EMU – Accountants’ euro role change

A lack of government information on the imminent introduction of the euro is putting pressure on accountants to explain the changes to their clients.

EMU watchers this week warned the advent of the euro would alter the role of accountants, and said it was being left to the profession to explain financial implications of the first-wave of nations joining the single currency.

Martin Ward, senior international manager at Lloyds TSB Commercial, said: ‘Accountants currently working at multinationals who are doing the translational accounting and looking at currency risk are likely to be redeployed to take on more management and advice oriented roles.

‘Some multinationals will pass on the currency risk to SMEs, and those businesses will need accounting skills they haven’t needed before.’

He added: ‘The (European) Commission’s advertising has been excluded from Britain by the government, which means businesses have to find another way of getting information.’

Nick Crosby, a Price Waterhouse management consultant, said: ‘The government is not providing a lot of information, so our audit clients are asking us for advice.

‘Certainly it looks as if the Euro will mean more value-added work, and less commodity accounting,’ he added.

Kidsons Impey partner Peter Sills understood the government’s position.

‘It would be a bit odd if they launched a campaign for awareness right now. But we shouldn’t wait around.

‘We’re trying to raise awareness among clients, and advise them the best way to avoid a lot of aggravation. Combined with the Year 2000 issue, this is the biggest economic change this country’s ever seen,’ he said.

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