SEPA Readiness Thermometer August 2013 update – Prepare a Plan B

One in three companies is still at risk of not being ready for the upcoming SEPA deadline, according to our survey carried out in July 2013. In surveying 150 companies about their state of readiness for the SEPA deadline of 1 February 2014, as a follow up to our January 2013 survey, we also found that companies underestimate the effort required to comply, and few of them have a back-up plan should they fail to be ready in time.

Major findings reveal good and bad news:

  • The good news is that more companies are actively working on SEPA readiness since we surveyed them in January this year, and the understanding of the task at hand has improved significantly.
  • The bad news is that 34% of companies are still at risk of not being ready in time, because either they still have not planned their readiness project at all, they have planned completion in Q4 2013, or January 2014, and/or they have an incomplete understanding of the scope at hand.
  • 46% of the respondents admit to not having thought about a back-up plan. Hardly any respondents have implemented or tested a back-up plan.

The results do not look good for the economy at large: if one in three companies has difficulties meeting the requirements, ‘plan A’ is no longer good enough. A surprising 46% of the respondents admit to not considering a back-up plan. Those companies that are thinking about an alternative are typically relying on their bank or a third-party cloud solution to come to their rescue.

But a back-up plan cannot be implemented overnight. It needs preparation and does not typically provide a shortcut for all aspects of plan A. In the second section of this report, we included the outline of a possible plan B. We recommend companies that are not yet SEPA-ready consider this guidance.

To read our article in Treasury Management International, please follow this link.