Euro fears linger for software makers

Forrester analyst Charles Homs said problems with accounting systems could surface because updates had not been made properly – despite most companies planning ahead for the changeover.

‘Some companies may have accounting problems caused in the swapping process to make the euro their primary currency but it will mostly affect smaller companies,’ he said.

Homs said accounting problems could be an issue for UK companies with subsidiaries in Europe. Many UK companies report results in April meaning that if they have offices in Europe they will have to compile reports in a mixture of the old currency and the euro which could lead to discrepancies.

But he added: ‘Companies shouldn’t think this has any parallels with Year 2000,’ he said.

The warning came as the introduction of the euro passed off smoothly.

Some cash machines in France distributed notes before the 1 January launch and tills at UK retailer Debenhams were programmed with the wrong exchange rate.

Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, was forced to implement a company-wide ban on the euro symbol because the printers on its tills cannot reproduce it. The company has been forced to use the letters ‘EUR’ instead as a way around the problem.

Philip Connolly, IT vice president at GlaxoSmithKline said the pharmaceutical giant has been planning for the euro for more than four years and the changeover went smoothly. ‘It was a big and important project but at the end of the day it wasn’t technically challenging,’ he said.

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