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42% of Irish firms yet to begin preparations for SEPA

42% of Irish firms yet to begin preparations for SEPA

IBEC, the group that represents Irish business, today published the results of a new survey on Irish firms’ preparedness for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Four in ten (42%) companies have not started preparing for SEPA, which comes into effect on 1 February 2014, and one in two (49%) are not aware of the impact SEPA will have (see attached pdf for full report and survey results). IBEC Senior Economist Reetta Suonperä said: “There are differing levels of SEPA readiness among Irish businesses. Larger firms are clearly the best prepared. Smaller firms are less likely to have a specialist finance or accounting function, so it is not surprising that these companies report the lowest levels of SEPA awareness and readiness.

“SEPA is an important step for completing the single European market, not unlike the euro changeover in 2002. The existing national payments systems will close on 31 January 2014. To pay and collect electronic euro payments after that date, businesses will need to ensure that payroll, direct debit and accounting systems are SEPA ready.

“Businesses need to act now to ensure that their payroll and direct debit collection systems continue to function without problems. There is plenty of advice and support available from banks and software providers, so there is no reason why Irish businesses could not be ready for SEPA well ahead of the 1 February 2014 deadline.

Key trends highlighted by the survey include:

  • Only about one in seven (14%) companies with fewer than 50 employees are SEPA ready and one in two (48%) have not yet started preparations.
  • Fewer than one in two (46%) said they are aware of the impact SEPA would have on their systems and processes, three in ten (31%) have discussed SEPA with their bank and just over one in five (22%) have discussed SEPA with their payments software provider.
  • Medium-sized firms with 50-249 employees are only slight ahead. More than four in ten have not started preparations and only one in ten report that they are SEPA ready.
  • About one in three have discussed SEPA with their bank, and just over one in four (27%) have discussed SEPA with their software provider.
  • One in five (20%) firms with more than 250 employees report that they are ready for SEPA, while fewer than three in ten (28%) have not started preparations.
  • Six in ten (60%) reported they were aware of the impact SEPA would have. A similar proportion had discussed SEPA with their bank, and almost one in two (48%) had been in touch their software provider.

“Completing the necessary changes to payments and accounting systems will take several months, so it is essential businesses act now to ensure they are able to process electronic payments come 1 February 2014. Businesses should contact their bank and payments software provider as soon as possible or visit www.readyforSEPA.ie for more information.

The post 42% of Irish firms yet to begin preparations for SEPA appeared first on Payments Cards & Mobile.

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