Just one in seven national accountancy bodies believe that businesses are well prepared for the year-2000 problem, according to a survey from the International Federation of Accountants, reports Nick Huber.
The IFAC, which has over two million members worldwide, questioned 56 member bodies in 50 countries. It found that only 14% of respondents believed that their countries’ business sectors – both private and public – were well prepared to deal with the new millennium.
The IFAC survey also draws attention to a chasm between awareness of the year-2000 problem and the actual implementation of an effective compliance project. Awareness of the issue was found to be almost universal in the international business community, with 98% acknowledgement in the public sector and 96% in the private sector.
The report highlights significant room for improvement among businesses on the millennium issue, judging that the vast majority of participants are ‘somewhat’ prepared for the millennium bug. Here, the public sector scores slightly higher, at 82%, compared to 71% for the private sector.
Outdated computer systems in the public sector, and a lack of economic resources were among the reasons cited for inadequate year-2000 preparations.
In conjunction with the survey, the IFAC also released a year-2000 practice statement for auditors, which clarifies the key responsibilities for auditors. Existing international standards on auditing place the burden of addressing year-2000 issues firmly on a company’s management.