Ponsse is one of the world’s leading forest machine manufacturers. The roots of this family-owned company, that grew from a machine entrepreneur’s dream into an international export company, lie deep in the Finnish countryside. The company is still based in Vieremä, the same place it was founded in 1970.
Ponsse operates in 40 different countries in the forest harvesting business, and almost 80% of their turnover is from exports. The Ponsse group consists of the parent company Ponsse plc, and daughter companies in Sweden, Norway, France, the UK, Ireland, Russia, the US, Brazil, China, Uruguay and, last but not least… Seinäjoki in Western Finland. The turnover is over 600 million euros.
Ponsse started working with A&S when they needed transfer pricing documentation seven years ago. Alder & Sound was chosen as a partner through a tendering procedure, and Ponsse especially appreciated Alder’s service approach and the input of senior experts. Ponsse also appreciated the monthly fixed-rate billing system A&S used. Ponsse’s Manager of Subsidiary Financials, Katri Tuunela, particularly liked the fact that A&S are a small and agile company, whose experience and approach appealed to everyone at Ponsse. A&S have since been dealing with Ponsse’s international taxation issues as well.
“Alder & Sound is our one-stop shop for many things”, Tuunela sums up. “I appreciate knowing I can contact A&S, whatever the question – communication can happen through any channel and it’s usually through only one person”, she points out. Because Ponsse has no in-house tax department, they rely strongly on their partners. A&S know Ponsse well and this makes things smoother. According to Tuunela, communicating through the same contact person makes things efficient and reliable, and they seem to have an answer to all their questions – either directly or through their international partner network. “First they find the solution and then they explain it to me in a way that’s easy to grasp”, she says.
“It has been a pleasure working together in many respects. At Ponsse, we have this idea that you always need to keep that twinkle in your eye – even when talking about taxation. We’ve had some fun moments with A&S”, Tuunela admits. The best thing about their service is that they are always available, fast, and reliably priced. In addition to this, A&S have always kept to their timetables and are straightforward about working together. “Yes it’s important to me that we have one partner I can trust, who can provide me with an answer quickly, because they know us so well”, she sums up.
“We actually started working with Ponsse already some years ago”, says the A&S partner in charge of the Ponsse account, Henri Becker. “We go to Vieremä whenever possible, but at least once a year, and going there is always a bit like going home. You can sense the Ponsse spirit in the whole Vieremä area. Such communality is lacking in so many other places today. It’s easy to relate to Ponsse people and we are privileged to work with them”, Becker notes. “Every year we draw up the global transfer pricing documentation they need, we help Ponsse cooperate with the tax authorities, actively discuss operational issues, and we are also planning to start a tax pre-payment process between different countries to increase taxation certainty”.
The interview was carried out in June 2020 by communications agency Aava & Bang.
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