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Government abolishes accountant requirement

TT/The Local · 26 Mar 2010, 15:19

Published: 26 Mar 2010 15:19 GMT+01:00

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The new regulations will come into force on November 1st 2010.

"This is an important step to simplify regulations for companies," enterprise minister Maud Olofsson said to journalists on Thursday.

According to Olofsson, the changes will mean a saving of 2.5 billion kronor ($346 million) in costs for affected companies. It will also mean increased costs to the state of 1.3 billion kronor which will be financed by increasing property tax on hydroelectric power and higher stamp duty.

The move was welcomed by the Swedish Federation of Business Owners (Företagarna) who recognised that Maud Olofsson had won a tough battle with the finance ministry to push through the changes.

"This is a hard-won victory for the enterprise minister Maud Olofsson. She has had to toil away like a northern Swedish cart-horse while the finance minister, Anders Borg, has worked against her," the federation's CEO Anna-Stina Nordmark said in a statement on Thursday.

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The federation welcomed the reduction in administration that the new regulations bring although they would have liked to see the threshold set higher to include more firms.

Firms with an annual turnover of over three million kronor or total assets of over 1.5 million kronor will continue to be obliged to hire an accountant.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:08 March 26, 2010 by Nemesis
This is a brilliant step forward for people running small business's.
18:27 March 26, 2010 by zircon
Just precalculative years ahead.
19:58 March 26, 2010 by sweder
Now, Swedish entrepreneurs can concentrate and run their firms and save costs.

A few small businesses may still prefer to consult accountants due to lack of bookkeeping knowledge, while many will quickly adjust

There are useful web based bookkeeping tools to get started. I will strongly recommend LiveAccouning software www.liveaccouning.com for bookkeeping and accounting novices (ideal for Sweden/EU). There is a section to add petty invoices and the rest is automated. The firm provides good 24hrs technical support

Bravo Maud Olofsson!!!
23:35 March 26, 2010 by slapbangwallah
Huh? While a small firm may not have to have an accountant permanently on their staff, then they should, they must have a contract with an accounting firm to perform their financial duties. Companies, especially small ones, are notorious in their ignorance of finance. Without accounting, how do they know how well they are doing? How do they know they are not being embezzled? And then, they throw the cost onto the taxpayer in the form of higher taxes. Welcome to the beginnings of fascism, Sweden! Private profit, public losses. How's it feel?
00:37 March 27, 2010 by Venturisection

what are you on about?

If you're required to have an accountant and you're a small business that can't afford the best you end up with a rather rubbish one.

I know of one family owned company that all the suddent had to pay 100,000s of sek in back taxes because their accountant was incompetent.

Also I feel that you are degrading peoples ability to do work and feel that they need nannying constantly because they aren't smart enough to do it themselves, and how on earth do the public loose out?

higher taxes? I mean "You cannot be serious!" Why would there be higher taxes.

Accountancy is important and basic accountancy I'd imagine they'd still need to know. Who is to say the accountants weren't corrupt anyway? Your arguement is filled with holes and paranoid socialist expression.

What do you want communism? Totalitarianism? No responsibility because you cannot do something yourself.

I'm sorry but I feel you're comment is incredibly naive and misinformed and outrageously paranoid.
03:28 March 27, 2010 by Davey-jo
@ Nemesis & Venturisection

I'm sorry but I must disagree with you on this matter. It is a retrograde step for any business to do away with the accountant.

I am sure that any government would want companies not to employ accountants; this way Gov gets more money from companies that do not understand the tax law.

@Venturisection there would be higher taxes because accountants can ensure an accurate measure of a businesses activity rather an estimate by Gov of turnover. Who would you trust to measure your business an accountant paid by you or some civil servant paid to opitimise tax return?

Get real; small businesses need accountants probably more than large because the crooks who are gunning for them are big Government. And they really don't care....

It's easy to condemn accountants but they are essential to the running of modern economies. They are an essential aid to small business.

I am not an accountant.
08:44 March 27, 2010 by Nemesis
@ slapbangwallah and Davey-jo,

You are very badly wrong. You obviously know nothing about the business culture or business law in Sweden and how it holds small business's back.

In Sweden there is a lot of small traders in Sweden who are seasonal. The present rules for accountants are a nightmare as they are not able to shop around and have to pay the same fees as a medium sized industry. Small traders have in effect been subsidising fees for larger companies.

That cripples small companies who only trade in the summer markets, small tourist sites such as B&B's. It also kills start ups before they are established.

For small companies who wish to grow. In the intial stages paying a percentage of there earnings to an accountant is a drag which can break a small business.

With most start ups a piece of software can easily track everything, print invoices, calculate tax, moms and pay wages.

This change in the law will actually draw in a lot more taxes. A lot more small seasonal companies will register and actually be able to afford there taxs.

Under the previous regime a company that turns over 100,000 kr trading in the summer months would have to pay most of that to an accountant.

This will help reduce the black economy and tehre should be a drive to ensure that once the new accountancy rules are extablished.

Now that the accountancy monoply is going, a large jackboot will be lifted of the necks of small traders.

It is from small traders that the next multinational springs.

This law change regarding accountancy practices will most likely encourage a lot more start ups to occur and hopefully a few of them will grow into large employers.
13:52 March 27, 2010 by irishmark
Nemisis is completely right. A small firm's accounting requirements are not as complex as a large firm's and there are good software packages that can hande the requirements (with some outside support if required).

In terms of the need to have an accountant, in order to understand the business' performance... You are confusing financial accounting with management accounting, see e.g.


Financial accounting is important, but usually management accounting is even moreso with regards to managing the business on an ongoing basis. In my experience, accountants employed by small businesses tend to be mostly (or even completely) focussed on financial accounting.
14:13 March 27, 2010 by Venturisection
@ Davey-jo

you don't have a clue.

Why do you think accountants would be better? I know full well they aren't.

If you need them for tax returns Hire them once a year for an audit or something instead of having them all year round. It's just a money drain on your business and when they screw up they screw up bad and who is left to foot the bill they certainly won't.

Its a ridiculous law.
14:23 March 27, 2010 by Davey-jo
@Venturisection, Nemesis & irishmark

You may well be right and I bow to your local knowledge.

Companies here in UK need to watch the Government does not rip them off.
20:37 March 27, 2010 by americanska
this is very good. anything that makes labor law more flexible for business is a good thing.

why should the government decide for a company who they need to hire. it's in the best interest of a business to have a staff accountant at a certain point. but it is not the same for everyone.

it's just stupid for the government to ever have been involved in these matters. big brother - get lost.
01:51 March 28, 2010 by Beavis
Very good news.. although lets correct it a little, a sole trader didnt need an accountant on the books but a plc did. I presume its dont away with for plc...

Either way its great news foe everyone but accountants :)

For a small business its very straighforward to do your own accounts, and your much more likely to have a poor accountant mess things up who doesnt know the correct details of your ins and outs etc.

I wonder if bag woman gets in will she bring this back, I know they love red tape and hate small business and the self employed..
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