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Accountor helps its customers to the EU market through the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a gate to Europe for companies from around the world. 

Although the cultures and ways of doing business in Finland and the Netherlands are close to each other, misunderstandings cannot always be avoided.

When a Dutchman tells a Finn why his product will never succeed in the Netherlands, the Finn thinks that this was it. In reality, the Dutchman is just being friendly and trying to help improve the product, says Frank Mostert, Accountors sales manager in the Netherlands.

Accountor, which provides financial and human resources software and services, started in the Netherlands 20 years ago. There were five people working then, now there are over 50.

In the early stages, Accountor mainly offered accounting services to local companies.

Competition is tough, there were a lot of small accounting firms with cheap prices. We had to find another way to stand out, says Mostert.

Accountor found its own niche. It focused on helping companies set up their business in the Netherlands.

We choose the appropriate business form, register it, handle contacts with authorities, such as the tax authorities. We help with collective agreements, which are always slightly different in each country. We also do accounting, other financial management and financial statements.

When Accountors customers get their business rolling, grow bigger and have more resources, their needs may change.

We help the company get started and stay with them for a few years. Then our customers may hire their own financial manager and handle their financial management themselves. This is how it often goes. We may continue as advisors in the background”, Mostert continues.

Man smiling outside

A hub of technology companies

Many of Accountors customers in the Netherlands are from the Nordic countries, but they also come from, for example, Britain, the United States and India.

We have noticed that many companies that want to expand to Europe start from the Netherlands. Especially for Nordic companies, this is a natural choice, the legislation is similar to that in their home country, says Mostert.

The Netherlands has also other attractions. One of the companies that Accountor helped to the Netherlands is Happeo, which offers various internal communication services to companies.

According to Happeo, Amsterdam has become one of the fastest growing technology company hubs in Europe. The location is central, the connections to Europes major cities are good and and you can get by with English.

So Happeo chose the Netherlands as the location for its second European office. The headquarters is still in Helsinki.

When Happeo started as our customer, they had eight employees, now they have 80 in the Netherlands, says Mostert.

According to him, the Netherlands is a good gateway to the European market.

As a small country, we are dependent on imports and exports. We are innovative and like to try new solutions. The Netherlands is a good market to test a companys products abroad, because we are open-minded to new ideas, says Mostert.

For example, in Germany and France, they are much more nationalistic, they are more loyal to local companies. The Dutch are used to using international products, companies and ideas. For Finnish companies, too, the Netherlands is a good gateway to the wider European market.


Written by Pekka Numminen