Let F be a finite field of characteristic different from 2. We show that no bijective map transforms the permanent into the determinant when the cardinality of F is sufficiently large. We also give an example of a non-bijective map when F is arbitrary and an example of a bijective map when F is infinite which do transform the permanent into the determinant. The technique developed allows us to estimate the probability of the permanent and the determinant of matrices over finite fields having a given value. Our results are also true over finite rings without zero divisors.