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Finance Helpdesk Newsletter #4

26.06.2006 - Finance Helpdesk Newsletter

 

Audit Certificates

Assessment on the Influence of Financial Personnel within FP6

Bank Transfer Charges

Collective Financial Responsibility

Finance Helpdesk Leaflet Translations

How to deal with VAT and Taxes in FP6 Projects

FP7 Financial Rules

Financial Helpline

Finance Helpdesk Workshops

 

Audit Certificates:

There are many questions attached surrounding Audit Certificates some are:

-          Why have Audit Certificates?

-          How much should an Audit certificate Cost?

-          What is a Competent Public Officer and can I use one?

 

The Finance Helpdesk has produced a leaflet to provide some more information on this subject.

To view the leaflet click here.

 

Assessment on the Influence of Financial Personnel within FP6:

Financial Personnel with little or no knowledge of the financial benefits of participating in the Framework Program are blocking their organisations – mostly SMEs - from joining proposals from an ill-informed purely financial perspective.

 

The Finance-NMS-IST project have produced a report based on an assessment of the influence of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) or other financial personnel within the New Member States on their organisation’s participation in FP6 IST Proposals

 

Until this report, the influence of CFOs and financial personnel on their organisation’s participation in IST proposals within the different NMS was largely unknown.

 

The financial person in an organisation holds a very responsible position and exerts a considerable influence, particularly in SMEs, where the running of the company is very much dependent on its finance and cash flow management. It is therefore a matter of importance for the Commission to understand the issues and influences of such people.

 

The study reports in detail the influence of the CFO and other financial personnel within the IST priority of FP6.  It determines the different levels of influence in all the targeted countries, within two different organisation types (SMEs and Universities / Research Institutes), and whether organisations that choose not to participate in FP6 IST proposals did so due to perceived funding problems. The report further elaborates the results in order to better understand the problems encountered by these organisations - public and private - in the process of being involved in EU FP6 projects.

 

To view the report, please press here.

 

Bank Transfer Charges:

These are a sore point.

In FP5 and prior FPs, the Commission had included in contracts that the coordinator has to transfer money to the partners net of bank charges.

In FP6 contracts, no mention is made of this and many Coordinators are therefore saying that the partners bear all the bank charges.

In fact, we believe that the Coordinator should pay them and then claim them back under the management activity were they are eligible costs and are covered at 100%.

The fact that the Commission no longer mandates it should not be taken that they no longer think this is appropriate.

 

Collective Financial Responsibility:

There has been a lot of misunderstandings and confusion surrounding the Collective Financial Responsibility that was introduced in FP6 projects.

 

The Finance Helpdesk has produced a leaflet which tries to explain things.

To view the leaflet click here.

 

Finance Helpdesk Leaflet Translations:

The Finance Helpdesk leaflets

 “How to Calculate Employer Personnel Costs in FP6”

 “How to Correctly Record Personnel Costs within FP6 projects”

 “Use of Third Parties in FP6 Projects”

are now available in Czech, Polish and Slovenian.

In addition, the leaflets have been adapted to the local market and been translated to Latvian.

To view these leaflets, please click here.

 

How to deal with VAT and Taxes in FP6 Projects:

One of the most common questions the Finance Helpdesk receives via the Helpline is on claiming VAT and other Taxes.

 

The Finance Helpdesk has produced a leaflet to provide some more information on this subject.

To view the leaflet click here.

 

FP7 Financial Rules:

Even though there are only a few months till FP7 is launched, many financial aspects are far from clear. The following are ten of the expected main changes/clarifications, but we shall have to wait for the EU formal documents to know them all and to have confirmed those we have listed.

 

1.       All cost models cancelled (including AC). - Instead, one basis of claiming but with different funding levels and different overhead rates.

2.       Funding:

a.       SME’s 75% funding;

b.       Universities and non-profit organizations 75% funding;

c.       Others 50% funding.

3.       Overheads per normal accounting for organisation or, failing that, a fixed rate (not requiring audit) of 20% (or perhaps 30%?) of all direct costs.

4.       University “permanent” staff costs can also be claimed, not just temporary staff (warn your professors now that they will also need to record their time if the cost is to be recovered!).

5.       NoE’s will not need to report costs of integration or the reporting will be “more generous” so that funding based on number of students etc can be justified.

6.       Coordinators will have more control and power – so the consortium agreement will be more important – so as to ensure that all partners get their fair share of funding.

7.       Funding per partner need not be per original budget or actual costs, but as per consortium agreement.

8.       Fewer audit reports.

9.       All costs must be in accordance with the organisation’s normal accounting practice.

10.   No collective financial responsibility – instead a fund will be created to recover payments to contractors who are in liquidation/bankruptcy. 2%(?) of all funding (except  public institutions?) will be deducted and held by the EU in the special reserve account for this purpose.

 

Finance Helpdesk Workshops:

The Finance Helpdesk will be holding a series of Financial Workshops on the new Financial Rules of FP7.

We are currently looking for collaboration in holding these workshops.

If you wish to work together with the Finance Helpdesk and Host either an Internal or Public Financial Workshop, then please contact us here.

The workshops will start from September. In our opinion, it is premature to hold FP7 Financial Workshops or FP7 Proposal Writing Workshops prior to this, as there is insufficient information available.

 

Financial Helpline:

If you received notification of this newsletter by email, then you have already registered with the Finance Helpdesk, which allows you use the free, confidential, Financial Helpline facility.

If you are not registered then please do so here.

 

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