Bug swallows profit.

Leading accountancy software providers have reported no major setbacks at the hands of the millennium bug – though Sage admitted an older version of one of its packages had experienced problems. As consultants began to accuse companies of overspending on bug avoidance measures, software providers reported they had not received complaints from customers over compliance issues as a result of Y2K. SquareSum sent all its employees a memo confirming they had not received any calls for software support. However Sage was forced to release a statement explaining why users of its 1997 Sage Instant Accounts package had date change problems. The statement said: ‘Sage has experienced no specific problems with their software over the date change period. We have found that most calls from customers are a result of non-compliant PCs and those who have discovered they are using non-compliant accounting software.’ It added: ‘Our Instant 97 was developed and released prior to the British Standards Institute guidelines for year 2000. This product does not hold the title of year 2000 compliant, but Instant Accounting 2000 is fully year 2000 compliant and available to customers wishing to upgrade.’ Providers denied overspending despite estimates that Western Europe may have overspent by up to $US41bn. Andy Kyte, GartnerGroup research director, said: ‘Some organisations may have spent too much but the spend was similar to an insurance premium designed to guard against perceived problems.’ A spokesman for Access Accounting, said: ‘We have always promoted our products as Y2K compliant and we have not been disproved. It appears the only providers suffering are those who have older products still in use.’

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