ABSTRACT

As globalization increases and companies expand their foreign operations, their reported results, such as earnings per share, are increasingly affected by the volatility of daily foreign currency exchange (FX) rate fluctuations. The case provides a series of requirements to alert students to the effect that FX rate fluctuations have on reported operating results of a hypothetical company whose accounting records are kept in multiple currencies. The hypothetical company is based on a composite of four comparable real companies. Subsidiaries are located in the Euro Zone and China to highlight the difference between a floating currency experiencing volatility and a managed currency. These currencies allow students to address the uncertainties of sovereign debt crises and changing currency policies by governments. Students research applicable standards, obtain disclosures from Form 10-Ks, obtain FX rates, complete Excel worksheets to translate monthly income into U.S. dollars, observe how reported net income changes with the pattern of monthly income and FX rates, discuss the usefulness of the mandatory disclosure on foreign exchange exposure, address the risk factors affecting future FX rates, compute debt covenant requirements, and assess how the variations of FX rates affect the company's compliance with these debt covenants and its ability to implement its business strategy.

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