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1998-02-11 12:31:34


Major Y2K Advisory Firms Stop Taking New Clients



The resources available to fix y2k are running low. Errst & Young, KPMG Peat Marwick, and Price Waterhouse have all closed access to new y2k clients.


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Between them, KPMG Peat Marwick and Ernst & Young audit more than one third of the Fortune 1000 and count many of these companies among their management consultancy clients.

Yet as these two accountancy giants move toward a proposed merger, they are offering Year 2000 services only to their top-tier clients while turning away business from many others.

"A lot of clients are asking for help with Year 2000, but unfortunately we can't provide it, explains William Ruckle, managing director, Year 2000, Ernst & Young, We don't have the resources to service everyone. . . .

In this regard, Ruckle's firm is not unlike many of its competitors. While Ernst & Young is concentrating its Year 2000 capabilities on only 25 major accounts, KPMG is working almost exclusively with a select group of large clients with which it has had a long-standing relationship.. . .

These are Fortune 50 companies that pretty much go across most industries.

Similarly, Price Waterhouse has limited its Year 2000 offerings to a select group of clients that have requested support. Even Coopers & Lybrand, which plans to merge with Price Waterhouse and which has been providing Y2K support since 1993, as of last year had taken on only 54 projects, 15 of which have been completed. The firm expects its Y2K practice to plateau in 1998 because of capacity constraints. . . .

Many of Ernst & Young and KPMG's clients are U.S. -based multinationals that have to be concerned about the global ramifications of Y2K issues, given the interdependency on the global market. Kearny, who has testified before Congress about the dangerous lack of awareness regarding Y2K outside the United States, notes that not only do U.S.-based multinationals have to bring their own non-U.S. operations up to speed, they need to be sure the foreign banks and suppliers they communicate with electronically are fully geared up for the millennium.


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