Financial reporting for a Horizon 2020 project

subtopic

#41

Yes. I have been through an audit once. The last thing you want is to be asked “OK, what was THIS time for?” and not know the answer. And the audit will be centralized: the company will be asked the questions, whereas the staff won’t be in the room to answer.

This is not important, because we are aiming for human readability. An audit is the ultimate human reading.

The reason was discussed above:

I understand that. Easiest is to deal with it by introducing exceptions: this can be one such.


#42

Not really. It will also be:

  • equipment (office supplies for workshops, …)
  • indirect (like costs to set up this process if we don’t want to associate it to Edgeryders Core)
  • non-eligible (which we can still reimburse to people if we’re generous with our 20% but the system must know to not include this into the reporting template)

But I will change it so that travel is assumed by default, making h2020_costtype=… optional. And hide the other options in the process manual behind [details=…]…[/details].

Then ok, let’s make the process as you propose. I’m just warning that this will be not a perfect solution: people will forget making comments on some entries and nobody will check. (To have a process that ensures proper data quality here, we’d again need the “Kamai v2 + approval + audit trail” solution from above.) Anyway, it will be much better than no solution, and each time entry is always associated with a work package already via the signed time records (and that is the minimum sufficient information as per EU guidelines).


#43

I will check, and Noemi. Nobody gets paid until they have delivered the proper stuff: a bill and a timesheet, or a reasonably clear expenses claim. And yes, sometimes things will be unclear, especially five years down the line, but auditors know that too. :slight_smile:


#44

According to the process as it stands, that signed timesheet only mentions project, work packages, and hours per work package. That’s the minimum required by the EC, and the maximum that can be managed for manual copy&paste in the (otherwise low-overhead) system with SignRequest.

The rest (the notes per time entry) will be in various files, all put into a folder. In my case, I’ll upload a single .json file as saved by my time tracker. And nobody will want to go through that kind of mess every month before making payments.

Ok, so if you indeed want to check all time entry notes before making a payment, we could mandate again that everyone uses FreeAgent to upload their worktime information. (It doesn’t matter that there’s no audit trail in FreeAgent for this information, as it’s not formally required. Only the signed time records are.)

Let me know if that sounds like the right thing to do. If so, I also recommend we have at least one cross-platform time tracker that can upload to FreeAgent by API, to cut down on the rather annoying form-filling there. I could ask my brother to add this to tom-ui.


#45

Yes, of course you are right. But in practice, at least as we find our legs in this, it’s better to ask people to note what they have been doing. I decided to go back to OpenCare and look at a random bill. It turned out to be Owen’s, and he did proper time tracking (though I am not sure what “Pomodoro break” means).


#46

Ok, then we’ll go with “record time use at least one level of detail below the Work Package level” in the instructions. And “record at least daily aggregates at that level” (which is what FreeAgent collects; it does not collect start and end times). People could either use sub-tasks or notes, depending on their time tracker software. More or less any time tracker will be able to do this, so our process is tool-agnostic.

And then once per year before our reporting deadline, they’ll have to upload their full timekeeping records, in the original format and all useful export formats which their time tracker provides. If they keep their time tracking data inside FreeAgent, they are settled already and don’t have to do anything extra.

We’ll then spot-check that data while doing the yearly reporting tasks, to make sure it is detailed enough and aligns with the monthly signed time records. But due to the mess of formats and numbers, there is no economic way to do a full check. So to a degree, we will have to trust users that they simply took over the data from their time tracker into the signed time records, as they should. But at least we’ll have detailed data in store for an audit, and we avoid more admin and copy&paste tasks around this.

It’s not “proper IT” this way, but any real solution would quickly get out of hand: Kamai v2 + approval process + audit log + sync with a desktop time tracker like tom-ui.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique


#47

@alberto I adapted the manual at the top again, according to the results from the latest discussions. As far as I’m concerned, this can be considered the final version now.


#48

FYI I signed up for SignRequest Pro. We have a 7 days Free trial. Login data are on the usual wiki.