Euro backlash

Leading applications vendor Oracle has broken ranks with the UK accounting software trade association BASDA by questioning the relevance of its proposed accreditation scheme for how systems handle the euro, writes John Stokdyk.

‘The BASDA specification goes into nitty gritty detail and worst-case scenarios rather than focusing on business issues,’ said Tom McDonough, Oracle’s spokesman on the single European currency.

‘There’s a difference between what the public wants and what BASDA wants,’ said McDonough. ‘We saw this with its VAT accreditation scheme, which only three vendors have taken up. You have to ask if the accreditation scheme is feasible in the timescales – people want systems now and not later.’

Oracle’s current applications release, 10.7, is not written to cope with the euro, but the company has drawn up a white paper in consultation with its users to show how they can set up parallel ledgers in Oracle Financials to process multicurrency transactions and translate them into the euro.

Oracle has participated in BASDA’s working party on the euro, said McDonough, but it is still working out how to operate the accreditation. With the association planning to advertise in the European Union’s Official Journal for tenders to operate the testing and certification service, it could be several months before it is operational.

‘Most suppliers say they will be euro-compliant, but we are talking about a time lag by the time they complete the implementation. I don’t think the accreditation scheme will be a workable solution.’

Release 11 of Oracle Applications, due in April, will be the company’s euro release, said McDonough. It will support six-figure rounding and triangulation rather than inverse calculations, as required by the European Commission.

Most UK vendors endorsed the BASDA code. For SAP, Oracle’s biggest rival, EMU roll-out spokesman Peter Robertshaw commented, ‘The scheme gives people a framework for comparison. Even if you don’t have time to perform the test, the very fact of the questions will help. Obviously, European-based software vendors understand multiple currencies and the euro better than US ones.’

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