Accountor has a long history. Old accounting office suplies are on display at Accountor office in Hakaniemi. CEO Asko Schrey smiles while COO Niklas Sonkin is stamping documents. Photo: Hanna Voutilainen
One of the largest financial and HR services companies in Northern Europe is investing heavily in new technologies and new ideas.
Digitalisation is disrupting practically every industry, yet it is certainly not uniform. Some places and industries go through disruption sooner than others.
“We have been playing a pivotal role in the industry disruption in Finland and in the Nordic region,” says Asko Schrey, CEO of Accountor. “The interesting fact is that the rest of the world seems to be a few years behind. This offers a great opportunity. The world still lacks a McDonalds, H&M or Google of this industry.”
Accountor firmly intends to be the vanguard in accounting, HR and financial advisory services. This vision is nothing new – in fact, 30 years ago Schrey was considering the seismic change coming to accounting as he worked for the Bank of Helsinki.
“Back then I already lived the digitalisation trend and anticipated it would drive two big changes to the industry: larger companies will be tempted by outsourcing and economies of scale will exist,” Schrey says. “These trends have led to both organic growth and consolidation. In 2000 we were the second largest in our industry with 50 employees. Today we are the second largest in the Nordic area with 2,300 employees.”
More profit, fewer headaches
The reason for Accountor’s growth is simple: it is much more efficient for companies to hire an expert partner to handle their financial administration. Companies save time, money and headaches by using their services. Yet Accountor also boasts a few extra strengths which their clients can’t get anywhere else.
“Accountor offers services and software – and a combination of both – in the fields of financial management, HR and accounting,” explains COO Niklas Sonkin. “This combination of services and software makes us unique in our industry.”
Accounting services include everything from invoicing to reporting. Companies might need Accountor’s help with payroll, expense claims or HR management. Others might want advice on taxes or financial management. Accountor’s software portfolio covers financial services, CRM, ERP and more.
This comprehensive portfolio of administrative solutions is aimed at helping companies improve by using practical, effective innovations of the modern digital era.
Robots, AI and ecosystems
Yet digitalisation is a process, not a state, and Accountor sees many more improvements coming as we continue to progress.
“Digitalisation has been much slower than I expected. Even today only about 15 per cent of small firms enjoy the benefits of digital administration processes: accuracy, immediacy and transparency,” says Schrey. “While digitalisation is developing, the next wave will be further automation in the processes using both robotics and artificial intelligence. I foresee a digital AI controller, producing outstanding deep analysis of financial numbers in real-time. We can easily anticipate more than 50 per cent added effectivity and higher quality with fewer mistakes.”
“The real-time economy with fully digital end-to-end processes is the future,” says Sonkin. “This will enable businesses to make timely and accurate business decisions based on high quality information. We are part of the ecosystem driving the transformation from manual legacy processes to the new digital world.”
For decades Accountor has developed the best services to help their clients and they are eager to continue that tradition in the years to come.
“We are always ready for a dialogue with our existing and new customers,” Sonkin says. “We want to serve our customers with high quality solutions and help them to improve their businesses.”
Text: David J. Cord
Who: 2,300 professionals
What: Experts in accounting, payroll / HR, advice and software
Where: Offices in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Russia, Ukraine and the Netherlands
Why: Only a minority of firms enjoy the benefits of digital administration