Research & Innovation - Participant Portal H2020 Online Manual

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Accounting Methodology Certifications

As a beneficiary of H2020 funding, you must keep supporting documents that may be required for:

  • voluntary certification of the methodology used to calculate unit costs (CoMUC)
    - for beneficiaries declaring direct personnel costs as unit costs
  • Ex-ante assessment on direct costing of large research infrastructures

Certificate on the methodology for unit cost (CoMUC)

The CoMUC is a factual report produced by an independent auditor. Its purpose is to enable the European Commission or grant awarding agency to:

  • identify your usual cost accounting practices
  • check that you have used a suitable unit cost accounting methodology (a methodology is suitable if it ensures that direct personnel costs declared as unit costs comply with the Grant Agreement).

Submitting a CoMUC methodology certificate

Submitting a CoMUC methodology certificate is optional. Doing so will help prevent problems later on if your grant is audited.

The certificate may be submitted at any time during the implementation of H2020 framework programme via e-mail to the following functional mailbox: H2020 Unit Cost Methodology Certification.

For more details, see the see the Grant Agreement (Article 18.1.2) for multi-beneficiary grants or mono-beneficiary grants.

Content and format

The CoMUC methodology certificate must be drafted in accordance with Annex 6 to the Grant Agreement and consist of:

  • the terms of reference, signed by the beneficiary/linked third party and the auditor/Public Officer.
  • The auditor's independent report of factual findings which includes a table
    • statements to be confirmed by the beneficiary/third party
    • all the procedures to be performed by the auditor and
    • all the standard findings to be confirmed by the auditor
    The report must be issued on the auditor's or Public Officer's letterhead, dated, stamped and signed by the auditor/Public Officer.

Assessment of methodologies

The Commission assesses methodologies against the criteria in the Grant Agreement and related Annotated Grant Agreement. It checks that:

  1. cost accounting practices are applied in a consistent manner, based on objective criteria, regardless of the source of funding;
  2. the hourly rate is calculated using the actual personnel costs recorded in the beneficiary's accounts, excluding any ineligible costs included in other budget categories;
  3. annual productive hours are calculated according to one of the three methods allowed in the grant agreement
    1. 1720 annual productive hours (pro-rata for persons not working full-time) or
    2. the total number of hours worked by the person for the beneficiary in the year (individual annual productive hours) or
    3. the standard number of annual hours generally applied by the beneficiary for its personnel in accordance with its usual cost accounting practices (must be at least 90% of the standard annual workable hours).

Response

Within 60 calendar days, you will normally receive an answer about the acceptance or rejection of the certificate.

Once the Commission has accepted a methodology certificate, that methodology can be considered approved for all actions until the end of the H2020 framework programme - unless checks by the Commission reveal that it is not being properly implemented.

Subsequent changes in methodology

You must notify the Commission of changes to the methodology you use. You may also submit a new certificate reflecting the changes.

CoMUC costs

The costs of producing a CoMUC methodology certificate are eligible as long as the methodology is approved by the Commission and related costs fulfil the eligibility conditions.

Contact

For any questions about the CoMUC you may contact the Horizon 2020 Helpdesk.

If you are running an FP7 project, please use the following email addresses to submit your certificates: Please use the Form E prepared for FP7 projects.

Ex-ante assessment on direct costing of large research infrastructures

Please read more details on the large research infrastructures in the following documents: