alternate currency you are using). In your standard template add a $ sign (perhaps to the right of the total amount), change the “Total” label to be “Total $”, or a statement like “All amounts in US$” in a text box. Unfortunately you can’t have a floating symbol that is always at the left of the total amount. Then create a copy of this template to be used for Euro invoices, and insert the Euro symbol or statement.
  • A more sophisticated approach might work if you are always billing customers in the selected currency. Create a “custom field” in the customer list for “Currency”, and insert the currency symbol or statement you want to use in this field for each customer. Then edit the template to add the currency symbol field in the appropriate place. Then you only need one template, and the currency symbol will be taken from the customer record.

Please note that with the 2009 release of QuickBooks they have added a multiple currency feature, so hopefully you won’t need to be concerned about this issue. However, in some cases, you will still find that the Windows settings affect how the program works (particularly if you haven’t enabled the multiple currency feature).

Tags:

Category: General Tips, Invoicing

About the Author (Author Profile)

Charlie Russell is the founder of CCRSoftware. He’s been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70′s, focusing on inventory and accounting software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Look for Charlie’s articles in the QuickBooks and Beyond blog, as well as his California Wildflower Hikes blog.

Connect with Charlie at Google

Comments (44)

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  1. Sami Vohra says:

    Thank you ! a friend of mine asked the same question and its problem resolve by the help of your blog . Thank you for you important and help full information

  2. Absolutely brilliant!
    Amazing that this product has so many limitations.

  3. Laurene Marvillet says:

    Thank you so much.
    I had to retouch the invoices in photoshop!

  4. sarah says:

    i just installed quickbooks 2009 simple start and need to change the dollar currency to sterling… have tried doing as you say but it doesn’t change it.
    any help?? thanks

  5. Charlie says:

    Sarah, I tried this on the 2008 US version of Simple Start, and it worked for me. Are you using a non-US version, since you have a UK address? I can’t say if the same things would apply there, as those are different versions than the US versions. And which method did you try – the one for ALL documents or just certain documents?

  6. Rebekah says:

    I found this tip on google while I was trying to help a friend find out why quickbooks was changing the decimal points in what she was entering. I was able to determine that the currency was off, but could not get it to adjust within quickbooks. Without your blog I would not have realized that having her change windows settings would solve the problem. Thanks for all of your help!

  7. celine says:

    Thank you I was going to get charged $4.90 a minute to try and get this info at support. blessings to you.

  8. Ikram Khan says:

    Thanks. It worked

  9. Many thanks. I was going round the bend, but figured that there was a logical solution to the problem.

    Your article “Currency symbols & Quickbooks” certainly pin pointed the simple solution.

    Thanks again

  10. Imran says:

    Thanks much!
    Spent lots of time on my own trying to figure out till I came across this.
    Much appreciated again!

  11. sajeel says:

    Dear sir,

    How can we change currency symbol in QuickBooks Cash
    Register Plus Free Edition.

    Thanking in anticipation

    • Charlie says:

      Sajeel, I don’t work with that product, so I can’t really answer that. If it works like other QuickBooks products, then it should also pick up that value from the Windows settings.

  12. Mariska says:

    Thank you! I have been battling with this for quite a while and never realised how easy it is to set up!!

    Your answer is great!

  13. Jagjit Singh says:

    Thanks a million..This has really helped. Cheers

  14. Dick S says:

    If you enable the multicurrency feature in QB Premier, the product controls the currency directly rather than relying on the Windows settings. Good and bad.

    Unfortunately, it always printing a three letter currency designation. For the U.S., it prints “USD” rather than “$” and provides no way to change it. Rather strange that upon enabling the multicurrency feature, all our invoices now show USD with apparently no way to to change it. Both product support and a contact in development have confirmed this deficiency.

  15. Ragu says:

    Excellent…!! Thank you so much!!

  16. WOW, fantastic i am really glad and really happy YOU solve my this problem… i was exploring this into QuickBOOK since 2 weeks….. and also i shocked when setup in a seconds, how easy is that… REALLY thanks

  17. Christie says:

    How to change currency using mac

  18. Christie says:

    Hi ,

    How do i change currency from dollar to qatari riyals…

    thanks

  19. CONNIE says:

    Excellent! Thank you so much!

  20. Nowsath, Sri Lanka says:

    Excellent ….
    i spent several days
    i talk several persons
    to find ….. no anwer

    Great

  21. George says:

    Thsi works for version 2009 and before but how do you change the currency symbol in QuickBooks Premier 2010?

  22. Charlie says:

    George, this works in QB 2010 as well (I just did a quick test to double check that it worked, and it did). But, if you have enabled the “multiple currency” feature, that changes things. The currency symbol isn’t used, it takes the abbreviation for the selected currency. Have you enabled multiple currencies?

  23. Sim says:

    what about if my currency doesn’t appear in the list!!!
    I’m from the Dutch Antilles Curacao and we use Nafl.(florin)!!
    So please give me a hint how to modificate the currency in QB 2009 premier in Xp-VISTA and windows 7

    Thanks

    Best regards

    Sim

    • Charlie says:

      Sim, in Windows 7, select “Region and Language” in the control panel. Then click “additional settings” and click the “currency” tab. For “Currency Symbol” you can enter whatever symbol you want to use, directly, without having to use a dropdown list. That SHOULD be picked up by QB.

  24. kamal says:

    I have QuickBooks 2010 and need to add two bank account one USD and the other EGP.how cani work with both accounts.
    kindly advise

    • Charlie says:

      Kamal, it depends on the nationality of QuickBooks you are using. The documentation will talk about multiple currencies – you need to enable that feature, then you can set the currency for each bank account.

  25. Heriel says:

    Marvelous, i was getting a problem with quickbooks pro and this worked. Thanks!!!

  26. Lal Mohd says:

    how can we change currency in quick book for example USD to Afs
    thanks

  27. jon says:

    thank you so much. i’ve been looking for this answer since 2006… finally.

  28. shieldy says:

    thanks much sir!

  29. sanjay says:

    Tryed but not changing…

    Help me.

    • Charlie says:

      Sanjay, you would have to give me more info than that. What version/year/nationality of QuickBooks are you using? What symbol appears? What version of Windows? Where are you located?

  30. Roy says:

    Hi Sir,
    I am planning to buy Quickbooks Premier Industry Edition 2012 from Amazon US but I am just not sure if this version can support multiple currencies since Amazon did not specify this feature. Do you think it can support multiple currencies? I would really appreciate your expert advice. Thanks!

  31. Charlene says:

    Thank you Charlie. Your guidance is very much appreciated.

  32. Omer says:

    thank you thnak you thank you sir really very very helpful you made my day. thanks a bundle sir love you

  33. anthony says:

    Thank you very much.
    Many blessings

  34. Koros E. says:

    Fantastic!!it works well,at first i thought it wouldn’t work for Windows 8,bt its amazing…works in seconds.Much thanks Sir.

  35. Koros E. says:

    Which version is the best to use as of now in order to avoid this hectic way of changing currency to suit your need?

    • Charlie says:

      All versions of QuickBooks for Windows are going to be sensitive to your Windows settings for the currency symbol. If you work with one currency, that is all you need to worry about. If you are working with multiple currencies, you would enable the “multiple currency” feature. Note that once started, you can’t turn that off, so make sure you understand what the changes are before you jump into that.

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