Start your own business with the help of Finnvera‘s Start Guarantee

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It’s not as hard to start a business as you might think. First, you need a strong will, an inspiration or an innovation for a business idea. Then, you need time and effort. Well planned is half done, so put your effort into planning.

You should start with making a solid business plan. You can, for example, use the Business Model Canvas template to visualize your ideas. You also have to choose your company form. Remember, that you need to submit a start-up notification form to the Trade Register to get a Business Identity Code for your company. You can find more information for starting a business from the final section of this blog.

Financing

A good business idea and plans are not enough to set up a business. You also need money. If you don’t have much savings, you need a financier. There are several different financiers, but you usually have to pledge money or property as guarantee for the loan.

Have you heard that Finnvera can provide partial guarantee if you are applying to a bank for a loan?

Finnvera’s Start Guarantee is a partial guarantee and can enable a bank loan for your company, but there are some criteria. Your company has to be newly launched. So, make sure no more than three years has passed since your company entered into the Trade Register. Your company has to be owned by a private individual or individuals. Above all, it has to meet the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) definition set by EU.

Also, make sure that you have a solid business plan and a performance plan done before you apply for a loan. Finnvera’s Start Guarantee is based on an agreement between Finnvera and a bank. You apply to a bank for a loan and the bank submits the Start Guarantee application directly to Finnvera on your behalf. Finnvera has an agreement with all well-known Finnish banks. You can click the hyperlink to get more information on Finnvera’s Start Guarantee.

More information

The Finnish Enterprise Agencies provide more information and help to start a business. They have published a guide to becoming an entrepreneur in Finland, where you can find information on the company forms. You can also find the “To-do list” for a new entrepreneur, important links and a business dictionary from the guide.

Moreover, I want to remind you that you might also have an opportunity to apply for a startup grant from the public employment and business services. Please, click the hyperlink above to get more information on the startup grant. You can click here to get general information on the start-up notification forms. If you are interested in the Business Model Canvas template, please click the hyperlink to download the template with your email address.

As you can see all the help and information is easily available on the Web. So, don’t hesitate to become an entrepreneur. Just get started the moment you get an inspiration!

References

Business Model Canvas 2015. Onnistu Yrittäjänä. https://www.onnistuyrittajana.fi/business-model-canvas-ohjeet. Cited 26.2.2018.

Entrepreneur Guides 2018. The Finnish Enterprise Agencies. https://www.uusyrityskeskus.fi/tyokalupakki/perustamisopas-alkavalle-yrittajalle-2018/. Cited 11.3.2018.

General Information 2018. Finnish Patent and Registration Office. https://www.prh.fi/en/kaupparekisteri/yrityksen_perustaminen/perusilmoituksen_tekeminen.html. Cited 11.3.2018.

Guide Becoming an Entrepreneur in Finland 2017. The Finnish Enterprise Agencies. https://www.uusyrityskeskus.fi/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/SUK_OPAS2017_ENG_verkkoon.pdf. Cited 11.3.2018.

Start Guarantee 2018. Finnvera. https://www.finnvera.fi/eng/start/financial-planning/when-setting-up-a-business?source=3165. Cited 14.2.2018.

Startup grant 2018. Public employment and business services. http://www.te-palvelut.fi/te/en/employers/for_entrepreneurs/services_new_entrepreneurs/startup_grant/index.html. Cited 11.3.2018.

The Business Model Canvas 2018. Strategyzer. Https://strategyzer.com/canvas/business-model-canvas. Cited 11.3.2018.

The choice of company form 2018. The Finnish Enterprise Agencies. https://www.uusyrityskeskus.fi/yrityksen-perustaminen/yritysmuodon-valinta/. Cited 11.3.2018.

The Finnish Enterprise Agencies 2018. https://www.uusyrityskeskus.fi/in-english/. Cited 11.3.2018.

Trade Register 2018a. Finnish Patent and Registration Office. https://www.prh.fi/fi/kaupparekisteri.html. Cited 26.2.2018.

Trade Register 2018b. Finnish Patent and Registration Office. https://www.prh.fi/en/kaupparekisteri.html. Cited 26.2.2018.

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Trade war – win or lose?

Latest news in Accounting and Finance

 

Trade war – win or lose?

 

There is a kind of “cold war”-feeling going on. People have different opinions about the trade war and how it’s going to affect the economy. Some see it a necessary thing to do to save homeland economy, but some think that it has a huge influence on the world’s economy and trade agreements.

