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Setting Your Base Currency

BigTime’s multi-currency features give your firm a leg up in the global marketplace by letting you invoice, budget and log expenses in multiple global currencies. But in order to take advantage of multi-currency functions, your firm’s System Administrators will first need to set a base currency. In this article, you’ll learn what a base currency is, why it’s necessary, and how to set yours. 


What Is a Base Currency?


Though you may run a global business, you likely have a main office in one location where you direct all your operations. Your base currency is the domestic currency used in the country where your company is headquartered. Think of your base currency as a point of reference for your firm’s global financial operations: when you set one for your firm, BigTime’s accounting system will default to it on all expenses and project budgets, and will use it as a benchmark when calculating conversion rates. After setting a base currency, you can then activate multi-currency features for all other locations your company conducts business in.


How To Access Your Base Currency


If you’re registering your company on BigTime for the first time, you’ll see the option to set your base currency in the FIRM’S CURRENCY section of the QUICK REGISTER FORM.



If your firm is already set up in BigTime, you’ll follow different steps to access and set your base currency. Click MY COMPANY…CURRENCY from the navigation bar at the top of your screen. 



You’ll see a screen with a header labeled CURRENCIES AND FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATES. If you haven’t set a base currency yet, you’ll also get a pop-up window asking you to select a base currency for your firm. 



Click the GRAY ARROW in the dialog box under the SELECT YOUR BASE CURRENCY header, and a picklist of currency options will appear. Scroll through the options in the picklist and select the currency type you want to use as your firm’s base currency. If you don't want to scroll, you can also type directly into the dialog box to search for the specific currency you want to use.

When you’re confident in your selection, you can click the blue SAVE button in the lower right-hand corner of your window to save your changes.

Now, you’ll see your base currency choice reflected in the CURRENCIES AND FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATES window. You can also view the name abbreviation and the going exchange rate for your base currency. In the example below, we’re chosen US Dollars as our base currency. 




If your firm only conducts business domestically, you don’t have to set a base currency. You only need to set a base currency if you plan on using BigTime’s multi-currency feature. This is because BigTime needs a baseline currency to compare against the currency exchange rates for other countries.



There are two answers to this question. If you have set a base currency, but haven’t yet activated or used the multi-currency feature, you can still change your base currency. To do so, follow the steps above to access the CURRENCIES AND FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATES window. Under the NAME OF CURRENCY header, your current base currency’s name will be hyperlinked. 


Clicking that hyperlink will take you back to the SELECT YOUR BASE CURRENCY window. You can follow the same steps for initially selecting a base currency to save a new base currency.


However, it’s crucial to remember that if you’ve set a base currency AND activated multi-currency functionality, you will no longer be able to edit your base currency. Once you’ve begun processing payments and expenses with multi-currency, the option to change your base currency will be locked. Because of this, make sure you’re fully confident in your base currency choice before activating and using multi-currency. After clicking SAVE, you’ll be reminded of this in another pop-up window.


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