Scott Gottlieb, CPA


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NEWS BYTES
May 1998

Editor: Scott Gottlieb, CPA
Assistant editor: Susan A. Maffetone, CPA

The Year 2000

The year 2000 issue can many aspects of your business.  Some people are prepared and some still are not sure what everyone is talking about.  For the next few months I will be writing about what the Y2K problem is, how it can affect your business and what you can do it about.

What is the Y2K problem?

1. Most computer hardware and software including microchips embedded in mechanical equipment record and recognize the year field in a date by two digits, i.e. 1995 is represented by "95".

2. Computers and microchips use this field to compute what day it is. On I/l/2000 the year will be represented by "00". In general, programmers that wrote software and hardcoded microchips using the two digit year field did not give the computer instructions on what to do for the year "00" or what it meant.

3. Computers may interpret the year "00" as 1900, 2000, or just crash. In subsequent years, computers may interpret the year "O I" as 1901 or 2001. Which century a computer assumes a 2-digit year is in is impossible to tell without inspecting every single line of computer code in a program.

4. The Y2K problem affects all computers including mainframes, minicomputers, PC's, and LANs and any equipment that uses dates to function.

5. The Y2K is a complex problem and its impact on any organization is not easily determined.

At the beginning of the computer age in the 1950's computer storage memory was in short supply and very costly.  To efficiently use what memory was available at the least cost; the fields representing a year in a date was represented by two digits.

Email on any thoughts you have on the above.

Next Month -- What to watch in your business.

Accounting Software tips of the month
Dates In Excel - 2000 Year Woes


If you enter a year as a two-digit number, such as 3/12/02, Excel 97 will recognize your numbers between 0 and 29 as being in the 21st century.  However, Excel 95 only treats numbers between 0 and 19 as being in the 21st century.  If your spreadsheet requires dates early in this century (say, 1903) or later in the next one (2080), type in a four-digit year like this: 3/3/1903.

May Words of Wisdom:

Take the time to call someone you know is having a hard time.  A few minutes of your time could be a lifesaver to someone who is lonely or depressed.

 

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Other issues of NewsBytes see our archives

 

 

 

 

1997-2009 Scott Gottlieb, CPA. All Rights Reserved.

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The materials on this Web site are for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as accounting advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a CPA-Client relationship. You should not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a Certified Public Accountant