Audits in Horizon 2020

The audits prescribed in Horizon 2020 are designed to ensure that the project is in compliance with the relevant Grant Agreement (GA) and correctly implemented.

There are different types of audits, which have different purposes and are carried out by different bodies:

Certificate on the Financial Statements (CFS)

More detailed information can be found under "Certificate on the Financial Statements (CFS)"

Certificate on the Methodology (CoMUC)

This certificate is optional and serves to confirm that the method used by the beneficiary for calculating average personnel costs is in compliance with the Horizon 2020 rules. Since average personnel costs are not frequently applied in Austria within Horizon 2020 projects, this audit option is rarely used.

Audit by the EU Commission

The focus of this "second level audit" is usually on the financial aspects of project implementation. Such audits may be conducted either by members of the EU Commission or by appointed external auditors.

Please note: Also eventual third parties may be subject to a check, review or audit! As a beneficiary, you should therefore (contractually) ensure that the EU Commission can exercise these rights against any third party. In this respect you may use our Sideletter as template.

Any non-eligible costs revealed by the audit will be reclaimed or deducted from the next interim payment. If systematic errors are detected, the findings from the audit may also be extended to other projects or periods ("extension of findings"). Audits may also have other financial and administrative consequences.

Please note: The beneficiary concerned must preserve all records/evidence from the start to the end of the audit (including "follow-up") and make them available upon request.

The costs incurred for an audit within the project duration are, in principle, eligible for funding under Horizon 2020.


  1. Notification by the EU Commission via the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal or by registered letter
  2. Examination of documents ("desk review") by the EU Commission/the auditor
  3. If required: an additional on-the-spot visit by the EU Commission/the auditor
  4. Drafting and sending of the audit report (which contains the findings) by the EU Commission/the auditor to the beneficiary
  5. The beneficiary concerned is given 30 days to formally notify observations ("contradictory audit procedure")
  6. Finalising and sending of the audit report and the so-called "letter of audit conclusions (LoC)"
  7. If required: follow-up (e.g. in the event of cost rejection, reduction in funding)

Please note: Any cost adjustments necessary as a result of the audit will be made by the EU Commission itself, the beneficiary concerned does not have to take any steps in this respect.


Evidence and records

The beneficiaries must keep records providing evidence of compliance with contractual and legal obligations and the costs charged, and must provide them/make them available to the EU Commission upon request. The records must be preserved for at least 5 years after the balance payment, or beyond for ongoing processes.

As a rule the beneficiaries must retain the originals of the documents. Digital and digitised documents are allowed in Austria, for which they will be accepted by the EU Commission (if they meet the national statutory requirements). Non-original documents may be accepted by the EU Commission.

In addition, time-sheets must be kept to provide evidence of personnel costs.

If beneficiaries charge costs for which they have not provided proper evidence according to the Horizon 2020 provisions, the EU Commission may refuse to accept these costs.

Please note: The beneficiaries are responsible for ensuring that their linked third parties also fulfill these obligations!

Records to be preserved in the 7th Framework Programme (FP7): at least 5 years after the END of the project!


More detailed information can be found ...


More detailed information can be found …

Audit by the European Court of Auditors

This 'third level audit' conducted by the European Court of Auditors serves to review the work of the EU Commission and may also include the beneficiaries and any third parties involved.


T 0043577554008
Mag. Tamara-Katharina MITISKA
Mag. Tamara-Katharina MITISKA
T 0043577554009
Robert WOREL
Robert WOREL
T 0043577554611