2 weeks ago here in Finland, news broke that an employee of the Espoo Oilers floorball club had embezzled around 200.000 euros over the last 4 years. The first question in everyone’s minds was probably: how is this possible?
The organization has about 1000 members, a large portion of whom are children whose parents pay for the hobby. The Finnish press, including the country’s biggest newspaper Helsingin Sanomat covered the case and the response from stakeholders. Our CEO Tuomas Toivonen wrote an opinion piece about his thoughts on the situation.
Finnish media has recently been covering the challenges and abuses in hobby club finances. The parents who fund the clubs’ operations feel that some clubs’ accounts are handled in back rooms without supervision.
Traditionally, a club has a bank account to which the treasurer and chairman have access. Accounting is done annually by professional or volunteers. The problem is seldom clubs’ reluctance to share their spending history. It is more about old operating models and unwieldy finance systems.
Preparing accounting records and, in particular, interpreting them requires skill. Most parents would probably not have the time or interest to browse through individual receipts, even if they are available. This should not be necessary. Recreational activity finances must be transparent and understandable to all stakeholders.
The challenge of transparency is present in other sectors too. Open finances are increasingly being required from organizations ranging from charities to neighborhood associations. The current banking and accounting systems do not support the transparency of information nor community activities. Accounts are still considered private even though they may have several contributors and beneficiaries.
Thanks to the Internet, new service are beginning to emerge in the financial sector. These “anti-banks” can build their services directly to meet users needs, without the burden of history and constraints of legacy systems. The financial sector is heavily regulated, and thus one of the last industries to experience this upheaval. We here at Holvi have taken up the challenge and are building the next generation of banking services, that meet demands for openness and needs of communities.
The problem of transparence in hobby club finances has already been solved, welcome to Holvi!