From a start-up first into an SME and next into an even bigger company – Xplora Mobile chose BDO to support its growth objectives
Xplora Mobile is a Norwegian innovation: a wrist-worn smartwatch for children. The Xplora X5 smartwatch is a child’s first mobile phone and can be used for calling and sending messages. It also features a smartphone application in which the guardian can track the child’s location. Xplora does not have games or access to internet and social media. The co-operation with BDO was initiated so that the head of business operations in Finland could focus on the essential.
“In January 2019, I was given the opportunity to come to Finland to introduce a positive alternative to smartphones for families with children. I knew the challenges of launching a product like this in “Nokialand”, but the entire concept felt good in my heart and I wanted to do something good,” says Timo Vaskio, Xplora Mobile Oy’s CEO and Country Manager in Finland.
“BDO came on board right from the start. With Xplora, I knew that I wanted to focus on the essential, i.e. world-class customer service, sales and marketing. I wanted to outsource everything else,” says Vaskio, providing background.
“BDO had a suitably extensive service offering for our needs. BDO might’ve actually been a little too robust for our early days, but it was important to find right away a good partner with which we could grow. Quality and professional competence, for example in understanding international taxation, were also highly important. I wanted to outsource the entire financial administration to the right partner,” Vaskio explains.
In international business operations, VAT compliance must be ensured from the start
BDO and Xplora Mobile started discussions on co-operation in January 2019. When the co-operation began, BDO helped Xplora with the founding of the company. VAT issues had to be resolved for import within the Nordic countries and for local retail and e-commerce in Finland, and it was easily done with the BDO network. BDO set up all the necessary financial administration services for the new company. These included accounting, reporting, VAT and income taxation, financial statements and minutes of meetings. As of now, BDO acts as Xplora’s outsourced financial administration partner. The service covers payroll, accounting, reporting, financial statements and tax advisory as needed.
“Some of the tax issues of the new company had to be resolved from the start – before we could even start business operations,” Vaskio recalls.
“Fortunately, I chose a professional organisation that took care of even the most technical tax matters. We made extensive use of BDO’s services right from the start, even though we were just a start-up company back then. Now we have grown and employ six people in Finland, our revenues have increased 220% over the past few years and our need for a financial administration partner like BDO is even greater,” Vaskio says.
BDO’s exceptionally good customer service is reflected in the provision of information related to financial administration and the quality of responses
BDO’s service promise is positively reflected in the day-to-day work.
“For example, if we ask something, we are quickly given an answer that is immediately helpful,” Vaskio describes.
Vaskio appreciates BDO’s competence in tax matters and knowledge of tax rates in international business.
“I have a great support team at BDO; they figure everything out for me.
Vaskio is relieved to be able to trust that the information provided by BDO is legal and verified.
“I can be sure that the information I’m given is accurate,” Vaskio sums up.
Friendly interaction and positive personnel create special value for the partnership. Xplora Mobile is a positive brand, and doing good is deeply rooted in its values.
“It’s great to be able to share the positivity in our partnership with BDO,” Vaskio says.
BDO also values the effortless communication and easy interaction in its partnership with Xplora.
“Communication between us is seamless, which is directly reflected in the quality of performance and reports. People at Xplora are genuinely interested in figures and development, matters are tackled without delay and the necessary information is provided in a timely manner. The efficient and positive attitude is visible across the whole organisation, which makes interactions with them very pleasant and effortless,” says Carita Holmgren, Senior Manager, Accounting and Tax Compliance at BDO.
Vaskio thinks that doing business with people at BDO is easy because they get along well with people.
“Difficult things are told in plain language and we are not bombarded with super technical terms. With BDO, we don’t have to feel stupid. Our suggestions for development are also welcomed and received very constructively.”
Some time ago, Xplora suggested customising its invoice template to be more in line with the visual identity of its brand. At BDO, the idea was met with enthusiasm and work on it was started immediately.
“This is a tiny detail in a big picture, but it speaks volumes of our co-operation. I think we chose our partner well,” Vaskio concludes.
Xplora’s vision is to simplify and secure families’ everyday life by bringing to the market a specifically designed first mobile phone for children. With Xplora Mobile, children will not spend their childhood glued to the screen, but with their arms spread out, safely and within reach. Xplora technology is used by more than 700,000 families across the world. Learn more at https://www.xplora.fi/