Currency impact assessment is essential

UK companies should carry out impact assessments on how the euro will effect their IT systems and business, industry experts...

UK companies should carry out impact assessments on how the euro will effect their IT systems and business, industry experts urged this week.

IT managers in UK subsidiaries should also monitor the progress of their mainland European counterparts to spot best practice for dealing with the euro.

Although the introduction of the new currency next year will have a limited direct impact on UK companies, financial experts insist that IT managers should plan ahead.

"A company can save time by doing an impact analysis now," said Alice Bretherton, information risk management specialist at KPMG's financial services practice. "This will let them see how the euro will affect them in a number of areas, including the business and the systems."

IT managers should also monitor the progress of their European counterparts to prepare them for the demands of the euro should the UK join.

"Generally speaking, we are seeing that companies in Europe are not as well prepared as they thought they would be," said Bretherton. "Some smaller companies are relying on the software companies to convert them [to the euro] rather than running their own projects."

If the UK joins the single currency companies will have to convert their accounting systems to the euro from the base currency of sterling. Alternatively, they could opt for a "quick and dirty" solution by using wrapping software to convert the data from sterling to euros.

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