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Book: Managing the Euro in Information Systems

Managing the Euro in Information Systems: Strategies for Successful Changeover

Patrick O'Beirne B.Sc. M.A. FICS. 
Addison Wesley 1999 ISBN 0-201-60482-5

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This page (not the book!) can be read in these languages:

Francais: Gérer l'euro au sein des systèmes...
Deutsch: Management der Euro-Währungsumstellung..
Italiano: La gestione dell'euro nei sistemi...
Portuguese: Controlando o euro em sistemas.. 
Espanol: Manejo del euro en sistemas... 

Click here to buy this book in the Eurozone from Amazon in Germany

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READERS: Check  SUPPORT and UPDATES where new material is posted. (Latest: 29 March 2000)

Chapter Overview and Table of Contents

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Click for a larger image Patrick O'Beirne presents a copy to the Minister for Finance, Mr. Charlie McCreevy, T.D.


The changeover to the euro, Europe's new unified currency, necessitates fundamental modifications of information systems worldwide. Managing the Euro in Information Systems is a roadmap for implementing the many changes required for this transition. This book covers the mechanics of conversion calculations, but also examines the scope of such an enormous project, the many different business functions involved in the conversion, and the options and strategies that should be employed to insure a smooth changeover.

This book provides in-depth information about the complex conversions that will be incorporated into information systems, including coverage of the key topics triangulation, avoiding rounding errors, the effect on price points, and converting historical data.

Moving beyond the math, this book helps you gain a perspective on the euro's overall impact on your organization and how information systems must respond. Patrick O'Beirne explains the euro's effect on business activities such as sales and marketing, procurement, supply-chain coordination, and human resources. The author also examines how the euro will affect business accounting, providing detailed coverage of profit margins, pricing, invoicing, taxes, and other topics.

Finally, Managing the Euro in Information Systems presents strategies for successful implementation. It will guide your efforts to assess your organization's situation, to determine which systems will be affected, to devise appropriate strategies for the changeover, and to plan the specific steps and timing of the changeover process.

Where to buy the book


The author says:

This book was written to be the premier resource for understanding the impact that the changeover to the euro currency will have on information systems. You will discover that the scope of the project is truly as big as the organisation itself. You will learn the importance of aligning your euro strategy with your organisation’s vision and mission rather than treating it as a mere systems or accounting problem. The sheer number of issues raised will help you communicate the required sense of urgency in tackling this project before your competitors do. There are no technical prerequisites for the reader; you will bring to it your knowledge of your own company's business methods, accounting procedures, calculations, and systems. The benefits you will derive are:

  1. You will understand the wide scope and impact of the Euro project
  2. You will be able to choose the right menu of approaches to changeover
  3. You will be able to disentangle the many myths from the facts
  4. You will know more about it than most accountants and computer people.


What is the central message of this book?

Planning the changeover of information systems to the euro is not just a matter of dealing with the technical code or data conversion. For many enterprises there will be strategic decisions that will fundamentally affect the way an enterprise conducts its affairs. These can change the functionality that is expected from information systems. For this reason, my main contention is that the introduction of the euro is a problem of managing requirements. Every business process is affected by the euro changeover.

While the central theme of this book is the systems conversion, it must be emphasised that that must be guided by a business focus. Sufficient background on the business issues is provided to assist the IT manager to understand the kind of requirements that may arise as other business areas get to grips with the euro. Since getting their fingers burned with Year 2000 (Y2K) issues, IT people have become more sensitive to problems coming in the future. They know there is little use in making a decision now on the basis of business managers' first opinions, as the managers may come back later when the system is half-built saying "Can we have a few changes?" 


Who should read this book?

This provides a quick guide on how to people with specific responsibilities and agendas can get the best out of this book. There are 11 chapters, 8 appendices, and 330 pages.

  1. Business Managers and Directors
  2. Skim chapter 1, read chapters 2 and 3. Then convene the euro team and delegate the study of the rest of the book to them.

  3. IT Managers and Directors
  4. Start with chapter 5 to get an overview of the system conversion options, then read the earlier chapters to find out how they fit into the bigger picture. Then select from the later chapters as they interest you.

  5. Chief Accountants and Financial, Legal, and Taxation advisors.
  6. Chapter 1 summaries the legal regulations, and further details are in the Euro-papers on the CD. Chapter 3 touches on Finance, legal and treasury operations.

  7. Financial Auditors
  8. Read chapter 4 about the pitfalls that surround conversion calculations

  9. Euro Project Managers, Analysts, Consultants, and Vendors
  10. No choice for you, I’m afraid – the whole book is for you.

  11. Quality Managers and IT Auditors

Chapter 8 show how good practices can help the project. Read chapter 4 about the pitfalls that surround conversion calculations and chapter 6 about system design choices.

Where to buy the book




change, impact, process, project planning, organisation, methodology, checklist, supply chain, enterprise, business, resources, re-engineering, outsourcing, competition, training

the euro

single European currency, ECU, European currency unit, EMU, European monetary union

in information

technology, database, transactions, invoices, payments, historical data, price transparency, psychological pricing, price points, profit margins, VAT, taxation, marketing


computer, software developers, financial, accounting, ledgers, accounts, packages, applications, MIS, EDI, EIS, ebusiness, ecommerce


options, tactics, techniques, tips, traps, workarounds, cloning, big bang, wrappers, wrapping, encapsulation, bridges, bridging, conversion routine, field sizes, expansion, tools, utilities, converters, calculations, algorithms, multicurrency, inverse rates, exchange rate, no compulsion, no prohibition, code of practice, practical, legal contracts, requirements, design, functional analysis, security, integrity

From the European Translation service:
DA omregningsalgoritme 
DE Umstellungsalgorithmus 
EN conversion algorithm 
ES tipo de conversión 
ES normas de conversión 
ES algoritmo de conversión 
FI muuntoalgoritmi 
FR règle de conversion 
IT algoritmo di conversione 
NL omrekeningsmethode 
PT algoritmo de conversão 
SV omräkningsregel 
SV omräkningsmetod 

for successful

euro compliance specification, accreditation, euro compliant, legal framework, European Commission regulations, quality, handle rounding errors, decimal accuracy, precision, reduce defects, contingency, granularity, euro solution, packaging, translation

From the European Translation service:
DA afrundingsfejl 
DE Rundungsfehler 
EN rounding error 
ES error de redondeo 
FI pyöristysvirhe 
FR erreur d'arrondi 
IT errore di arrotondamento 
NL afrondingsverschil 
PT erro de arredondamento 
SV avrundningsfel 


transition scenarios, conversion, migration, transformation, triangulation, rounding differences, dual display, dual pricing, dual currency, implementation, testing

From the European Translation service:
DA virksomhedens omstillingsplan 
DE Übergangsszenario für das Unternehmen 
EN changeover plan for the company 
ES plan de transición para la empresa 
FI yrityksen siirtymästrategia 
FR plan de basculement de l'entreprise 
IT piano di transizione per l'azienda 
NL omschakelingsscenario voor ondernemingen 
PT plano de transição para a empresa 
SV övergångsplan för företaget 

General Keywords

Europapers, official publications, case study, case studies, public consumer issues, common market, eurozone, euroland, CEC, ISPO, EEC, EC, EU, EIB, ERM, EMS, FEE, BASDA, steps, timing, timetable, interest rates, inflation, convergence criteria, 2002, Euro2002 maillist, Internet web site links, FAQs, secrets, little known facts, reference, bibliography, books, articles, services, vendors, auditors, experts, advisors, accountants, legal counsel

Where to buy the book



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Last updated January 03, 2005