Euro Transition – Accountants ‘wrong people’ to manage

Accountants and financial executives are the wrong people to manage the transition to the euro, according to Arthur Andersen.

The firm’s Brussels office studied euro preparations in 35 European companies – including one from the UK – for the European Commission.

Presenting the results to the FEE conference, consultant Simone Ingravalle said: ‘The euro is viewed as a financial issue, but I would not advise putting financial managers in charge of the project. Accountants sometimes lack the strategic knowledge that is needed.’

‘In our opinion, a euro project should be managed by someone involved in operations who understands the technical issues well. The best-placed person to understand the strategic input is from sales and marketing,’ she added.

Of the 35 companies studied, 23% had appointed a euro co-ordinator, while 74% had a basic or good understanding of the implications of converting to the euro, Ingravalle added.

Those that were switching their base operating currency to the euro spent between 0.1% and 3.3% of their turnover on the project.

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