Have you ever heard of the Certificate on Financial Statements (CFS)? If you are a H2020 grant beneficiary, you should definitely be familiar with it!
What is the CFS?
The Certificate on Financial Statement is an obligatory audit document for all projects with grants above 325 000 EUR. It should be issued by an independent auditor, cover the direct costs of your project and submitted together with your final report.
How does the CFS work in practice?
- The beneficiary selects the auditor to audit their financial statements. Yes, that’s correct – the auditor is not imposed by the European Commission. Just choose an independent person with legal rights to perform audits. A good practice is to find an auditor with H2020 experience. It will definitely make the process smoother.
- The auditor selects a sample of your direct costs and checks their eligibility and compliance with H2020 rules (best value for money, calculation methodology for personnel etc). Remember that indirect costs are not subject to audit.
- After the review, the auditor issues the Certificate on Financial Statements which includes the list of the audit findings – discrepancies, irregularities, remarks. The CFS should be prepared on the specific template.
- The CFS is submitted to the European Commission together with the final report – within 60 days after the project end date. If your grant is above 325 000 EUR you cannot close your project successfully without providing it to the EC.
- The EC accepts your final report and issue the final payment taking into account the audit conclusions.
Since the CFS audit is quite time consuming, make sure to start the process in advance to avoid any delays with the report approval and the final payment launch. The good news is that the CSF cost is eligible so you can afford it.
If you have any doubts on the CFS do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org