Originally created 08/31/99

Y2K glitches may be a problem

It might not be a bad idea for small business owners to get reacquainted with the old ledger book.

Companies should be prepared to operate computer-free, at least temporarily, in case Y2K glitches crash bookkeeping software and electronically-stored records.

That's just some of the advice two local professionals will give out during a free Y2K seminar on Thursday for small business owners, managers and professionals.

"Every business, large and small, will more than likely be affected in some way," said Kevin Wade, president of Intellisystems, an Augusta-based computer services firm.

The Y2K problem stems from the inability of some computer and electronic systems to differentiate the year 2000 from 1900, possibly resulting in improperly computed data or total system failure on Jan. 1, 2000.

Mr. Wade and corporate attorney Tim Moses of Hull, Towill, Norman, Barrett & Salley, said they are offering the seminars to dispel Y2K myths and offer suggestions.

Mr. Moses will discuss potential liability issues arising from losses associated with Y2K noncompliance. The "Y2K Act" approved by Congress in July helps shield small businesses from most frivolous lawsuits, he said.

The legislation encourages mediation, limits the sphere of class action lawsuits and gives companies 30 days to fix problems before they can be sued, he said.

But companies should still have a plan to deal with potential losses, he said, because the insurance industry has indicated it will not honor claims caused by Y2K glitches, Mr. Moses said.

"Some insurance companies have said they're going to treat Y2K as `an act of God,' or as `the passage of time' or as a `foreseeable event,' " he said.

The two seminars will be at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Intellisystems offices located on the 2nd Floor of the Leonard Building at the corner of Seventh and Broad streets.

For more information call Mr. Wade at (706) 722-2024.

Damon Cline covers business for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 823-3486.


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