US President Donald Trump tweeted that the US was ” losing billions of dollars on trade” and he thinks that that a trade war is ”easy to win”. Last Thursday Trump raised steel imports tariff by 25 % and those of aluminium by 10%. According to Trump trade wars are good. Canada and the EU have said that they will bring their own responses to the trade war. Mexico, China and Brazil have also annouced they are considering counter-measures. (BBC 2018)

Critics fear that tariffs will cause damages on the American jobs and will effect the prices for consumers. Trump says that the tariffs are caused by trade deficit and it’s the way to protect the US country and the US workers. Trump says, ”we must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer”. (BBC 2018)

A business correspondent Theo Legget says that the World Trade Organisation would’t exist if trade wars were really that good and easy to win, as Trump claims. (BBC 2018)

US farm group is going to spend $500,000 on the television ads on channels near US President Donald Trump’s home in Florida. The group got worried after metal tariffs were announced and they want to encourage free trade. The farm lobbying group think that the tariffs could have some effect on retaliation against US agricultural goods. (Gibson 2018)

Nigel Farage who is a Ukip MEP, says that it would take ”48 hours” to make a deal about free trade with Donald Trump’s United States after the Brexit deal is closed.  Farage claims Trump to be the best ally in the world. (Stone 2018)

Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder stated that Farage has no clue of what he’s saying. Bearder reminded that President Trump said to make America great again, not Britain. She says that Mr Farage should have more interest in what is best for Britain and for America. (Stone 2018)

We shall see what is going to happen is trade war really win or lose in a few months.

 

– Mea

 

Sources:

 

BBC 2018. Trump steel tarifss: Trade wars are good, says Trump. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43257712. Read 13.3.2018.

Gibson, Ginger 2018. Reuters. U.S. farm group targets Trump with free-trade ads. March 13, 2018. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-agriculture/u-s-farm-group-targets-trump-with-free-trade-ads-idUSKCN1GP0YF. Read 13.3.2018.

Stone, Jon 2018. Independent. Nigel Farage says it will take Britain ’48 hours’ to do post-Brexit trade deal with Donald Trump. March 13, 2018. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nigel-farage-trump-post-brexit-trade-deal-48-hours-uk-us-a8253476.html. Read 13.3.2018.

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Accounting: How does it look like in the future?

The profession of accounting has become to a phase, where it is changing rapidly. According to IFAC’s article, “Future of Accounting Profession: Three Major Changes and Implications for Teaching and Research”, the three main causes for the change in the business in the following decades are continuing development in technology, globalization and increase of regulations in the business. IFAC mentions the last one, increase of regulations, as the biggest reason for the transformation, which will have to take place. With tax avoidance, transfer pricing and money loundering, we are facing more and more challenges every day. That said, the professions around accounting are rapidly changing from just creating numbers to fully understanding the big picture in the corporate world. The key point for understanding that full picture, is to clearly understand these three big factors about the change. (Islam, Muhammad 2017)

There have been a lot of worries about the end of accounting professions as we know them, which is clearly understandable for people to worry about in the business. However, the technology is developing rapidly, many people do not seem to be able to see the big picture in all of that: it is not disappearing, but it is changing its nature. In Steve Langerak’s article in Consult Recruitment, he points out three skills that future accountants need to be looking to improve on: knowledge of technology, communicating and reporting and lastly branding yourself and creating better soft skills. (Langerak, Steve 2017) All of these three are easy to agree with, and as I see it, they are tightly connected to each other .

In the future, all this means that accountants will face more challenges than today. They need to be more prepared for everything, and their knowledge about the trends and the field of business overall needs to be more improved. The daily challenges will be more dependent on understanding the big picture that includes wide knowledge of the business you are working on, more competency in the field of technology, as well as branding yourself properly, than just rolling around numbers in Excel. But even though the field of business is in its development phase, it will create hundreds of new opportunities for accountants. In the end, it will be everyone’s own personal choice of how much effort you are willing to put in adapting and developing yourself to become more relevant in the future. (Kolakowski, Mark 2015)

Sources

Islam, Muhammad, 2017. Future of Accounting Profession: Three Major Changes and Implications for Teaching and Research. IFAC. https://www.ifac.org/global-knowledge-gateway/business-reporting/discussion/future-accounting-profession-three-major. Read 26.3.2018.

Kolakowski, Mark, 2015. The Future of Accounting. The Balance. https://www.thebalance.com/the-future-of-accounting-4001360. Read 26.3.2018.

