Preoccupied with Y2K compliance and the GST, many Australian organisations do not consider the impending introduction of the European Monetary Union (EMU) currency a pressing issue.
Yet, on January 1 next year when the euro becomes the standard currency used in non-cash transactions and bookkeeping throughout the European Union (EU), all Australian organisations with EU-based subsidiaries, partners or customers can expect to be affected in some way.
While the euro will be declared the national currency of 15 EU-member states in less than a month, companies can start working with euros at any time between 1999 and the end of 2001.
But, analysts predict the cost of conversion to the EU currency will be higher than preparing companies for the year 2000.
The introduction of the common currency will involve changeover of company accounts, payroll, price list, inventory valuation, while non-Euro users may be required to invoice and accept invoices in euros.
However, European law will ensure that the change of currency does not affect contracts negotiated in national currencies of EU members before the introduction of the euro.