ACCOUNTANCY AGE STORY – UK plc told to stay on bug alert

Just 2% of the potential problem has been overcome, according to the government’s Y2K watchdog.

As the accountancy profession breathed a collective sigh of relief following no major Millennium Bug failure reports, Taskforce 2000 warned businesses to keep on their guard.

Rob Wilson, Taskforce 2000 assistant director, told Accountancy Age: ‘It is still early days yet. Key dates, including 29 February, remain major issues for businesses, while reports of problems from the smaller firms remain a possibility.

‘We estimate we are only 2% of the way to safety. Many people misunderstand the nature of the problem and we are expecting hundreds of thousands of glitches to surface until the end of June.

‘Just 5% of the problem will be overcome by the end of the first working week – 80% of the problem will occur between mid-January and June.’

PricewaterhouseCoopers undertook a mammoth testing operation this week.

A spokesman said: ‘We had a good plan in place to make sure that we were compliant. By 6pm on Monday, 118 of our countries had checked in to tell us that everything was fine.

All of the offices in the UK have also been checked. It is business as usual.’

Staff at Arthur Andersen have been told to be alert for any potential hiccups. A spokesman, said: ‘So far everything has worked as normal, however we will be monitoring our systems over the next few days.’

ACCA finance and IT director Ross Midgley said: ‘We have not had any problems. All systems were restarted yesterday, all databases reconciled and everything is working normally. It appears that our extensive preparations were completely successful. Staff have, however, been advised to be vigilant, especially as regards possible viruses.’

Millennium bug: fact or fiction. What do you think?

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