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Ease (y)our life: Technical and Financial Tips

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Presentation on theme: "Ease (y)our life: Technical and Financial Tips"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ease (y)our life: Technical and Financial Tips
EACI, European Commission Astrid Geiger, Head of Sector Market Replication Eco-Innovation Unit Ecoinnovators' Day – Brussels – 8 October 2012

2 Technical Financial Tips Overview Cost categories Amendments
Budget Shifts Profit Frequent mistakes

3 Good for your business Good for our work environment

4 ADVERTISE Photo: Edwina Alexander

5 International expansion New staff Turnover Environmental impacts
Share your results Media mentions International expansion New staff Turnover Environmental impacts Your own stories Deviations Media mentions: inform us about press articles, interviews, broadcasts, journal contributions, presence at conferences International expansion: we have projects that are not only active in Europe but that go abroad – Brasil, China, USA… Besides Environmental benefits, economic impacts of our projects are key to our success, so also let us know if you have new staff or increased your turnover Share with us your own stories: e.g. a small research & development unit became suddenly highly regarded as result of the successful new production – and were in the future consulted Deviations: even if you see things go wrong - inform us, and inform us on time! We are interested in successful projects, and often we can find solutions together. If there is no solution, we would like to understand why things went wrong (to prevent similar events in the future, to provide feedback to policy makers, to adapt our guidelines or reorient the programme)

6 Update the Project Information Sheet (PIS) Keep your website updated
Share your results Update the Project Information Sheet (PIS) Keep your website updated Info material Your products for our showcase Feedback to policy making Use layman report Always include our logo! Invite us Update the Project Information Sheet (PIS): it is the flag of your project, visible through our new project partner map. Remember to update "objectives" with real data once you progress in your project. Keep your website updated Info material: send us brochures, leaflets, even posters related to your project. We display the information at EACI and hand it out as good examples in important meetings Your products for our showcase: we keep the display cases in front of our offices to explain to visitors who we are and what we do. We move them from event to event (e.g. at European infoday) Feedback to policy making: this is our commitment, being the operational arm of DG ENV for Eco-innovation. We cannot lose touch with the ground, with you. We would like to help creating favourable business conditions and therefore need to know about barriers and facilitators encountered on your way. Use layman report: it should not only be a deliverable. Use it to promote your innovation to potential clients. We want you to continue your business and make money after our funding is over. Use your budget for preparing this. Always include our logo! Not only in times of Euro-scepticism, or when the future of our programme is discussed: we are proud on our projects and would like the public to know that we are behind this initiative. Invite us: let us know on-time about meetings, so that we can see if we can participate. This year we visited ~50 projects.

7 TEMPLATES Photo: mlhradio

8 Templates Timesheet Project information sheet Business plan
Reporting and financial statement Communication Guidelines Financial guidelines Simplify your life – and simplify our life Throughout the lifetime of the programme we designed templates for different purposes. Please use them and read the instructions how to use them. This can avoid back-and-forth communication between us and you and it can accelerate the processing of your files. The timesheet is optional. Use it to register the hours your staff is working on the project. You may use your own company timesheet as well. Business plan: There is an example for a business plan as a guidance document on our website. It is extensive and probably complete, and very helpful for inspiration. This year we have already received around 100 reports, half of which progress reports, and a quarter each interim or final reports. So please keep to the instructions in the reporting templates. There are communication guidelines available on the use of our logo, how to set up a good project website and write a good layman report. We also link to the very good LIFE website, where for you find valuable tips for any communication tool (leaflets, articles, press releases, posters…). Please: always use our logo on all your communication material! The financial guidelines have grown on the basis of previous experience with similar funding programmes. They should provide an answer to any of your questions.

9 Intellectual Property Rights
IPR: anticipate Consortium agreement? Provide technical information to the EACI Share information and disseminate project results Free service from Enterprise Europe Network: IPR needs to be anticipated: you are (hopefully) about to make business with your innovation, so clarify in advance who may use which results, and who will benefit from income etc. This can avoid later conflicts in the consortium. You may consider signing a consortium agreement in order to regulate IPR (do we have a template for that?) Even if you have to provide information to us (e.g. in project deliverables) and disseminate results: we will treat this within the technical confidentiality needed. In case of doubt: please mark your deliverables with "confidential"! There is a free service of the commission to assist you with any question related to IPR.

