NAPA is a Finnish company that produces software used in the design and operation of ships. NAPA’s software is used by classification societies, administrative authorities, research institutes, consultancies, and in nearly all the biggest shipyards around the world. NAPA has over 400 user organizations and 3000 installations on ships around the world.
The NAPA Group has offices in several different countries – Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, the US, Romania, and India, and employs nearly 200 people. In 2019 their turnover was over 24 million euros.
NAPA has been an international company from the very beginning, and to this day most of its business comes from abroad. Alder & Sound and NAPA began working together in 2013, when NAPA was looking to start daughter companies, and needed help with resolving some transfer pricing and international taxation questions. Alder & Sound was chosen as a partner, and the CFO of NAPA, Kimmo Lankila, describes them as frontrunners in the field.
“Understanding and being in control of taxation in an international context is sometimes extremely complicated as things are moving forward all the time”, states Lankila, as he looks back at how the two companies started working together. “You really have to keep track of these matters, and for this you need expert help. Few companies can afford to keep this kind of resource as an in-house service. We realized this fairly quickly, and the fact that we would need this service in the future and, basically” continues Lankila, “there’s been no need to change the set-up since, because everything has gone so well ”. A&S takes care of transfer pricing and tax issues for NAPA, and their extensive international partner network has also proved useful, as it has enabled NAPA to find help with tax issues around the world.
In Lankila’s eyes, A&S provides a smooth service, and communication between the two companies has been excellent. “Sometimes we’ve also needed help with personal taxation questions when posting employees abroad”, Lankila admits. “Yet though this is a quite different matter, they’ve always been willing to help. We have a habit of meeting up each quarter of the year to go through all the current issues, and we stay in touch in other ways too, so that all our contact people are kept in the loop. It has worked out really well like this”, he adds. NAPA especially values the effective two-way communication in the way A&S works with them, and the firm’s ability to react and respond quickly.
According to Lankila, A&S has a lot of expertise and knowledge, and he describes not only their contact person there as a top-class expert, but also the others there that have been involved in NAPA assignments. “All of them are really good people with expertise and knowledge about the present state of affairs and forthcoming changes. There are also young people with a good positive enthusiasm which I like very much”, Lankila adds. “Our way of working together is relaxed so there is a good amount of humour in what we do together. It means we don’t just get things done, but we also get along, which is important.”
Lankila recommends A&S services, especially to companies considering internationalisation, or those who already have international operations. “International taxation is rather tricky” he points out, “so it’s definitely worth your while getting expert advice about it.”
“We began helping NAPA at the group level already with business tax and transfer pricing in 2013”, says the A&S partner in charge of the NAPA account, Henri Becker. “Our services have brought a certain continuity to NAPA operations despite their changes in personnel, as we’ve been able to keep track of the history of procedures, reporting, and materials used. We’ve consequently been able to bring new NAPA team members up-to-date and by so doing also lessened their workload. NAPA is a tremendous global dominator and pioneer in a specific field and at NAPA the thresholds are low and the ceiling high. This is reflected in the practices throughout the organization. Working with them is a personal pleasure and a professional privilege!”, Becker notes.
The interview was carried out in June 2020 by communications agency Aava & Bang.
Our transfer pricing team will help our customers grow, communicate, internationalize, plan, succeed, control their risks, and take care of their compulsory obligations. Together with our global partner network we make sure that our customers can focus on their international business free of any unnecessary worry or unreasonable bureaucracy, and in the knowledge that they are not taking any risks. At the same time, we make sure that there is a suitably effective and meaningful internal process set up to address every situation.
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