Langerak, Steve 2017. How to be a Future Fit Accountant. Consult Recruitment. https://www.consultrecruitment.co.nz/blog/how-to-be-a-future-fit-accountant/.  Read 26.3.2018.

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Future of Accounting: Artificial Intelligence

Unlike other industries, accounting is an industry that hasn’t seen a lot of innovation or significant advancements since people came up with the idea of double-entry bookkeeping. And that was over 500 years ago (Su, 2018). Even though accounting has seen a lot of improvement in the basic process of bookkeeping during time, it still hasn´t managed to make a remarkable breakthrough in the development of the industry. But now the experts believe that accounting is on the brink of major changes.

After many years of research, artificial intelligence is finally ready to be utilised in major industries such as tech, finance, communications, manufacturing, healthcare and accounting  included. Applying artificial intelligence and technology to accounting and bookkeeping is going to become reality in the near future. Experts believe that by 2020 accounting tasks, such as payrolls, audits, banking and taxes will be fully automated by using artificial intelligence. Instead of fearing that artificial intelligence will eliminate the need of humans in accounting, accountants should be exited because this will open lots of new opportunities as the repetitive task will be shifted to machines. If the machines that use artificial intelligence to do these tasks are configurated correctly, it will eliminate the risk of humane errors and mistakes that human accountants might make. All of this means that artificial intelligence will free up accountants to spend time on using their professional knowledge to consult their clients in accounting firms. (Marr, 2017; Su, 2018)

In Finland the average age of employees in accounting companies is currently high. These companies are looking for new, educated and motivated owners for their businesses. Now is also a good time to be an accountant. Accounting companies and accounting departments in companies are getting bigger and bigger and there has also been a shortage of good accountants in the past ten years in the industry. It’s a good time to start a career as an accountant as the industry isn’t oversaturated and the unemployment rate of accountants has fallen significantly. A master’s degree is essential if you want a career with good advancing opportunities and it’s very valuable if you have a specialty in a subfield of accounting. Business and accounting students, like myself, must keep in mind that we, the millennials, are the future of the accounting industry.  (Gottschalk, 2017)

 

 

Sources:

Gottschalk, Kim. 2017. 5 Things You Need to Know About the Future of Accounting – accountingweb. https://www.accountingweb.com/practice/growth/5-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-future-of-accounting. Read 25.3.2018.

Marr, Bernand. 2017. Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence – And The Future Of Accounting – Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2017/07/07/machine-learning-artificial-intelligence-and-the-future-of-accounting/#3e2668ae2dd1. Read 25.3.2018.

Su, Jean Baptiste. 2018. Why Artificial Intelligence Is The Future Of Accounting: Study – Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeanbaptiste/2018/01/22/why-artificial-intelligence-is-the-future-of-accounting-study/#53feb56f337b. Read 25.3.2018

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Why choose ebitcoins instead of traditional fund investments?

Cryptocurrency is quite trendy currently. You may hear your friend brag about how much the value in bitcoins or ebitcoins has risen, or at least someone he knows has done so. One of the problems is that it´s not valid money before it has been exchanged into real money.

When it comes to investing, whether it´s business or just buying a new car you always have a risk to lose money. They say a car is the worst investment you can make and it´s partially true because of the value will immediately decrease after the purchase. But people are individuals and they have different interest. To someone a new car means a step up higher to where he wants to be in life, whereas to someone else it´s just a toy and an expense.

Ebitcoin is a rather new cryptocurrency and as we have seen in the past, a new investment target can be a real goldmine to someone and some might lose it all. Digital money is a big question mark at this point but it doesn´t mean that things can´t change.

The truth is that no one knows anything for sure and in my opinion if you want your money to be safe simply just don’t invest. But if you want a little excitement in your life a small investment in something new such as ebitcoins may offer you an interesting journey.

 

Sources:

 

A good friend, Supervisor of field engineers. Interviewed 23.3.2018.

 

Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations.

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How to utilize cloud services in accounting?

The popularity of cloud services has been rising year by year, and today almost all companies are using cloud services. They are very easy to use wherever you are if you have an Internet access. There are many cloud services available for different ways of using them. The benefits of cloud services are the speed of transferring data and uninterrupted backup for files. It is also very plain and simple to share files with others. (Karilahti 2016 & Jose 2016).

One of the most popular cloud services is Google Drive. Google drive offers the largest storage capacity, up to 15 GB, for free. In addition to that, it is very affordable if the user still needs more storage capacity (Karilahti, 2016).

