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SEPA which stands for the Single Euro Payments Area is due to be implemented on the 1st of February 2014 for all countries within the Euro-Zone , however the United Kingdom as a non-Euro-zone country has until the 31st October 2016 to become fully SEPA compliant.

SEPA is fundamentally about making the process of sending and receiving money throughout Europe a more efficient and streamlined process for business’s, financial institutions and indeed the general public. The SEPA system is designed to make it easier for inter-country trading within Europe.
The below video created by the Deutsche Bank Group explains why it is important for your business to be SEPA ready.

However just because the compliance deadline for the U.K. is 2016 does not mean that ensuring your business is SEPA compliant is something you can afford to ignore, this is due to the fact that the vast majority of U.K .companies trade with member states who are in the Euro-zone, so there is going to have to be major efforts made to integrate as quickly as possible to the new payments system to ensure that market share and over all competiveness is not adversely effected by the changeover.

The U.K. Payments council in November 2013 produced the following white paper on their overview of SEPA implementation within business’s in the U.K. This would be a very useful resource for anybody trading in the S.M.E , sole trader or accountancy sectors. This document provides a good oversight of additional SEPA resources that the U.K. Payments Council has posted on their website along with some interesting statistics that they have complied regarding the various levels of compliance to SEPA among financial Institutions and in relation to payments conducted throughout the U.K.

There is however now intense speculation that the deadline for SEPA compliance might be extended for another 6 months following reports the European Commission’s internal market and services Commissioner Michel Barnier has publically stated the he is not confident that enough companies throughout Europe will be able to fully guarantee compliance by the February 1st deadline, another deadline for the 1st of August 2014 is now being seen as the more likely date established as the final cut of point for companies to be fully SEPA compliant.

As always we at Big Red Cloud are monitoring the situation very closely in relation to the effect that the migration to SEPA is going to have on our client base throughout the United Kingdom. We would like to know how confident you are that your business is going to be fully SEPA ready by the 1st of February or indeed the 1st of August.
Get in touch with us on our Facebook page and share your thoughts with us and others in the business community within the U.K. regarding the challenges posed by SEPA compliance within your industry sector.

We also hope 2014 is a great year for you and your business! and that you are now slightly more clear on the whole issue of being SEPA ready and the ramifications that it will have for your business.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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