Audit and certification of EU-funded projects

The European Union has supported science and innovation in Europe with framework programmes for many years. In 2010, the Council of the European Union approved the Europe-2020 strategy, which follows the Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs in Europe.

Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) was not only drafted as successor to the 7th Framework Programme (2007 – 2013), but its objective is to cover the entire innovation chain with the integration of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and parts of the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP). From basic research to the development of new products and services, different forms of funding and instruments will be supported. A sum of more than 77 billion Euro of funding is available for this purpose. More detailed and structured information about the support programme Horizon 2020 can be obtained from the Federal Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the National Contact Point for this EU programme. Home - Horizont 2020

It is a challenge for all universities, research institutions and enterprises to comply with the rules for participation. Crowe Horwath Trinavis has specialised in providing guidance regarding funding areas, rules for participation, forms and instruments of funding to its clients. We show them ways and solutions to get access to and help them to maintain their eligibility for funding. We prepare audit certificates, give advice for preparing cost statements and for questions in connection with project accounting, and we train their staff and project partners about the EU financial regulations and audits.

It is useful to be accompanied by an experienced consultant and auditor, as the EU as a funding agency supervises adherence to the financial regulations closely and now audits about 40 % of all funded projects. What are the results and effects of this situation?

The European Court of Auditors published in its 2012 Annual Report that

  • about 50% of all research projects they audited are affected by error;
  • the reasons for errors are mainly that ineligible costs were included in cost claims and the application of incorrect methods to calculate personnel and indirect costs.

In our experience, these and other errors are the reasons why significant amounts are recovered from recipients by the Commission and more penalties are imposed. Furthermore, an extrapolation of these errors also affects other projects implemented and funded by the beneficiary.

So as to avoid such consequences for the beneficiaries of EU funds, a consultant who has worked as an auditor for the EU for many years and who is familiar with the legal and regulatory framework is particularly advantageous.

Trinavis knows how the European Commission works from many years of direct and close co-operation:

  • Since 1999, starting with the 4th Research Framework Programme, Trinavis has been working as an auditor for the EU continuously;
  • We have audited more than 400 research projects for the EU
  • More than 50 audits have been completed for the Executive Agencies TEN-E, TEN-T (now INEA), EACI (now EASME) and EACEA, as well as for the Joint Undertakings Clean Sky, Innovative Medicines Initiative and Fuel Cells and Hydrogen
  • To date, we conducted more than 250 certifications in the 6th and 7th 4th Research Framework Programmes for universities, research institutes and enterprises of all sizes
  • Furthermore, we performed about 40 audits of humanitarian aid organisations for DG ECHO
  • Our many years of experiences also cover the certification of cost statements of the European Social fund (ESF) and
  • We have worked as First Level Controller for various partners of INTERREG IV B and IV C projects

Overview of our services

  • Voluntary or mandatory certification of project cost statements;
  • Preparation of Certificates of Methods (CoM, CoMAv);
  • Support for claiming costs and preparing cost statements;
  • Reviewing and fine-tuning of your project cost statements, of the calculations of personnel costs or of indirect cost for conformity with the requirements of the European Commission;
  • General advice in connection with all questions of interpreting the financial regulations;
  • Training your staff and project partners about the EU financial regulations and audits.



Thomas Goebel
vereidigter Buchprüfer, Steuerberater
[Sworn Auditor, Tax Consultant]

Phone: +49 30 89 04 82 - 221

Dr. Marlies Böttcher 

Phone: +49 30 89 04 82 - 325