Digitalised accounting systems ease the administrative burden of business taxpayers

The Tax Administration is a participant in the Real Time Economy project. This project enhances the opportunities of all business enterprises to improve their financial administration through digitalisation. Finland’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has instituted the Real Time Economy project.

The vision of the Real-Time Economy project is to build a national digital ecosystem for business enterprises that would be compatible with similar systems in other Nordic countries.

The ecosystem would allow seamless, real-time and secure transmission of orders, e-invoices, digital sales receipts and business information between corporations of all sizes. This means that business accounting can raise to a higher level of computer automation. If data is available in an inter-operable electronic format, it can be transmitted between companies, government agencies and other relevant parties.

One of the objectives is that new IT services will soon be available in the market, making real-time information easy to access and manage.

The Tax Administration has committed itself to make a contribution to the Real Time Economy project

One of the Tax Administration’s objectives is to approach a seamless model of collecting tax information from taxpayer companies’ IT systems. This means that records on business transactions such as invoicing, sales receipts, and tax payments would be readily available online, in an inter-operable, machine-readable format.

The ongoing project is not only directed toward larger companies but also directed to small business, as its goal is to make sure that all companies can reap the benefits of digitalisation and safeguard their competitive edge both in the Finnish domestic market and in other countries. The Tax Administration’s view is that fewer errors will occur if an automatic, digital background system provides the information needed for tax assessment. This will save all participating enterprises’ time: they are able to focus on the conduct of business because they do not have to prepare tax returns.

The Finnish Tax Administration’s commitment to the Real Time Economy covers the following areas:

  • We improve the infrastructure that the new online environment needs. This includes the development of a widely compatible digital identity for corporations, the introduction of new program interfaces, and agreements on several new, shared standards.
  • We are mindful of protecting the interests of small business as the project advances.
  • We improve the characteristics of tax-return requirements in such a way that an entire perspective of easy-to-use services can become possible, including services provided by commercial software vendors, the government, and the services that facilitate company reporting. The total cost must be reasonable. We rely on the above principles in order to make sure that small businesses are able to meet the digitalisation’s demands without having to invest important sums of money in it and without having to engage in complicated administrative activities.
  • We continue working together with the private sector for the good of the entire Finnish society.

Real Time Economy is a shared project

Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) is the public authority having the project coordinator’s role. In addition to PRH, participating public authorities include the Finnish State Treasury, the Digital and Population Data Agency, Statistics Finland and the Tax Administration.

Nordic principles and guidelines, as agreed with other Nordic countries, are applied on building the real-time economy solutions for businesses in Finland. The Nordic forum for cooperation is called the Nordic Smart Government and Business (NSG&B). Central governments’ registration agencies from all Nordic countries are participants, as are also the tax authorities of every Nordic country. Learn more about Nordic Smart Government & Business.

The digital transformation of companies’ accounting and external reporting is a shared project with public authorities and agencies, stakeholder groups and business enterprises of the private sector as participants. All companies, organisations and stakeholders that have an interest in making a contribution to the real-time economy are more than welcome to participate in the cooperation and planning.

Learn more about the project and its scheduled events: yrityksendigitalous.fi, the project website.