The audit obligation depends on the funding scheme. You can check the terms and conditions attached to the funding decision to see whether the audit obligation applies to your funding.
Funding decisions on research infrastructures, strategic research, flagships, Centres of Excellence (CoE) and university research profiling are subject to the obligation regardless of the total amount granted (individual decision or consortium in total). The eight-year CoE term is split into two parts (5 + 3 years).
The audit obligation also applies to those Academy Programme funding decisions where the total funding granted by the Research Council (individual decision or consortium in total) exceeds 1 million euros.
We may also request the auditor’s report separately, if necessary. In addition, we may commission a sample-based audit in accordance with our own annual audit plan.
The audit obligation, the project implementation and the compliance with the terms and conditions are always examined in line with the terms in force at the time of the decision. A funding decision may also be accompanied by special conditions. The audit proceeds based on the report template, taking into account the funding scheme audited and crossing out unnecessary sections. Make sure to contact the auditor in good time before the end of the funding period. The final approval of the costs will be given only after the project’s audit report has been submitted to the Research Council.
The audit is a way to ensure that the reported cost accrual corresponds to the total costs of the project. The costs must have been incurred during the funding period mentioned in the funding decision, taking into account any extensions granted. The only costs partly incurred after the funding period that are accepted are the costs of the auditor’s report. As the audit costs must be included in the final payment request, it is important that the audit invoice is delivered promptly.
Costs incurred before the start of the project will not be accepted, regardless of when they were paid. Similarly, costs incurred after project completion will not be accepted. However, the invoice may be dated after the funding period, provided that the cost has accrued on an accruals basis during the project. For example, invoices for outsourced services may arrive and may be paid only after the end of the validity of the funding decision. The invoice is acceptable as project costs if the work on which the invoice is based was carried out while the decision was active.
In the project’s books, the project costs must be identifiable and their connection with the accounting and reporting must be visible. For example, the costs may be identifiable by decision number or cost pool. As a rule, the Research Council's funding terms and conditions always require that that the hours worked on the project are tracked. If the work-time tracking has not been set up as required, the salaries of the person in question might not be accepted as project costs. The person’s supervisor or the project PI shall confirm the hours worked in such a way that they are recorded in the tracking system.
The auditor’s report must be submitted to the Research Council's Registrar’s Office within three months of the end of the funding period. The cost of the auditing must be included in the last request for payment. The auditor’s report template is available on the page How to use funding (under ‘Forms’), and it serves as the basis of the audit regardless of when the funding decision was made.