Cloud computing is also a hot topic in the accounting world, and there is already a lot of cloud accounting software. One of them is Heeros Systems, which offers fully automated solutions for accounting companies and other companies (Heeros Oyj.)  Heeros is also available as a mobile app, which is a huge asset in the market.Kuvahaun tulos haulle cloud services in accounting

What’s the main difference between cloud accounting and traditional accounting?

In traditional accounting bookkeepers must enter all the information one by one in the software, whereas bookkeepers who use cloud accounting can rely that the correct information already exists in the system. Cloud accounting is almost automatic, so it will save accountants time and businesses money (Kinsella).

Before I started my studies in Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, I was working in a company’s finance department for a few years. We had a huge project of moving the business to cloud computing. We started cooperating with Heeros Systems and Google Apps. The first step was the hardest, because we wanted to change paper invoices to electronic invoices. We had suppliers all around the world, and their invoices didn’t always include all the information the OCR process needed. (For more information about OCR – “optical character reader” you can find here.) For example, bank account numbers or VAT-numbers were missing on the invoices. If there was even one missing piece of important information in the invoice, the system did not work, and we had to ask for a new invoice from the supplier.

Heeros was integrated with our ERP Microsoft Dynamics AX, where the general ledger and  inventory management was. All invoices were handled, posted, and e-archived in Heeros’s cloud, but all the information had to be transferred to the ERP with CSV import. The purchase invoices were also paid via ERP.

Google Drive was for saving all kind of documents you might need when you are not at the office. There were also saved documents for all the employees, for example from the phone book to the financial statements. We had a possibility to work at home, and cloud services made it easy.

In my point of view, traditional accounting was so much slower compared to cloud accounting which is more flexible and cost-effective. I would absolutely recommend starting to use cloud accounting in every company.

Sources:

Heeros Oyj. https://www.heeros.com/en/services-2/. Read 22.3.2018

Jose, Matt. 2015. The Benefits of Cloud Computing for Accounting. https://www.kmco.com/resource-center/article/looking-forward/benefits-cloud-computing-accounting/. Read 22.3.2018

Karilahti, Outi. 2016. MTV. Suositut pilvipalvelut vertailussa – hinnoissa huomattavia eroja. https://www.mtv.fi/lifestyle/digi/artikkeli/suositut-pilvipalvelut-vertailussa-hinnoissa-huomattavia-eroja/5777878#gs.G227Q0c. Read 22.3.2018

Kinsella, Kay. Certified public accountants. How cloud computing can benefit accountants. http://www.cpaireland.ie/your-business/business-resource/technology/how-cloud-computing-can-benefit-accountants. Read 23.3.2018

Rouse, Margaret. OCR (optical character recognition). Updated 11/2005. http://searchcontentmanagement.techtarget.com/definition/OCR-optical-. Read 23.3.2018

 

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Investing

Investing  is one of the biggest trends in business.  Today   everyone can  invest if  he or she wants. Investing has become so much easier than 10 years ago. You only need   a little bit of extra money and then you can go  on an   Internet site and invest for example in funds. It´s so easy and risk are usually low. It´s a good thing that  ordinary people can  invest too, that  give everyone an opportunity to make money.  A good example are Bitcoins. A  couple of years  ago  ordinary people  invested in   Bitcoins and they are rich now, because the value of bitcoins is so much higher today.

 

Independent made a video about how to buy bitcoins. The  video was good and there were good tips if you want to invest  in bitcoins. The Bitcoin bubble can  burst    one day, but that is the risk if you want to get rich  with them. Independent also reminded about long term investment, because the  Bitcoin’s  rate can go a little bit down and after that it goes up again.

If you want to invest by yourself, first you must save money, because the rule number one is: Never invest money which you can’t lose. If you can’t afford it, then you should not invest! After saving money, you can  registrate on some website and transfer money there. Then you can search  interests and your own investment. You should check  interests very closely because there you put your own money and you don’t want to lose them only because you were lazy. If you find a good investment, then you buy some part of the shares. After that you just wait and hopefully see how your  investment increases! But if you lose  it, then just try again!

 

-Miro Koivisto

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Choosing your career in accounting and finance from the perspective of a student.

I am a second year student at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and people often ask, “So, what will you become when you graduate?” that is a really good question. As for myself, I have no idea. That is why I have listed some pros and cons of the career options for accounting and finance professionals.

There are upsides and downsides. Everything is about money; we work with it, spend it, talk about it, earn it and touch it every day. This can be either an upside or a down side, depending on how you look at it. From physical problems to mental breakdowns, an every career option must be evaluated carefully before choosing one career without any backup options.

