Accounting in Finland

Overview by

Accounting System

Accounting Standards
The Finnish Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) is a commonly used accounting standard in Finland. Companies that are quoted in the stock-exchange have to use the IAS/IFRS standards (EU obligation since 2005).
Accounting Regulation Bodies
The European Federation of Accountants
Chamber of Commerce
Accounting Law
Accounting is compulsory for all businesses in Finland. The Finnish accounting law can be found on the website finlex (in Finnish only).
Difference Between National and International Standards (IAS/IFRS)
Finnish standards are commonly based on US GAAP. In March 2002 the European Parliament endorsed the Commission's proposal that all EU listed companies must follow standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Board in their consolidated financial statements starting no later than 2005. Companies preparing for listing would not be required to follow IAS. Member States are permitted to decide whether non-listed companies must also follow IAS.
Accounting News
Accounting news (in Finnish only)

Accounting Practices

Tax Year
From January 1st to December 31st
Accounting Reports
The accounting report is made annually. In the report intangible assets can be shown in the balance sheet or in expenses in the profit and loss account (choice of the company). Physical fixed assets must be estimated at the original or production cost. Current assets have to appear at the lower cost and value of the market. Stocks are estimated at the weighed average cost or by the FIFO method.
Publication Requirements
Law refers to the notion of "good accounting method" as regards the methods of companies for the elaboration of financial status. All companies have to send a copy of their annual report to the legal authorities of the country. This annual report must contain a profit and loss account, a balance sheet and an annual report.

Accountancy Profession

Finnish accounting firms are not legally authorized to perform both accounting and audits for the same business; auditing is conducted separately. The accounting firm handles the bookkeeping and compiles financial statements, then hands them over to independent auditors who are not allowed to work in the same firm. The Association of Finnish Accounting Firms and the the Finnish Institute of Authorised Public Accountants provide more information on the accounting profession and practices.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
KHT-yhdistys ry, The Finnish Institute of Authorised Public Accountants
HTM-tilintarkastajat ry, Association of Accountants (in Finnish only)
Association of Finnish Accounting Firms, Association of Finnish Accounting Firms
Member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)
The KHT-yhdistys ry and HTM-tilintarkastajat ry are members of IFAC
Member of Other Federation of Accountants
The KHT-yhdistys ry is a member of FEE and The Nordic Federation of Public Accountants (NRF).
Audit Bodies
Companies have to seek a statutory auditor to conduct an annual audit of the financial health of their organization. You can contact the Central Chamber of Commerce and Local Chambers of Commerce.

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