CFS Certificates

A Certificate on Financial Statements (CFS) is needed by beneficiaries (and linked third parties) requesting a total of € 325 000 or more as reimbursement (of actual costs and unit costs).

Programmes HorizonEU L+F   H2020 L+F  

Published on | 3 months ago

Last updated on | 3 months ago

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Nico Deblauwe

Official information

We refer for this to the H2020 online manual and/or to the HorizonEU online manual.

Key to know

A CFS only needs to be supplied as part of the final financial report (in compliance with Article 20.4(b)(ii)).

Only for actual costs (in the categories personel, subcontracting & other indirect costs) and unit costs. You don't have to take into account the received prefinancing, nor lump sums or flat rates (e.g. you indirect costs).

Different rules for Horizon Europe

For Horizon Europe, be aware that the documents on the F&T Portal now cover most of the centrally funded EU programmes, the online manual now also refers to the generic corporate version of the model grant agreement. The threshold mentioned is € 325 000 (of the requested EU contribution).

For Horizon Europe, the threshold of EUR 325 000 mentioned in the basic act referred only to direct actual costs and unit costs based on usual accounting practices, similar to H2020. This led to some confusion about how the threshold was calculated, in particular in cases where beneficiaries requested less funding than they were entitled to.

For Horizon Europe, the implementation of the threshold has been simplified: it is based on the full requested EU contribution, thus not distinguishing any more between [direct actual costs and unit costs calculated in accordance with usual cost accounting practices] and other cost forms that were in H2020 excluded from the threshold – e.g. the indirect cost flat rate).

To come to a comparable level with the EUR 325 000 amount of the HE legal basis, statistical analysis lead to an amount of EUR 430 000 full requested EU contribution (corresponding to the EUR 325 000 in the HE legal basis, covering only parts of the EU contribution).

Who can draw up a CFS?

The CFS certicficate has to be made by a qualitified auditor, like described here in beneath:

"qualified to carry out statutory audits of accounting documents in accordance with Directive 2006/43/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2006 on statutory audits of annual accounts and consolidated accounts, amending Council Directives 78/660/EEC and 83/349/EEC and repealing Council Directive 84/253/EEC or simular national regulations."

And the auditor...

  • must be independent from the Beneficiary (and the Linked Third Party), in particular, it must not have been involved in preparing the (Beneficiary's) (Linked Third Party's) Financial Statement(s);
  • must plan work so that the Procedures may be carried out and the Findings may be assessed;
  • must adhere to the Procedures laid down and the compulsory report format;
  • must carry out the engagement in accordance with this ToR;
  • must document matters which are important to support the Report;
  • must base its Report on the evidence gathered;
  • must submit the Report to the (Beneficiary) (Linked Third Party).

Qualified auditors in Belgium

We refer to the IBR for a public list of auditors that are certified to execute such a control.

How much does it cost?

The costs for such an audit depend on many factors (size of project, complexity, ...) and can be estimated to be somewhere between € 2500 an € 8000.

The costs of producing a CFS are eligible as long as it was mandatory and the related costs fulfil the eligibility conditions. The costs of a mandatory CFS can be eligible in the last reporting period only.

EC webinar on CFS

On 2021-05-19, the Common Audit Services of the EC organised a webinar to provide information and clarifications to potential providers of CFS on the modalities of Horizon 2020 rules. The content might also be interesting for Horizon 2020 beneficiaries having to submit CFS.

This is available on the Funding & Tenders Portal, below you can find also direct links.

Additional information

There is plenty of further information to be found. Below you can find a curated list of interesting links. NCP Flanders is by no means affiliated to any of the listed information providers, nor can we be held liable for the content. We however do try to keep it up-to-date and check for correctness.


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