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Finance Helpdesk Newsletter #46

Upcoming Open Finance Helpdesk Workshops

FP7 Financial Reporting Clarification

Finance Helpdesk On Linkedin

New H2020 Budgeting tool available now

Pre-financing in H2020

H2020 Financial Audit Limits

H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie ITN Proposals

SME Instrument

Participant Portal Update coming

Q: What is the difference in H2020 between Flat Rates and Lump Sum?



Upcoming Open Finance Helpdesk Workshops:


If you are interested to learn more about H2020 issues, then please join us for one of our open Workshops being held in Austria and London-Heathrow.


In London Heathrow:

03/03/2014            2 Day Financial Workshop in London -Heathrow. **FULLY BOOKED**

05/03/2014            1 Day Getting ready for Horizon 2020 Workshop in London-Heathrow

06/03/2014            1 Day H2020 Proposal Writing Workshop in London – Heathrow


In Austria:

18/03/2014           1 Day Marie-Curie ITN, IAPP in FP7 Workshop in Vienna.

19/03/2014           1 Day Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions in H2020 (Individual Fellowships, ITN, RISE) Workshop in Vienna.

20/03/2014           1 Day ERC FP7 and H2020 Workshop in Vienna.

28/04/2014           2 Day Financial Workshop in Vienna, Austria.


Please note: If you wish to have a customised in-house workshop for your Organisation or Project, please contact us ASAP to close dates as we are very busy.



FP7 Financial Reporting Clarification


DG CNECT has issued some guidelines to all of their Coordinators recently that are producing financial reports.


“In DG CNECT projects, the following principles should be applied from now on by each beneficiary when filling the Use of Resources for a specific reporting period:


Principle 1: Costs claimed in the C-forms under "other direct costs" are considered as minor, if they are equal or less than 15% of claimed personnel costs for that reporting period. As a result, no details for costs below this threshold need to be reported, unless explicitly requested by the Commission.


Principle 2: If costs claimed in the C-forms under "other direct costs" are higher than 15% of claimed personnel costs for that reporting period, then major cost items need to be reported in the Use of Resources by the beneficiary to a level that the remaining costs are below 15% of claimed personnel costs for that reporting period.


Principle 3: If major cost items are to be reported in the Use of Resources, they need to be justified as follows:

  • By simple reference to the DoW, if the cost items have already been foreseen in the DoW

  • By giving the following supporting information, if the costs have not been foreseen in the DoW: reference to workpackage(s), item description, amount per item, nature of item, project relevance.

Please note:   The application of above principles only affects reporting and in particular does NOT waive the beneficiaries' contractual obligation to maintain adequate accounting records permitting direct reconciliation of the costs and receipts declared in respect of the project with the corresponding financial statements and supporting documents. These should be made directly available to the Commission upon request, in particular within the context of financial audits and controls.”


Finance Helpdesk on Linkedin:

It has come to our attention that there is a Linkedin group that is using our name. So far, they have ignored our requests to remove the term “Finance Helpdesk” from their description and have now completely blocked us as we were posting that they are not us.

We have been getting complaints about the group being full of spam etc.


The Finance Helpdesk does have an official Linkedin group which we will be using much more in the future. We would be happy for you to join us.



also, for those ofyou that are interested, we have a twitter account.



New H2020 Budgeting tool available now

The Finance Helpdesk has issued the first version of their budgeting tool for H2020.

To download please click here.


Note: Myer Morron will publish the first version of his H2020 Book shortly. Please follow us on Twitter or Linkedin to be the first to know.


Pre-financingin H2020:

Let us be completely clear on this subject.


The Commission do NOT want Coordinators to withhold pre-financing from partners. Pre-financing is supposed to be a float for partners to be able to produce the required work. Coordinators should not be making and keeping the interest that is generated from pre-financing that is withheld.


In the first projects in H2020, the pre-financing is going to be limited to approximately 40% – 50%. This is due to the Commission’s own cash flow issues.


H2020Financial Audit Limits:

There have been many contradicting time limits being given from 2 years, 3 Years and up to 5 Years.


Firstly, let us explain that the time limit starts from when you receive the balance of Payment from the Commission (Final Payment). It does not start from the project end date.


Regarding the time limit, as far as we are concerned, the different units can say, 2 year or 3-5 Years. The only thing that is important is that they are only talking about the limit as far as the Commission is concerned.

According to the EU Regulations of October 2012, the court of auditors has a 5 year limit. So we advise everybody to keep everything for the 5 year limit and ignore any lower limits that they may be told.


H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie ITN Proposals

Please note that an important part of MSC ITN projects is to train the researchers in skills complimentary to their research. The Finance-Helpdesk offers training in topics related to H2020 including financial rules and regulations, proposal writing, project management and contract negotiations. We will be joining some Consortia as a Partner organisation to provide such training. If you wish your proposal to be considered, then please contact us.


SME Instrument:


  • Most of the projects – both phases, are expected to be for 1 SME. If you have a consortium with more than 1 SME, the need for this will have to be addressed.

  • Only SMEs can be partners in this type of project

  • Other organisations can be included through sub-contracts.

There is a misconception about the funding for this type of project.


Phase I

  • Despite the current mistake in the SME Grant Agreement, this phase is a Lump Sum of 50,000 Euro.

  • Phase is up-to 6 Months long

  • Pre-financing rules apply

  • Time to Grant is 3 Months

Phase II

  • This is an Innovation Project. The funding is 70% of all eligible costs (including overheads) NOT 70% of Direct Costs + overheads on top. This works out as a net rate of 87.5, NOT 95. – Don’t get caught out.

  • In some instances which will be notified in the call, the funding rate will be upped to 100%. Probably mostly in some Health topics.

  • Pre-financing rules apply

  • Time to Grant is 6 months.

Participant Portal Update coming:

In December, the Participant portal was given a new look.

In about 2 weeks, the portal will be receiving a major upgrade to implement the shared Project Management system that those of you that have attended our Workshops have already seen.

The Finance helpdesk has been asked to conduct a review of the new Participant portal for the Commission. If any of you have specific comments, then please feel free to let us know.


Q: What is the difference in H2020 between Flat Rates and Lump Sum?


A: There is no real difference.

Flat rates tend to be on the basis of %, whereas Lump sums tend to be an amount.


The Finance HelpdeskTeam.



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