I can bet that only few people dream about accounting and finance job as a child, but the truth is that these are the jobs we often end up with. There are many options depending on what your interests are. For example, maybe an accounting technician is your cup of tea, if you don’t like managing other people. Or if you are more a leader than a side worker, maybe the position of a bank manager suits you.

I am personally beginning to warm up for the basic solution, which is financial accounting. Don’t let it fool you, it’s not that easy as it may sound considering the “basic” part. It is tough, physically and mentally. Majority of accountants suffer from back pains because of all the hours they spend on their computers. Also mentally, it’s time and energy consuming especially in January. January is the busiest time for an accounting company, because that is when you prepare the annual financial statement for the past year. You need to be very accurate in your work, because you maintain financial records, assist with tax filings in accordance with related laws and regulations, collect, analyze and report financial data and also assist with budgeting and auditing tasks. In addition to all this, you need to prepare monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements.

The advantage is that you will have stable income, which is usually pretty good and regular working hours what we also call standard office hours (except for the January when you probably work from 8 am to 9 pm). You don’t have to work on weekends and there are many possibilities to be promoted to a higher position. Today also remote working has become more common, so you can take your work home if sitting in an office does not suit you!

Finally, I would encourage people to start a career in accounting and finance but choose your career path carefully.

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Personal Finance when studying

You got accepted to school and have started to plan your studies. Next years will be financially strict.  First, you must think how do you finance your life during your studies? Do you have savings, or can you work along studies? Are you going to use loans or other subsidies? If you have thought wisely after high school, you have spent your gap year working and saving some money for future studies. How can you manage your financial situation when studying? Don’t worry, I have a few tips for you. 

Not all of you have spent gap years or worked after heavy high school, so you probably don’t have any savings. Then you have to ask yourself, can you work part-time along school? If you can’t, you can have a maximum number of subsidies and loans if you play your cards right. If you live alone in Helsinki, and have rented an expensive apartment, you can have a maximum number of subsidies. The amount of subsidies depends on where you live and if you live alone.

The last thing you can think about, is your parent’s support, if your financial situation seems weak because of the small number of subsidies and savings. You can make a contract with your parents, that you will pay back their money later when you enter working life. If the payback time is too long, you can pay them back while working in the summer.

When you have a plan for paying your rent, living and bills you can start making budgets. Living as a student is a way different life than living and making money constantly. You have to plan your accounts in bank that you remember to pay compulsory expenditure before you buy something. The real fact is, that you don’t have much extra money when studying. If you have other expenditure, you must use your savings, start working part-time or temporarily.

 Good luck with your studies!

save-money

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Personal finance – Mobilepay and mobile key

The mobile key is a new confirmation tool to Osuuspankki mobile users. With mobile key, you can use your mobile bank with no key code list and confirm transactions quickly. You choose the code with 4-8 digits and after that, it works like your old key code list. To use the mobile key, you must have the Osuuspankki app in your phone or tablet. If you already have the app, you must download the latest version of it and then you can get it in use.

My opinion about the mobile key is that it is very handy. I don’t have to carry my key code list any longer with me and it is faster to accept payments and pay bills with the personal 4-8 number code. The service is very new, and it has been available only a few weeks now, but I think it can benefit many users.

Mobilepay is a free mobile payment application. Everyone who has a phone number, smartphone and a bank account can use it. With Mobilepay you can send and receive money, you can also split a bill for example with your friends. You can also choose Mobilepay as a payment method in your company. With Mobilepay, you can pay your online shopping, in apps and stores with only one swipe. The transaction begins with choosing the amount of payment you want to transfer, and then you choose the person by their phone number who you want to transfer the money. After the amount and the person, you just swipe, and the money goes from your bank account to the receiver’s bank account. You can set your personal limits for money transfers per day (maximum of 100€) and per single transfer.

I think Mobilepay is a great app. It is easy and fast when you don’t need your key code list to transfer money. Mobilepay has helped my life because there is often a situation when I must pay someone for example part of the grocery store invoice and it is no longer hard to transfer the money. Another situation when it is very handy is for example if you forget your bankcard at home and you want to buy lunch or coffee from school’s cafeteria. Then your friend can buy it for you and you can directly transfer the money back. I feel safe to use Mobilepay because the app is secured by your personal pin code of 4 numbers and because of the security limits in the app.

 

 

Sources:hpohp

https://uusi.op.fi/use-of-op-eservices/mobile-key

https://www.mobilepay.fi/fi-fi/Pages/mobilepay.aspx

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