Horizon 2020 reports
How are the financial reports to be done?
For all types of H2020 projects, a financial report is to be produced for every reporting period. The reporting periods are stated in the Grant Agreement. The report shall be submitted to the European Commission within 60 days of the end of the current period.
Reporting is done in the form of a financial statement (Annex 4 to the Grant Agreement) which is filled in electronically at the European Commission website called the Participant portal.
The EU project is carried out at the relevant department, including accounting. The involved researcher and head of department are jointly responsible for managing the finances of the project, with the head of department having ultimate responsibility.
The European Commission requires the University Administration to sign the financial reports, which means that the University Director must sign them. This right is delegated to the director of finance and further on to financial officers in the Financial Administration and Procurement Division (AEU). Therefore, data for financial reports must be submitted to the AEU for validation and signing. Within H2020, the signing is done electronically, and the user role permitted to sign financial reports electronically is called FSIGN.
AEU maintains a register of current EU projects and their reporting dates. The register is continually updated and is used to distribute a reminder to the relevant department whenever a report date approaches. The name of the AEU administrator tasked with processing the report will be included in the reminder.
Please note that the reporting periods are sometimes changed over the course of the project through an amendment of the contract. Therefore, it is a good idea check the Participant portal ahead of reporting and to inform the AEU of any changes that may occur.
The financial administrator at the relevant department produces the financial report in consultation with the researcher. A checklist is available to download under Templates, which states what information must be compiled and submitted to the AEU. The financial report is added electronically in the Participant portal. For this to be possible, the financial administrator must be assigned the role of Participant contact for the project. The researcher responsible for the project may assign these roles.
To assist in writing reports, Raindance provides the reporting template Cost7, which groups the cost accounts into cost categories.
To convert the costs to EUR and summarise them correctly for the financial statement, there is a review template (“Avstämningsmall”) that is to be used. The review template is also used for deviations from the Cost7 report, i.e. any discrepancies between the reported costs and the costs that have been previously filed.
The cost presentation and underlying documentation is reviewed in order to ensure that the documentation is complete. After this, the material is submitted to the Financial Administration and Procurement Division for validation and signing.
NOTE: time reports are to be submitted in order to verify personnel expenses.
NOTE: travel expenses are to be verified with programmes/invites or equivalent that show the relevance of the cost to the project in question.
NOTE: VAT is not an eligible expense. In some cases, foreign VAT may be filed using a hotel invoice reimbursed through travel bills. Such expensed foreign VAT may not be part of reported costs. An exception is VAT that according to national legislation may not be lifted, i.e. VAT that is filed as part of, for instance, rental car expenses. In those cases, VAT may be reported.
Which EUR rate is to be used?
The currency exchange rate (conversion rate) that is to be used for reports is an average of the European Central Bank’s SEK/EUR rate for the entire report period. Every month, AEU will publish average rates for the most common reporting periods (12 months, 18 months, 24 months).
Who signs the financial report?
The financial report shall be signed by a qualified administrator at the AEU = FSIGN. FSIGN signs the report electronically in the Participant portal.
There are three FSIGNs at AEU: Patrik Armuand, Ellen Leijon och Margareta Uvhagen.
Documentation for the Financial Administration and Procurement Division (AEU) / auditors
Preliminary Financial Statement (PDF), “Review reported sum”, “compilation of salary expenses” and “compilation of travel expenses” are emailed to AEU and any assorted documentation is submitted via internal mail for review and authorisation. This includes Checklist/AEU H2020, Checklist/auditor H2020 which clearly state what information is to be compiled and submitted to the AEU (and possibly on to the auditor as well). Checklist/AEU is used when the project is not to be submitted for auditing. When the project is to be audited by an auditor, Checklist/auditor is used.
Time reports and submitting the financial Statement
Wait until the end of the month so that all costs are included in the report in Raindance (for instance, write-offs are filed at the end of month).
The project coordinator is in charge of collecting and submitting the financial report(s) and any audit certificates to the European Commission. In practice, this means that for all EU projects at Uppsala University, any reporting and auditing certificates must be completed within approximately 6 weeks following the end of the period in question.
If the accumulated direct de facto costs should exceed EUR 325 000, an auditing certificate (Certificate on financial statement – CFS) shall be issued. The auditing certificate shall always be enclosed with the final report, as it verifies that the reported expenses are valid and fulfils the requirements of the European Commission. Thus, there will never be more than one auditing certificate per project, even if the accumulated direct de facto costs should exceed EUR 325,000 times two.
Once the EU project has been audited, the AEU will forward any requested material to the auditing firm Ernst & Young, which UU has a framework agreement with for this service. AEU coordinates all auditing efforts and Ernst & Young are continuously updated on reporting dates for the University’s EU projects.
What does the auditing certificate entail?
The information in the financial report is reviewed, and the auditor must confirm that the reported costs for the period/periods have arisen during the relevant period and fulfils the criteria for grant-eligible costs. The regulations of the European Commission are used to decide whether the costs are grant-eligible or not. Requirements are steep, and all costs must be verified with reliable data.
Annex V to the Grant Agreement contains a detailed description of the auditing procedure that the auditor must follow. The auditing procedure was established by the European Commission.
Summary of the work process
- The responsible researcher and financial administrators at the relevant department review the expense account and underpinning documentation to ensure that there is no need for transfers and that the documentation is complete.
- The form “Avstämning redovisat belopp” is filled in by the relevant department in accordance with the Raindance report “Cost7”.
- A preliminary financial statement is made using a form at the Participant portal by the financial administrators of the department. All sums that are to be reported can be found on the form “Avstämning redovisat belopp”.
- Preliminary Financial statement (PDF), “Avstämning redovisat belopp”, “sammanställning lönekostnader” and “sammanställning resekostnader” are emailed to the Financial Administration and Procurement Division, and any assorted documentation is submitted via internal mail for review and validation.
- AEU analyses the financial reports and makes any necessary corrections.
- AEU informs the relevant department that the report is OK, and sends any pertinent auditing certificate to the department, which encloses it with the financial presentation in the Participant portal and clicks Save. The system asks the question “would you like to request that FSIGN sign and submit your Form C?” . Click yes to request FSIGN to submit.
- FSIGN signs the document electronically and submits it.
- The coordinator submits the document to the European Commission.