IT Extra – IFAC bug warning

Only one in seven national accountancy bodies believe businesses in their countries are well prepared for the year 2000 problem, according to a survey from the International Federation of Accountants.

IFAC, which has over two million members worldwide, questioned 56 IFAC member bodies in 50 countries. It found that only 14% of members who responded believed that their countries business sectors – both private and public sector – were well prepared to deal with the Y2K problem.

The survey also draws attention to a chasm between awareness of the Y2K problem and actually implementing an effective compliance project. Awareness of the issue was found to be almost universal in the international business community, with a 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, to be ‘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Outdated computer systems in the public sector and lack of economic resources were among the reasons cited for inadequate Y2K preparations.

In conjunction with the survey the IFAC also released a Y2K practice statement for auditors, which clarifies an auditors’ key responsibilities. Existing International Standards on Auditing place the burden of addressing Y2K issues firmly on a company’s management.

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