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In the past two years, multinational companies have lost at least $68 billion as a result of currency surprises. In 2013, the average impact to earnings per share (EPS) from currency surprises was US$0.03. Considering that foreign exchange (FX) managers from leading multinationals have management objectives of less than $0.01 EPS impact from balance sheet exposures, an average $0.03 hit to EPS from all exposures is large and material.

Why do some companies continue to experience these kinds of currency surprises? When surprises are frequent, it is a sign that the company doesn’t have accurate, complete, and timely visibility into its foreign currency exposures across its entire portfolio of currency pairs. Often, the barrier preventing a company from getting that visibility is use of inconsistent and/or improper multicurrency accounting practices.

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