Nearly all corporations and foundations referred to in the Finnish legislation must keep accounting records. Natural persons engaged in business or professional activities must also keep records on these activities.
Provisions on accounting are laid down in the Accounting Act and Accounting Decree, the development of which is the responsibility of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. There are also special accounting provisions in a number of special acts.
The Accounting Act is based on the Accounts Directive of the EU which contain provisions on the contents of the accounts. As a rule, day-to-day accounting remains subject to national regulation.
The general task of financial statements is to give a true and fair picture of the return on the activities of the reporting entity and of its financial status. The Accountig Act was changed at the beginning of 2016 by the law 1620/2016.
International standards for accounting
There is an increasing trend towards more international harmonization of financial statements. Under the IAS Regulation adopted by the EU Council of Ministers in June 2002, publicly listed companies operating in the Member States must draft their consolidated financial statements in accordance with international accounting standards (IAS standards). Member States may also freely decide on a wider scope of the regulation and thereby of the standards concerned.
The Accounting Board, which operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, is to give guidelines and opinions on the application of the Accounting Act. On special grounds, the Board may also grant exemptions from certain statutory provisions of the Accounting Act for limited periods.
The Board’s general guidelines, published opinions and exemptions (only in Finnish).
- Accounting Act (1336/1997) and Accounting Decree (1339/1997)
- Decree on the Accounting Board (784/1973)