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Ensure that your bank lines of credit remain available for Year 2000 expenses.

You will need to be aggressive with your tax planning in order to minimize unexpected Year 2000 expenses. Every dollar spent paying income taxes is a dollar that could be spent on Year 2000 expenses.

If, as an accountant or advisor, you have provided clients assistance by customizing accounting, inventory or other computerized business applications, their Year 2000 compliance must become a priority. Why? Because your client will probably hope to make you—yes, you, the original service provider—responsible for compliance.

For all corporate and personal investments in RSPs, mutual funds, and unguaranteed forms of cash, you must undertake a risk assessment of those businesses you are invested in. Life savings will soon begin to disappear as the media frenzy swings into gear and the scare hits the investment markets. Also, carefully review your corporate and clients’ investments in pension plans.

Realize that it will be extremely difficult to get answers that you can depend on from external sources. Would you admit you had a problem if it meant that your clients or investors would leave in droves?

Year 2000 compliance will be a component of many marketing campaigns beginning in 1998. Will your advertising agency and public relations people be up to speed when it becomes imperative to address this issue publicly?

Assess which system initiatives may have to be postponed because of the resource comitments to Year 2000 conversion and risk containment.

Define how you will judge when the first of your contingency plans to protect your organization must be initiated, and under what circumstances, in order to be effective in time.

Which utility services are most crucial to your business? Which government departments? Are you willing to base your entire business on assumptions that they are adequately taking care of the problem? That they are able to take care of their interdependencies? Have they communicated to you anything helpful? If it's good news, would you believe it, considering what you know now?

When will your organization's most critical systems be converted or replaced? What internal or external systems do they depend on for data or other business processes that may make them vulnerable to Year 2000?

Create for your firm and your clients an air-tight (i.e., litigation resistant) record of the steps taken to ensure due diligence. On their way to court, your clients will thank you.