Accounting is a necessary evil that any startup entrepreneur must keep up with it in order to grow their business financially. We know it’s not the most exciting part, but it is one of the most important ones – especially if you’re looking to start up in a new country, say Finland. That is why, we together with our accountants from C-management, created this bookkeeping manual for the foreign entrepreneur with little to no experience aspiring to move up north.
Firstly, if you’re a new business looking to set up shop in Finland, you might want to prepare to navigate through a jungle of legal and taxation rules. The Finnish system is tricky – even the locals have a hard time understanding it. For example, not many foreigners know that they are entitled to starttiraha, a €600/month grant from the government. Figuring out startup accounting can be a challenge, and mistakes can lead to losses.
Secondly, whether this comes down to financial analysis, budgeting, service pricing or bank support, you can end up losing valuable time which could have been spent on business development and growing sales instead. “Coming to Finland, foreigners will find that we are strict with rules, and there are many of them. That is what the accountant is for, to help them get an understanding of what they can and cannot do when it comes to government support, taxation rules, the startup process you go through, the documents you need to file, and so on”, says Tuua Huuskola from C-Management.
Thirdly, there are some things you need to know before hiring an accountant. Each startup and accounting firm is different so make sure to search for the one that will provide all the insights you need to make informed decisions about your current and your future operations. We sat down with Tuua to discuss how you can find an accountant who is right for your business, tips for building lasting relationships, and how you can determine trustworthiness.
Finding that right match depends on how well the accounting firm will be able to handle the services that you might want to outsource later down the road. Look for one that fits your current and future needs and feel out if their services make sense for your business size. The accounting industry is changing fast with firms adding new services to include things like business valuation, financial services, strategic marketing and more, so make sure to look at the options.
You will also want an accountant who is proactive and keen on getting to know your firm. Strong communication and regular contact will not only help you gain a deeper understanding of your company’s financial health, but it will help them understand your business goals and offer a more personalized solution, which can only increase the bottom line. A good accounting firm will also have the contacts and a professional network you can greatly benefit and learn from.
“If we have a new customer we always think what kind of company they are now, and what they become in the future. I think that’s important for matchmaking. A good accountant is an asset.” – Tuua Huuskola
When building trusting relationships, make sure you are both on the same track. Remember to ask questions and ask for advice before taking on anything big. At the same time, answer questions when your accountant asks, otherwise, they won’t be able to move on with the bookkeeping process and help you achieve our business goals. The more information your accountant has, the better the quality of advice they can give you.
“We are involved in digital development, but we appreciate the importance of personal service. It gives the entrepreneur the best possible support and assistance in the development of business activities comprehensively” says Huuskola. Finding that right accountant is a great first step, but it pays to really involve them in your business and to build a strong relationship with them. Thanks to Tuua for sharing her experience and accounting tips!
Nordic C-Management is an accounting company that we use for ArcticStartup and have been very happy with their services throughout these years. They offer all types of financial management services to companies of all sizes in Finland. They have a very personal approach, offering their services in over ten languages making it easier for the international entrepreneur to handle new business in Finland, good electronic accounting, CFO & controller services, among others. They operate in Finland with offices in Helsinki, Lohja, Tampere, Vantaa, Turku and also in Tallinn, Estonia. Reach out to them via Tuua Huuskola, Customer Relations, tel: +358207346900 / email@example.com or visit their website: www.c-management.fi/en.
Jussi Naapuri is a digital marketer, social media growth hacker, and contributor at ArcticStartup.