10 STAFF Photo: Donna Cymek

11 Staff Substantiate hourly rates Only "known" staff Freelance ‘staff’:
Work in your premises Take directions from you Outcome of work belongs to you Your own staff working: There is a template for you to calculate the correct hourly rates to be charged for the project. To facilitate our life, please add it to the final financial report. You can only include costs for staff, whose name is mentioned in Annex I. We will question, e.g. any travel made by another person. You may work with freelancers – under certain conditions 11

12 SUBCONTRACTING Photo: WilliamOlyOlson

13 Only for limited parts: Certain tasks / special expertise
Subcontracting Services not goods Only for limited parts: Certain tasks / special expertise Transparent selection, ideally 3 offers Clear contracts and invoices Not "between you" Don't lose touch You may also work with subcontractors, but only to a limited extend. You cannot subcontract goods, only services. If equipment is installed by a subcontractor, the equipment must be listed in the equipment cost category and depreciated accordingly. Cost categories should be clean – this is also checked in case of an audit. You may only subcontract limited parts of the action. Subcontractors should be selected on transparent grounds, to the best offer, taking into consideration price and quality (best value for money). Ideally, in a very simplified procedure, three different offers should be obtained and evaluated against common established criteria to ensure that each of them is treated fairly and equitably – using a simplified procedure. You may use your habitual subcontractor. Main criterion when subcontracting costs are being checked: best value for money. You cannot subcontract tasks between partners or between subdivisions of your company. When working with subcontractors: don't lose touch with them. 13

14 EQUIPMENT Photo: The University of Iowa Libraries

15 Depreciation must follow your national accounting rules
Equipment Inform us when: Renting equipment Selling equipment Depreciation must follow your national accounting rules There are special conditions when you rent equipment or when you want to sell it. Please inform us so that your costs are not rejected. Equipment costs must be depreciated, this is always a point during our contract negotiations before your project starts. You may only charge costs while the equipment is in use for the project and only up to the % of usage for the project – costs are automatically calculated in the Contract Preparation Forms (CPFs). As a general rule: depreciation must follow your national accounting rules. Important, e.g. for choosing the correct point of time when the depreciation starts: E.g. Delivery of the equipment? Commissioning of the equipment after installation?

16 AMENDMENTS Photo: dsevilla

17 Amendments when changes of:
Beneficiaries Name, legal status or bank details Annex I (if significant) Duration (exceptionally) Budget 100 amendments processed… Please help us to reduce them! Please do not report any small change in your work plan or budget to your project officer. Collect changes and include them in the next report. If you think it is a significant change, contact him/her directly to check if an amendment is necessary.

18 > One month before project ends to request amendment
Budget Shifts Two kinds Within flexibility of grant agreement: budget shift table needed Beyond flexibility: amendment > One month before project ends to request amendment Template & guidelines: Concerning amendments to the budget, the grant agreement allows for flexibility: No amendment is needed if you are within this flexibility – see grant agreement article I.4.4: e.g. transfer between cost categories below 20% of total costs. But please inform us together with a report. If the budget transfer is beyond the thresholds defined, be sure to send an amendment request the latest 1 month before the project ends, otherwise you risk not to be paid for the changes. In order for us to check whether the budget shifts are within the flexibility or not, you should send us a budget transfer request in both cases (an xls-file indicating the old and new values). If an amendment is needed, we will also need a new Annex II.


20 Careful with profit 400,000 (EU) + 300,000 (you) = 700,000 (total)
600,000 = 1,000,000 300,000 profit -300,000 You are allowed to generate income, even DURING the project. You may use it, for instance, as matched funding to the funding you receive from us. However, be careful with profit! This example shows a possible case on the left hand side. In the middle, the consequence of profit during the project is shown: the EU funding is reduced accordingly.

21 REMINDERS Photo: Deanna Wardin Photo: Gui Tavares

22 Reminder: Frequent mistakes
Complete? Correct reporting dates? VAT excluded? Invoices included (3 biggest)? Hourly rates correct? Audit report included? Incurred costs, not budgeted? We pay on average in ~60 days after receiving your reports. This does not count the "sleeping times", i.e. the days that pass while we wait for an answer from you. This is a list of frequent mistakes which can delay your payment, as we will have to get back to you with requests for clarifications/revisions.

23 Reminder: frequent mistakes
Project name on invoices? Correct depreciation of equipment? Report and book keeping coherent? Costs foreseen? Correct cost category? Contributions in kind as co-funding? Costs eligible? Take care: in case of an audit, all of this might be checked.

24 In case of doubt

25 In case of doubt The grant agreement: your reference Financial guidelines Contact us 

26 THANK YOU Photo: Cereal Box

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