The arrival of the euro as a currency is the biggest information and accounting systems project since the Y2K preparations. There are some similarities between both sets of projects, such as the need for system wide audits, new programmes to be written, testing of solutions and financial implications if systems are not properly prepared and trading disrupted. However, whereas there was only a chance that the Y2K may actually affect your computerised information systems, the euro definitely will. In addition to this the euro will also impact on practically every other function of an organisation. Furthermore euro compliance is mandatory if a company wishes to continue trading beyond 1st January 2002 as the traditional currencies of the euro zone cease to be legal tender. I chose to cover the euro as my dissertation topic for two reasons. Firstly because preparations for the euro were just getting under way within the company that I work for, Allegro Professional Limited. Secondly, after undertaking some preliminary research I was surprised to discover just how big an impact that this new currency is going to make on companies systems and processes. The level of impact will differ from organisation to organisation depending on the level of trade they have within or outside the euro zone.
The emphasis of this dissertation is on the important roles planning and project management play in the changeover process. The need to breakdown the organisation into its individual functions and test their compliance with the euro is an activity that if executed correctly will reap rewards later for the organisation. This is not just an exercise in pain as was the Y2K issue, the euro will for many companies bring new challenges and growth opportunities as the single market within Europe is strengthened.