5 Weeks since 1 April to fix accounting system

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I've been traveling on Y2K business for the last year plus. The large IT company I work for had to make a change to its accounting system to make it Y2K compliant at the start of its new FY (1 April). This was a small change - COTS upgrade - well planned out in advance. Havn't been paid for travel since 1 April.

I'm told they got it working and a check is being cut today.

-- ng (can't provideemail@none.com), May 07, 1999


Interesting ... this is probably typical of the kind of problems that many companies (and probably even some government agencies) have experienced with their FY rollovers. Clearly your situation is not TEOTWAWKI, but I think it qualifies as a "disruption." For you, I gather that it was merely a nuisance, an inconvenience; but for many middle-class employees, it would be a serious problem simply because they don't have enough extra money in their own bank account to let their employer take advantage of the "float" caused by delaying payment of expense accounts. The timing is very simple: you take a business trip on day X; the bill from the credit-card company arrives on day X+ 30, for a couple thousand dollars worth of air-fares and hotel expenses; the credit-card company expects to be fully paid on day X+60, or it starts charging YOU interest. Thus, if your employer hasn't reimbursed you by day X+60, it can cause a major financial disruption.

When I ran a consulting firm in the 70s and 80s, there were occasional times when we were late paying expense accounts (because of cash flow problems, not computer bugs). Some employees didn't notice or care; some were furious, but nevertheless went out on their next business trip. But some were politely firm in their response: if you want me to go out on another business trip, then (a) reimburse me for the last trip, and (b) give me a cash advance and/or prepaid ticket and hotel room for this trip.

All of this stuff causes productivity problems, morale problems, additional cash-flow distortions, etc. Not sure if it shows up in the official Government reports on GNP etc; but in a small company, it's very real. Again, it's clearly not TEOTWAWKI, but it surely is a disruption.


-- Ed Yourdon (ed@yourdon.com), May 07, 1999.

Oh rats Ed.....

I was just beginning to get the hang of this calendar thingy and almost had the days of the week memorized......

Now you introduce two new days, X+30 and X+60.....And you did it without the express written permission of the Society What Regulates Names of Days.

For that Faux Pas (French for booboo) you too shall be deemed as 'not being one with the spoon' for a period of 24 hours.....

I realize that it is rather harsh punishment but being one with the spoon is a privelege, not a right. But time flies, and soon, yes, very soon, you will be one with the spoon and succeed in all your spoon bending enterprises.

-- Craig (craig@ccinet.ab.ca), May 07, 1999.

Sounds like a typical problem. The good thing is that they have it fixed. And I take it the company has not failed as a result? Nor vilely attacked the data of all companies that network to it?

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), May 07, 1999.

Paul, Company has not and will not fail as a result of this problem. The point is that if one of the best IT companies with a long-running Y2K program had this business impact with a really simple problem which had a canned solution, what can you project generally.

Fix on failure is a really frightening strategy.

-- ng (can'tprovideemail@none.com), May 07, 1999.

Don't feel bad. Our IT department tried to slam a y2k fix into the payroll dept, and SHAZAMM, we now have an outside source cutting our checks! Just a bump in the road. Errrrrr..... except for about 165 people who's checks were wrong. It was kind of werid and wonderful though, the screw ups were RANDOM.

-- FLAME AWAY (BLehman202@aol.com), May 07, 1999.

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