Business and accounting software vendors are faced with complete upheaval and a huge drain on capital resources following the European Commis-sion?s decision not to publish cross-currency rates when the European single currency is introduced in 1999.
The total cost to the industry and to end users has not yet been calculated, but it will be a ?colossal amount?, according to one industry observer. He pointed out that there is no single accountancy package presently available that is able to convert between the euro, other currencies and currencies in the single currency area.
The commission has decided that no cross-currency rates will be published between national currencies inside the single currency area, or between those currencies and currencies outside the area. The only published rates will relate to the euro.
Dennis Keeling, director of the Business & Accounting Software Developers Association (Basda), said the bombshell was dropped by Yves Thibault de Silguy, European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, during a private meeting.
?Not one software company believed they would do this ? they have done it on purpose to push through the adoption of the euro by member countries.?
He added that when the news was broken to representatives from Oracle, Sage and other major vendors at a Basda meeting, it was greeted with a stunned silence.
?Everyone will have to upgrade their software, and the costs can?t be passed on to customers because there will be other costs relating to customers anyway. It?s that big we can?t put a figure on it, but it?s a colossal amount,? Keeling said.
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