When big and small fintech players join forces, new types of solutions spring up to make everyday life easier for companies, regardless of size. UKKO Pro and Nordea jointly developed a customer-oriented solution for the financial management of small businesses in close dialogue with the entrepreneurs. The strength of the Finnish fintech ecosystem lies in the fact that it enables and supports this kind of collaboration.
“There are lots of micro-entrepreneurs in Finland whose business is part-time or otherwise small-scale, in which case it can be very difficult to find a good enough all-inclusive service at an affordable price. There seemed to be a demand in the market for a service that could solve the problems of small businesses, as many service providers have completely ignored this segment and developed offering mainly for the needs of large companies,” explains Aleksi Simola, CEO of UKKO Pro.
According to a recent customer survey by Nordea, most micro-entrepreneurs handle their accounting themselves and find it difficult. Entrepreneurs feel they do not have enough knowledge of accounting methods, and manual paperwork is a considerable burden. In addition, according to the study, traditional accounting firms are not perceived to bend very well to cater for small businesses.
Hence, micro-entrepreneurs lacked a service that would allow them to manage everything needed to run a business under one roof. UKKO Pro and Nordea took up the challenge and jointly developed a service which combines the features of an accounting program, an accountant and online banking.
More efficient financial management through a single service
The result of the collaboration, the Nordea Accounting Plus service brings relief to the most typical financial management problems of entrepreneurs.
“Our clients often ask us for recommendations on accounting services, as every entrepreneur has to handle accounting in one way or another. Now we can meet this demand and provide even more. We hope that the cooperation will bring added value especially for new entrepreneurs. When accounting and financial management are handled properly right from the beginning, the customer has one less worry and can fully focus on developing their business,” says Iiro Korander, Head of Business Banking for small corporates at Nordea.
In practice, Nordea Accounting Plus offers a solution for e.g. accounting, all tax-related issues, and invoicing. What is unique about Nordea’s service is the integration of the customer’s bank account information into the service.
Support all the way from founding – regardless of time and place
As a new feature, you can now also register a business name and get the company ID through the service, if you don’t have one yet.
“This so-called company establishment pipe is built on the underlying idea that an entrepreneur gets everything they need to set up a business name. They receive a company ID, accounting, banking services and pension insurance. The Trade Register notification is also included in the package. The customer therefore saves a lot of time and effort when they do not have to jump around between many different instances and provide the same information,” says Juha-Pekka Burman from Nordea.
Entrepreneurs often appreciate the ability to manage their business regardless of time and place, which is why fully web-based solutions are gaining ground.
Partnerships open up new opportunities
Nordea Accounting Plus is currently only available to sole traders, but the service is planned to be extended to limited liability companies. The development work will continue from now on.
“It was great to get to develop this service together with a growth company that has managed to grow from a small player to a fast-growing company in such a short time. It is not necessary to develop and produce everything in-house, and thus we are happy to work with competent partners,” Iiro Korander says.
“Benefits that fintech companies can provide to bigger corporations include new ideas and innovation capabilities, flexible ways of working, and a faster access to market. During this project we have learned a lot from UKKO Pro also about the importance of communications and storytelling,” Juha-Pekka Burman adds.
Teemu Seppälä, Senior Business Advisor leading the fintech ecosystem development project at Helsinki Business Hub, sees the cooperation between UKKO Pro and Nordea as an excellent example of how the Finnish fintech ecosystem works:
“Here companies can easily approach each other regardless of their size and develop solutions for mutual customers. It is also a good example of how much impact fintech companies can have in our society, for example by promoting entrepreneurship regardless of size and industry. Helsinki Business Hub aims to develop the business environment sustainably and our main goal is to enable the emergence of such services also internationally.”