Only 60 per cent of European companies have strategies in place to handle European monetary union, even though it will affect them in less than a year. And only a third have allocated specific funds for IT conversion for EMU.
IT compliance alone will cost European corporations #19 billion - an average of #11 million each.
Of the 77 major companies surveyed by management consultancy firm KPMG, 91 per cent estimated that IT conversion will account for at least 60 per cent of the EMU bill. But only 34 per cent have allocated funds to it.
Of those that have put money aside, more than half plan to divert funds from other key projects, including year 2000 conversion and internet initiatives.
Malcolm Stirling, director of KPMG EMU and year 2000 service, said: 'Companies will need to check where the diversion of these resources will leave them.'
He issued a warning about the skills crisis provoked by EMU and year 2000 conversion needs, pointing out that IT resources and skills will be thin on the ground by 1999.
According to the survey, many companies plan to cope with the year 2000 first, even though EMU comes into force in 1999.
Existing European agreement expanded into new region
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