Simon Bell, Commercial Manager, Sage Ireland said:
“The proposed extension to the SEPA transition phase, while welcome, is a precautionary measure intended to give more time for companies to become compliant. The situation is still crystalising and it remains to be seen how this proposal will be implemented at a national level. As such, Sage would advise that businesses continue to work towards the 1st February deadline to avoid the risk of a shutdown of payments in and out of their companies after this date. In early December, ISME reported that 73% of SMEs have started the implementation process and we are aware that there have been significant strides in the market since then. Sage have been at the forefront in preparing for SEPA for the last year and urges businesses to not be complacent in completing their migration and to continue working to the legal migration deadline of 1st February 2014.
“Minister for Small Business, John Perry T.D., yesterday echoed this sentiment: “Even with this proposed additional transition period of six months, I am still urging all businesses to act now and contact their bank and software provider to help ensure that their pay-roll, direct debit and accounting systems are SEPA ready before the February deadline. Each bank will be able to advise their clients on any actions that need to be taken to make sure that each business is fully SEPA-compliant for 1st February.”
“SEPA is only one of five initiatives in the National Payments Plan. Businesses need to ensure they are also ready for the e-Day deadline on 19th September 2014. e-Day aims to reduce cheque usage in the economy and from the 19th September all central government, local authorities and State agencies will no longer issue or accept cheques. SMEs are either issuers or receivers of 60% of all cheques in Ireland so it is crucial that they are prepared for this change.”