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Article 170 of the EC Financial Regulation states that “each financing agreement or grant agreement or grant decision must expressly provide for the Commission and the Court of Auditors to have the power of audit, on the basis of documents and on-the-spot visits, over all contractors and subcontractors who have received EU funds”.

Accounting and book-keeping system

Grant Beneficiaries should keep accurate and regular accounts of the implementation of their actions using an appropriate accounting and double-entry book-keeping system. These system may either be an integrated part of the organisation’s regular system or an adjunct to that system, and should be run in accordance with the accounting and bookkeeping policies and rules that apply in the country/ies concerned.

Accounts and expenditure relating to an Action must be easily identifiable and verifiable. This can be done by using separate accounts for the Action concerned or by ensuring that expenditure be easily identified and traced to and within the Grant Beneficiary’s accounting and bookkeeping systems.

Accounts must provide details of interest accruing on funds paid by the Contracting Authority so they can be deducted from the payment of the final balance if necessary.

The Grant beneficiary must ensure that the financial reports (both interim and final) can be properly and easily reconciled to its accounting and bookkeeping system and to the underlying accounting and other relevant records. For this purpose the Grant Beneficiary shall prepare and keep appropriate reconciliation, supporting schedules, analyses and breakdowns for inspection and verification.

Ex-post audits and verifications

The Grant Beneficiary will allow the European Commission, the European Anti-Fraud Office, the European Court of Auditors and any external auditor authorised by the Contracting Authority to verify, by means of on-the-spot checks, the implementation of the Action and conduct a full audit based on control of supporting documents, accounting documents and any other document relevant to the financing of the Action.

Documents must be easily accessible and filed so as to facilitate their examination and the organisation must inform the EC of their precise location.

These inspections may take place up to 7 years after the payment of the balance.

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