Tips and tricks to avoid stressing over the preparation of your Horizon 2020 periodic reports
As you carry out your Horizon 2020 project you have to follow the strict deadlines and rules as set out by the European Commission. The elaborate periodic reports are often seen as a hassle and too much work in a complicated IT system. While actually, it is a nice tool to update the consortium in detail about the work performed, as well as providing the necessary update to the EC. In this article, we will give you some tips and tricks to avoid stressing over the timely submission of your Horizon 2020 periodic reports.
Parts of the H2020 technical report
The periodic reports of your project include a technical part A and B, and the financial statements of all partners.
In part A of your technical report, you will provide an update on the deliverables, milestones, risks and dissemination activities, but also prepare the publishable summary of your work so far. The summary will be published in the CORDIS database, so be aware not to include any sensitive/confidential information.
Part B is the elaborate part; you will have to describe all your tasks per work package and explain any deviations from the initial plan.
The third part is the individual financial statements (formerly known as Form C).
The sum of the total costs declared during this period is the amount you will receive to spend in the next period. Be smart about this: spending more money than necessary will leave your project without funding for the next or last period. Underspending will result in that you have less money to spend during the next period, accumulating the budget in future periods. Be aware that you should mention major differences in your part B of the technical report.
How to prepare your H2020 periodic report
Our tips and tricks to cope with preparing the upcoming report:
- You will be notified via the ECAS portal 2 months ahead of the deadline of your report. Start earlier with involving your consortium and let them know what you expect of them;
- Set the timelines for when you expect input and when you have planned the reviewing rounds;
- Prepare templates for the partners to let them know exactly what to do. The template for part B is available in the portal;
- Ask the Work Package Leaders for their input and the input from the partners in that Work Package;
- Chunk up the work and don’t spam partners if no input is expected from them;
- Take all the input seriously and if you are not using the input, explain why;
- Take a look at the ‘questionnaire’, which is included in part A, and make sure also to ask for input for this section, including dissemination of the project, societal impact and gender balance;
- Make time to explain the financial statement requirements to your partner, if needed;
- After submission of the report, the EC will have 90 days to review the report and provide the interim payment. If something is missing, you will have to submit again, and the EC will have an additional 90 days. Therefore, it is worthwhile to do it right the first time;
- Provide a Certificate on Financial Statement in the final reporting, only if your personnel and direct costs exceed €325.000.
We can help you with your reports to the EC with our modular Horizon 2020 Project Management services. Reach out to find out what we can do for you.