### Fiscal Year 2000 Problems

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I had a friend ask me what type of problems could arise from a fiscal year that started before 2000, and I was unable to adequately answer his question. Does anyone know what type problems this will present to non-compliant computers or software?

-- Bryan Huie (bhuie@aristotle.net), May 07, 1998

Problems involving time-differencing, typically between today and the date of the end of the financial year (as days, to work out interest costs etc).

Say today is 10-APR-1999, end FY is 6-APR-2000. A correct answer involves 360 days or thereabouts. A Y2K-buggy program may get an answer of approximately 36500 days, or approximately -36500 days, or some other garbage number, and proceed to get subsequent calculations wrong by a factor of ~100, or think that outgoings are incomings and vice versa! Alternatively the program may crash and refuse to do anything at all the moment it sees '00 in the date of the end of the fiscal year.

There's no one answer and no one fix. That's why its a real big problem.

-- Nigel Arnot (nra@maxwell.ph.kcl.ac.uk), May 07, 1998.

Here are some possible examples. Assume a fiscal year that starts on April 1, 1999. Assume that there were entries in an accounting system for budgeted revenues and expenditures in each month. When all these entries are sorted in date sequence, months with a year of 00 would appear to be earlier in the fiscal year than months in year 99. When someone asked for the first quarter reports (all the data for periods equal to or earlier than June 30, 1999), the budgeted amounts for January-March of year 00 (which implies 1900) could get included in the first quarter because they look like they are dates prior to June 30, 1999. Another example could be that semi-annual property tax bills in which one payment was due in 2000 might get produced in the wrong sequence since the year 00 dated bill would look to the computer like it is earlier than the year 99 dated bill. And the tax bill due in year 99 wouldn't look overdue in year 00 because the computer would think that the tax bill for 1999 isn't due for another 99 years, since the computer now assumes it is 1900.

-- Dan Hunt (dhunt@hostscorp.com), May 07, 1998.