fiscal years reported as yr 2000 : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

From what I know about fiscal years, they are not recorded as the first day of the next year, but are simply an arbitrary date. I.e., if the fiscal yr is, say, Feb 8, it is not recorded as the first day of the next year, and the fiscal calendar simply continues on - to Feb 9, etc. However, Jim Lord (whoever he is) warns that the fiscal dates of State & Fed govts., July 1 & Oct 1, "experience the year 00" and we should all be forewarned that they are y2k-sensitive. This is apparently the case, too, with Apr 1, which is the fiscal year for Canada, Japan & NY state. I am extremely concerned, particularly, with the Apr 1 date, because my 19 yr old daughter is living in NYC, and I certainly don't want her to be there on that date if there is any possibility of y2k problems & reactions. My question then is: Are these fiscal dates IN FACT y2k dates, or are they simply expressions of knee-jerk y2k reaction? Please, if you can, clarify this problem for me. Thanks very much.

-- Sara Rajan (, March 09, 1999


These are INTERNAL conserns to the various entities. They are NOT external. HOWEVER, there are some systems ("entitlements" come to mind) where there is a POSSIBILITY (NOT a CERTAINTY) that there may be external effects (delayed "entitlement " checks, etc). Unless one posits that these POSSIBLE external effects might create unrest over the delay in checks or food stamp vouchers, dry rot in the roof beams, etc. it is probably not a problem for your daughter.


sorry about the dry rot, I got a bit carried away. Truly, I wouldn't worry. If she's been there a year or so, she probably has developed a set of survival traits you and I will never know. I know that when I was 19, I was living in a commune, and travelling across country by thumb. Did I tell my folks all about it?? Next question.

-- Chuck, a night driver (, March 09, 1999.

If New York State does indeed have Y2K problems in its fiscal programs, the results won't be the disruptive kind expected when businesses, industries, power, water and other support services are exposed to Y2K. What should be expected in April would be failure of payments to be made by the state, failure by the state to acknowledge bills being paid, contract renewal problems, but not initially dangerous problems. More nuisances than anything unless there is social unrest caused by failure of payments such as unemployment or welfare.

Hope this sheds some light on the problem.


-- Wildweasel (, March 09, 1999.

We had a recent post here about a company that changed it's fiscal year from March (?) to December (?). Maybe someone (Kevin?) can find it. Can the state do the same if they discover Y2K problems? <:)=

-- Sysman (, March 09, 1999.


This is the link to the article about a company changing its fiscal year-end:

-- Kevin (, March 09, 1999.

Here's something I posted on another thread recently about the fiscal year issue:

[begin quote from other thread]

Here's what PNG had to say about fiscal year roll-overs in an article he wrote:


Fiscal years have little to do with company or country operations. Producing products, providing services and distributing them are the elements that create commerce. Looking ahead in projections and deciding where and when you are going to post the results is keeping score...not producing, providing or distributing.


Jo Anne Slaven on the following thread said:


Companies don't always open up a new fiscal year right away. They often wait until all of the year-end entries are posted before they "roll over" to the new year. This could take 3 or 4 weeks. And accounting system problems aren't the type of thing that is immediately obvious to outsiders. I would imagine that most corporations could muddle along quite nicely for several months with a non-functional general ledger.


Also see the thread at this link...

...where I posted part of a Washington Post article on how the states dealt with a related problem in unemployment insurance systems:


13 States, District Face Y2K Problems

Unemployment Checks May be Slowed

By Stephen Barr

Washington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, December 23, 1998; Page A03

Thirteen states and the District will have to put electronic bandages on their computers next month so they can pay new unemployment insurance claims into the year 2000, Clinton administration officials said yesterday.

The federal-state unemployment program provides one of the first large-scale examples of the problems caused by the "Y2K bug." Computer experts have warned that payments for billions of dollars in Medicaid, food stamps, child welfare and other federal-state benefits could be at risk because surveys have shown that states are moving slowly on the Y2K problem.

Many of the computer systems in the unemployment insurance program, which processes claims, makes payments to the jobless and collects taxes from employers, are more than 30 years old. The systems processed more than $20 billion in state unemployment benefits in fiscal 1998 and provide crucial data on economic trends.

