Guide to SEPA; Single Euro Payments Area

The SEPA deadline will mean changes to your accounts management software. Discover what’s required in our concise guide.
Every now and again, a new piece of legislation comes along that will affect the way in which your construction firm does business. Since 2002, Ireland has been one of the 32 EU member states operating under the single currency structure of the Euro, and naturally, the change in national currency has affected Irish businesses in a number of lasting ways. Next year, however, will see the introduction of the Single Euro Payments Area initiative in Ireland – a new piece of legislation designed to further the vision of creating a single market for Europe.

While this all sounds very noble and impressive, Irish construction firms are likely to have to adapt to the change, and it may take a little getting used to at first. So what can you expect once SEPA comes into play? What will you have to do to comply, and can our construction accounts management software help you adapt to the change? Our concise guide to the Single Euro Payments Area will help you to make sense of impending SEPA regulations...

What is the Single Euro Payments Area?

When the Euro was first introduced, the goal was to create a unified single currency market comprised of a number of different countries in mainland Europe and beyond. However, replacing dozens of different currencies across countless markets with a single payment method proved to be more complex than analysts made it sound, and some remaining processes have still failed to keep pace with progress today. The Single Euro Payments Area is an initiative that intends to modernise and streamline the processes of making and receiving card payments – in Euros – across the Eurozone, Ireland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Monaco. For Irish construction firms, the date to bear in mind is the SEPA deadline of February 1st 2014.

How will SEPA affect my company?

Ultimately, the goal of SEPA is to make electronic transactions more straightforward for both companies and individuals alike. By February 1st 2014, all national electronic payment schemes – including payroll, direct debits and credit transfers – will have been replaced by equivalent SEPA schemes, meaning that your account details will need changing. Both businesses and individuals will receive new account numbers and sort codes (you can find what these are using a simple converter), while your payroll services will need to be completely revamped in order to remain SEPA-compliant. This means ensuring that your accounts management software systems are ready for SEPA, otherwise you’ll be unable to issue or receive Euro payments after the February 2014 cut-off date. Integrity have already started the process of changing our systems for Irish clients, so we’ll help you through the process where we can.

What changes is it likely to effect?

While they may sound like a bit of a hassle at this stage, the SEPA reforms will ultimately help Irish business to make and receive Euro payments on an international scale. Large companies with branches or subcontractors overseas will benefit from a more simplified, streamlined approach to account crediting, debiting and other payroll services, with cash flow and even accounting cost-effectiveness likely to be improved once the SEPA regulations come into effect.

What will be required of me?

The SEPA initiative is something to look forward to for Irish businesses, then, and represents a long-awaited modernisation of single currency accounting and payroll services. It does, however, require Irish construction firms to conform to a number of legislative standards. By the cut-off date of February 1st 2014, all Irish businesses must have taken steps to conform to the SEPA standards as specified by EU regulation 260/2012, and that means ensuring that your accounts management software is fully up-to-date and SEPA-ready.

Here at Integrity Software we’re used to tailoring our construction management software products and services to emerging regulations. If you’d like to find out how we can help your business prepare for the Single Euro Payments Area this year, contact us today for more information.