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Finance Helpdesk Newsletter #19

Upcoming Open Workshops

Use of on-line URF and NEF

FP7 Marie-Curie Financials

Marie Curie Categories

Lump-Sum/Flat-Rate

Certificate on Financial Statement (CFS)

Marie Curie Financial Audit Requirements

Filling in Form C – Marie Curie

Employment Contracts

 

Upcoming Open Workshops:

 

The Finance Helpdesk will be holding Workshops on 11 & 12 August 2008, in Edinburgh, Scotland, during the Edinburgh Festival. (Edinburgh International Festival: http://www.eif.co.uk/  The Edinburgh Festival Fringe: http://www.edfringe.com/ )

 

11/08/2008     1 Day FP7 Financial Workshop in Edinburgh, Scotland.

12/08/2008     1 Day Marie Curie Workshop in Edinburgh, Scotland.

 

16/09/2008     1 Day Marie Curie Financial Workshop in Brussels, Belgium.

17/09/2008     1 Day FP7 Financial Workshop in Brussels, Belgium.

18/09/2008     1 Day FP7 Contract Negotiation and Project Kick-off Workshop in Brussels, Belgium.

19/09/2008     1 Day Proposal Writing Workshop in Brussels, Belgium.
23/09/2008     3 Day in-depth FP7 Financial Workshop in Brussels, Belgium.

Use of on-line URF and NEF:

As reported in the previous newsletter there is now a web site that allows companies to register on-line with the Unique Registration Facility (URF). http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/urf_en.html  There are two ways to enter the system:

1.       As a new registrant

2.       To modify an existing registration

 

However we would like to bring to your attention several critical aspects of the registration process. This is really a multi part operation as follows:

1.       For initial registrants you must first register – no detailed financial or company information is required at this stage. After requesting to register, you will receive an email inviting you to complete the registration process

2.       When you click on the link provided in the registration email you enter a site that allows you to fill in some further company details. These include company number; VAT registration; Address; Language information; company status; overhead calculation method and SME determination data.  Shortly after you are provided, again by email a confirmation note containing your PIC number to be used in future proposal submissions (but with a 48 hour delay).

3.       The next stage is only required if your consortium is invited to contract negotiations at which time you must appoint a LEAR who can then update the URF information if required as it is automatically copied into the GPF forms used as part of the NEF process.

4.       In order to appoint a LEAR, you need to download two forms from http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/urf-lear_en.html They both need to be signed and stamped and mailed to the validation team.

5.       In parallel you may also need to supply detailed financial information on your organisation.

 

FP7 Marie-Curie Financials:

The rest of the newsletter covers some points specific to Marie Curie Actions.

Please note that the information provided below may change as the Commission produce more documentation. If we find that any of the information we provide below changes, then we will address this in future newsletters.

 

Marie Curie Categories:

EU Funding for Marie-Curie Actions is split into the following Categories:

Category A (Living Allowance)

Category B (Mobility Allowance + Travel)

Category C (Career Exploratory Allowance)

Category D (Contribution to participation expenses of eligible researchers)

Category E (Contribution to the research/training/transfer of knowledge program expenses)

Category F (Contribution to organisation of international conferences, workshops, events)

Category G (Management activities including audit certification)

Category H (Towards Overheads)

Category I (Other Expenses)      

 

Lump-Sum/Flat-Rate:

Within Marie Curie, EU funding is given for the most part as Lump-Sum or Flat-Rate for each of the above categories. An important exception is Category G (Management activities including audit certification).

Lump-Sum is a fixed amount for a specific type of activity. E.g. Career exploratory allowance (Category C).

Flat-Rate can be considered a synonym for scale of unit costs i.e. Amount per unit of measurement – Quantity x Rate. In the case of Category A Living allowance, this is therefore calculated as:  man months * annual rate (E.g.34,500 EURO per researcher per year for an early stage researcher)

The term Flat-Rate can also be used with percentages. E.g. In the case of Category H (Overhead Calculation) EU contribution is calculated as a percentage of direct costs e.g. for an Individual fellowship (IEF, IOF, IIF), 10 % of direct costs except for subcontractors and the costs of the resources made available by third parties which are not used in the premises of the beneficiary

 

Certificate on Financial Statement (CFS):

A CFS is required for Marie Curie projects where the following cumulative conditions hold true:

a)      Part of the EU funding is not given as Flat-Rate or Lump-Sum. E.g. Management Activities (Category G). EU funding for Category G is given on the basis of eligible direct actual costs.

b)      A Certificate on Financial Statement is mandatory for every claim (interim or final) in the form of reimbursement of costs whenever the amount of the EC contribution is equal or superior to EUR 375,000 when cumulated with all previous payments for which a CFS has not been submitted. Once a CFS is submitted, the threshold of EUR 375,000 applies again for subsequent EC contributions but the count starts from 0.

 

·          Where a CFS is required, it should cover all categories (A to I).

·          Importantly, a CFS is not required where all EU funding in a project is given as Lump-Sum or Flat- Rate.

 

Marie Curie Financial Audit Requirements:

Importantly, for funding given by the EU on the basis of Flat-Rate or Lump-Sum, the Commission, its representatives and European court of Auditors will not focus on actual costs incurred I.e. they will not for the most part require evidence of actual eligible direct costs incurred. However, there are a number of checks an auditor will make. Examples of these include:

·          Checking triggering events e.g. how many months a researcher actually worked.

·          How much money was paid to the researcher?

·          Did the researcher receive all monies due to him/her?

·          Was a Career Exploratory award paid to the researcher (where applicable)?

·          In the case of Travel Allowance, amounts should be paid to the research fellow and no evidence of travel need be shown. I.e. the researcher need not prove if he/she did actually incur travel expenses in the middle of a project.

 

Filling in Form C – Marie Curie:

The Reporting Categories should be filled in next to the following rows on the Form C:

 

Lump-Sum/Flat-Rate:  Categories A,B,C,D,E,F, I

Direct Actual Costs: Category G (Management)

Subcontracting: e.g. Audit Certificate Costs, etc.

Indirect Costs: Category H (Overheads)

 

Employment Contracts:

In Marie Curie actions, the Commission expects to see employment contracts between the researcher and the host organisation. Stipends are an exception and used, for example, if there is a problem with work permits.

 

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