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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