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Finnish Reference number in Finland explained

What is the Finnish reference number?

The Finnish reference number in Finland is used to associate payments with the right customer and the right invoice. It serves the exact same purpose that the KID number serves in Norway or the OCR number serves in Sweden.

Format of the Finnish reference number

The format to be followed is Next Number in sequence + Check digit

Number of digits — 4 to 20 digits including the check digit. The last digit in Finnish reference is the check digit. The Finnish reference number must contain only digits ( use numbers from 0-9) and should not be alphanumeric. Merchant enters into an agreement with the bank to decide the number of digits in the reference number.

Rules to build the Finnish reference number — Finnish reference numbers can contain customer ID and/or invoice number to identify customer and invoice but this is not mandatory. It is however recommended to use these to make the reconciliation of payments with invoices easier.

Check digit calculation algorithm - Finnish reference number specific algorithm. Use the Finnish reference number calculator to validate the Finnish reference number that you generate.

Next number in sequence - A random input number that will be used as the starting number to generate the reference number. ( This is obvious because how would you generate Finnish reference if you don't have something to begin with. This can be the invoice number too if you don't want to use a new number. Just make sure that you are only using digits and the invoice number is not alphanumeric.)

Finnish reference controls

  • It is often recommended that the Finnish reference number has to contain the customer number or ID and the invoice number. It is after all a customer identification number. But this is not mandatory. It can have any random number as long as it follows the agreement with the bank regarding the number of digits and the check digit algorithm.

The reason for this recommendation is that it makes reconciliation easier this way. Because you can easily look at the bank statement to know which customer and invoice the payment should be mapped to. However, modern day billing and accounting tools make it easy for you to map the payment with the invoice even without the customer ID or the invoice number.

The Finnish reference number number is part of the invoice information and is also available when you export the invoices data in bulk to do the reconciliation. Finnish reference number is also present on every payment recorded in the bank statement. So it acts as a common identifier to help you map the payment with the invoice and thereby making reconciliation easier.

Let’s take some examples to see how the final generated number will look like

  1. Total Number of digits in Finnish reference number (agreed with the bank for deciding maximum number of digits possible) - 10
  2. Next number in Finnish reference number sequence - 123456
  3. Check digit algorithm - Specific to Finland

Final Finnish reference number generated = 12 34561