Grant bodies such as Innovate UK (a trading name of the Technology Strategy Board) often require the awardee to obtain external scrutiny of the grant claims made for a project. Assurance reports from an external accountant are usually required twice over the life of a project, although this can vary depending on the value of the award. Grant monies are usually only paid after the assurance report is received so obtaining the report efficiently is important.
Working closely with many of our R&D clients over the years, we have developed an efficient and cost-effective process to provide these assurance reports for grant projects. We often get asked similar questions when working with new awardees, so have included below a few pointers to help new grant awardees to get everything in place that they need.
- For labour costs, we suggest putting a timesheet system in place if there are multiple projects, or if staff are also spending time on admin’ activities. Timesheets should be signed off to evidence that time has been allocated to the grant project appropriately.
- Grant bodies usually require labour costs to be claimed only in respect of staff directly employed, so ensure that employment contracts are in place.
- Other non-labour costs (for example materials), need to be supported by copy invoices. A system needs to be in place to ensure only grant eligible costs are claimed. For example, for Xero users, a project tracking system can be used.
- For most grants, costs claimed must be paid within the period not just invoiced (unless it is the final claim for Innovate projects). This often leads to problems with claiming PAYE/NIC costs which haven’t been paid until after a period end. We suggest re-working the day rate calculations in these cases for the final month of a period to exclude PAYE and NIC.
Please contact us today if you are applying for or have recently won a grant award to discuss how we can help you to efficiently meet your reporting requirements.