The Incomes Register learns from the challenges faced by accounting firms

6/24/2019

In a telephone survey, conducted in April, the Incomes Register interviewed 20 accounting firms that had experienced difficulties with the Incomes Register. It was possible to sign up for the interview at the incomesregister.fi website.

The purpose of the survey was to find out the reasons behind the difficulties that accounting firms have had with the use of the Incomes Register. Both big and small accounting firms signed up for the interview – most of these firms used the Incomes Register via the technical interface and only used the e-service under special circumstances. Only a few of the respondents used the e-service as their sole reporting channel. Based on the survey, we can assume that the size of the accounting firm does not determine the types of challenges the Incomes Register has caused.

Technical problems with the Incomes Register system during the first months of the year

The problems caused by the Incomes Register system had created many challenges for accounting firms. Problems were caused especially by the so-called duplicate reports, records being stuck in the 'In process' status, and error notifications that appeared only in English. The respondents felt that the system was incomplete.

Improvements have been made to the Incomes Register during this spring. Error notifications have been translated into Finnish, submitting duplicate reports has been prevented, and the problem with records being stuck in Processing has been fixed.

Customer service's long waiting times

In January, customers contacted the customer service extremely frequently, which caused delays. The waiting times were up to 30-60 minutes. In addition, the accounting firms felt that the Incomes Register customer service was unable to give them guidance.

The waiting times have become shorter since the beginning of the year. In June, the customer service's waiting times have been, on average, five minutes and the personnel have been trained during the spring. In May, the Incomes Register conducted a customer service survey, which showed that customers are mostly satisfied with the service they receive and feel that their affairs are handled properly. The Incomes Register Unit's customer service aims to improve further.

Difficulties with payroll systems

The payroll systems used by accounting firms have not performed without problems either. The respondents felt that, for example, entering parameters, the coding of income types, and the codes in general were challenging. In addition, the return messages of reports were not necessarily returned at all.

The Incomes Register has worked closely with software houses, solving problems related to the systems during the spring. The tasks that involve entering parameters and coding income types have mostly been one-time tasks relating to the implementation of the system and, hopefully, the problems caused by them have, for the most part, been solved during the spring.

Incomplete transcripts

The respondents felt that the Incomes Register's transcripts did not meet the requirements of accounting firms and that the transcripts actually increased the workload. The contents of the transcripts were considered inaccurate and unusable. The respondents also felt that the transcripts disturbed internal processes and schedules.

The Incomes Register has made plans to develop the transcripts. The aim is to produce transcripts that will better serve the needs of the data submitters.

Difficult income types

The respondents said that they found it difficult to report income types, as the income types cannot be directly linked with the pay types, and it is not always clear which income type should be used. The instructions were considered unclear. Furthermore, accounting firms stated that the income types do not cover all situations.

The Incomes Register customer service is happy to help with selecting the correct income type.

Room for improvement in the legislation

The respondents wished that the laws governing the Incomes Register were changed. They considered the five-day deadline too strict. Similarly, they wished that changes were made to the reporting of fringe benefits and wage advances.

The legislator has been informed on these wishes.

The Incomes Register is a system under constant development and, in the future, it will continue to be developed based on feedback. You can give feedback on the Incomes Register by filling in the feedback form. All feedback will be read.