Persons filing claims for jobless benefits are assigned a "benefit year," which means that -- starting Jan. 4, 1999 -- unemployment insurance systems will have to be able to process dates and calculations that extend into 2000. Y2K problems may occur when computers next month try to process a first-time claim with a benefit year that covers both 1999 and 2000, officials said.

Some states that have not solved their Y2K problems will use a simple temporary fix, such as ending all benefit years on Dec. 31, 1999, while other states will use different techniques that essentially trick the computers so they will perform accurate date calculations, officials said.

If the computers are still not ready to operate on Jan. 1, 2000, states then will rely on emergency backup plans, including the writing of benefit checks by hand, officials said.

John A. Koskinen, the president's adviser on Y2K issues, and Deputy Labor Secretary Kathryn Higgins yesterday stressed that the nation's unemployment insurance system would not suffer serious disruptions.

"A year out, we know where our problems are. . . . It's an enormous help to have that information," Higgins said.

Koskinen pointed to the contingency planning for jobless benefits as a clear sign that the government will be able to maintain important services and programs, even if computer systems encounter Y2K problems.


Labor Department officials listed Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, the District, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Vermont as lagging on Y2K repairs. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands also are running behind schedule, the officials said.

Delaware, according to the Labor Department, will not have all computer systems converted until the last possible moment: Jan. 1, 2000. But state officials said the most critical systems have been fixed and suggested that even experts can disagree on how to assess Y2K readiness.

The District should have its unemployment system fixed by March 31, the Labor Department said.

Overall, the repair bill could run to $490 million for the unemployment insurance systems, according to preliminary estimates.



In my opinion, the biggest news from Japan in April will be the release of fiscal 1998 corporate profit information showing how much money was made or lost from April 1, 1998 to March 31, 1999.

[end quote from other thread]

-- Kevin (, March 10, 1999.


>Jim Lord (whoever he is) warns that the fiscal dates of State & Fed govts., July 1 & Oct 1, "experience the year 00" and we should all be forewarned that they are y2k-sensitive

What he's saying is that computer processing of fiscal years beginning with July 1, 1999 or October 1, 1999 will involve date calculations that include the first several months of the year 2000, and that wherever years are represented with only two digits, 2000 will be represented as "00".

During the past decades, those fiscal calculations involving two digit years like "67", "75, "91", or "99" have not caused any trouble because each two-digit year was represented by the number immediately following the previous year ("67", "68", "69", "70", ... "99"), so arithmetic or comparisons of those number would generally give the same results as they would on four-digit years. E.g., "68" was greater than "67", so sorting on the date field would result in all dates in "67" (1967) coming before dates in "68" (1968).

However, when the year "99" is followed by year "00", this assumption breaks down. Unless there is programming to specifically recognize that "00" should _follow_ "99" instead of preceding it, there could be a number of places in the fiscal year computations that get the wrong results. Also, computer comparisons sometimes give a two-way result of zero or nonzero. For "67" through "99", the years are nonzero, and it was easy for programmers to assume that year numbers would _always_ be nonzero -- this assumption will fail when the program handles year "00", and the program may take a different path than the programmer intended.

So, it's not that April 1 or July 1 or October 1 are themselves "Y2k dates". It's that because those are particular dates on which fiscal-year computer programs might for the very first time have to handle year "00" in their look-ahead processing, those are dates on which it might be more likely that Y2k errors would start showing up than on other dates.

I don't think you or your daughter need fear that there will be such significant Y2k problems showing up on April 1 as to constitute a danger to anyone in everyday life.

What's more likely, in my view, is that those who are involved in governmental planning, forecasting, budgeting, and such might start seeing "paper" errors on that date -- errors that may disrupt planning, forecasting, and budgeting, but not disrupt vital services. I.e., Y2k errors might start making bureaucratic work more complicated on that date. Such bureaucratic problems can, if not detected and corrected, eventually result in bad decisions that could eventually impair the efficiency or functioning of essential services over a period of time, but I wouldn't expect immediate noticeable danger in anyone's ordinary life on April 1, July 1, or any other start-of-fiscal-year date.

-- No Spam Please (, March 10, 1999.

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