The Euro: all you need to know

The online Euro Knowledge Guide has already won several internet awards for the ICAEW's Library & Information Service.
Joanne Wright

The transition towards economic and monetary union (EMU) in the EU has resulted in a vast amount of information on the inter-net - far too much to digest.

Reliable help is available from the ICAEW Library & Information Service (LIS) where the team of information specialists have produced an online guide to euro information.

Using their expertise to add value to the proliferation of websites, they have collected, sifted and organised information from many sources to make it easier and quicker for you to find exactly what you need.

The guide is arranged in three sections: euro implementation, euro links and euro data.

Euro implementation

Although the UK has not joined the single currency, the issues raised by the final changeover will still have implications for the way we do business in the EU. Questions that businesses are asking include:

•   What if my sales are mainly inside EMU countries but my costs are mainly outside?

•   Will my EU customers require me to price my products in euros?

•   Will my computer system be able to cope with the euro?

•   How do I cope with price transparency and variety for the same products in different EU countries?

Help is available in the Euro Knowledge Guide, which lists the official UK and EU websites that explain the preparations businesses will need to make. The Department of Trade and Industry's Europlanner site is here, packed with essential information to help you cover every angle, including:

•   a simple checkbox questionnaire to determine how the euro might affect your business; draft letters in nine languages to customers/suppliers, to be used to ask them if they want to be invoiced/paid in euros;

•   euro tools - a compilation of resource tools for businesses, including a euro symbol down-load pack.

The European Commission's site is called 'Euro essentials' and includes a particularly useful section looking at euro issues for SMEs, plus a 'Guide for Enterprises', which tackles the areas businesses will need to focus on, such as accounting systems and IT issues - with sections for both large companies and SMEs. A selection of European case studies are also presented.

Euro links

One of the most comprehensive UK listings available, this section of the Euro Knowledge Guide organises the overwhelming number of euro-related websites by topic. (It forms part of the LIS's larger award-winning links pages, which perform the same function for a wider variety of subject categories:

The euro subject categories are:

•   official sources - national governments official sources - EU

•   European banks

•   accountancy bodies and firms institutes and organisations

•   news sources and unofficial guides Irish implementation of the euro.

The links include a brief summary of the contents and focus of each site, and are regularly reviewed and updated. Examples of the sites you can link to directly include: The official UK government website for the euro, and one of the key sites for UK businesses adapting to the euro in 2001. Contains information from the European Parliament, Council, Commission, Court of Justice, Court of Auditors, Economic & Social Committee, European Investment Bank and Committee of the Regions. Website with comprehensive guides and checklists to help businesses cope with the introduction of the euro. Sections of particular interest include:

•   a euro preparation guide for small and medium-sized companies;

•   a section on accounting, reporting and taxation, featuring 'Euro-options for Companies' (a guidance document on euro preparation for audit and accounting firms). Authoritative news and information on the euro and EMU including daily euro foreign exchange reference rates and monthly bulletins. Website designed to inform businesses in Wales about the changes taking place in the EU, and to identify the risks of operating next to a new single market. Includes case studies detailing the 'euro experiences' of companies in Wales. Available in both Welsh and English. The Euro Changeover Board of Ireland was established to oversee Ireland's implementation of the euro, and holds a wealth of information on its site.

Euro data

This section of the Euro Knowledge Guide focuses on the many sources of information on exchange rates, with summaries of the content of sites and direct links to them. For example, the site, gives the fixed conversion rates (as determined at 1 January 1999) and includes a pop-up euro currency converter using these rates.


This authoritative web guide is complemented by the LIS online catalogue LibCat, from which individual subjects or documents can be researched from any computer in the world with internet access ( Everything listed on LibCat can easily be obtained by contacting the LIS. The LIS email/telephone/fax enquiry service means that practical help for ICAEW members is always available. To comment on the guide or to make suggestions, email


Joanne Wright is reader services manager at the ICAEW Library & Information Service. Charges apply for some services, and photocopying is carried out subject to copyright laws. The ICAEW accepts no responsibility for the content on any site to which a hypertext link from their site exists. The links are provided 'as is' with no warranty, express or implied, for the information provided within them.

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