Managing, Certifying, Intermediate and Audit Authorities face a number of challenges, when implementing financial control and audit requirements of the current programming period 2014-2020. The first proposal for the Regulatory Framework for Structural Funds 2021-2027, aiming among others, simplification in management of funds, flexibility to respond to emerging needs, more potential to financial instruments, will bring new practical questions. New regulations and requirements as well as some old issues can be challenging for professionals dealing with audit and control of ESI Funds.Download Programme Share
Managing Authorities and Intermediate Bodies have to conduct administrative and on-the-spot verifications in order to ensure efficient and reliable first level control procedure. Not only eligibility of expenditures and compliance with complex State aid and public procurement rules have to be considered, but especially the new obligations, related to the Assurance Package, such as drawing up, certifying and submitting Annual Accounts to the EC, still raise a number of questions to first level controllers.
Furthermore Managing Authorities, Certifying Authorities and Intermediate Bodies have to be aware of the new audit requirements in order to be best prepared for audit visits. The day-to-day obligation of Audit Authorities is to conduct audit on operations, audit on projects, audit on payment claims, which causes such difficulties as choosing the right sampling method, handling of error rates and auditing of state aid and public procurement. Besides, Audit Authorities have to meet new requirements and assessment criteria in system audit and audit of accounts, and effectively conduct audit of management declaration.
Irregularities and fraud at any stage of these processes can bring to repayments and financial corrections. When the amounts cannot be recovered and this is a result of fault of a Member State, the latter is obliged to reimburse these amounts to the budget of the Union. Therefore, national authorities have to meet the challenges of stronger financial controls and carry out the respective verifications and audits.
The three-day Summer Course focuses on the following topics:
- Control and audit framework for MA, CA, AA and IB in 2014-2020 and prospective for 2021-2027
- Life cycle of operations and tasks of the authorities involved
- Administrative and on-the-spot verifications of ESI Funds
- Verification of Simplified Cost Options
- Verification of State aid and public procurement
- Audit findings and recommendations in system audits, in audits on operations and projects
- Audit of Simplified Cost Options
- Management of and most common irregularities in ESI Funds
- Reporting and financial corrections: How to conduct financial corrections
- Audit findings in State aid and public procurement
- Audits by the European Court of Auditors
- Combating fraud & corruption in ESI Funds
- Assurance Package 2020 and challenges with annual accounts
Who should participate?
- Representatives from public authorities in dealing with different aspects of financial control and audit of ESI Funds, especially from:
- Managing Authorities
- Certifying Authorities
- Audit Authorities
- Intermediate Bodies
- ESI Funds experts from regional and local authorities and experts involved in ETC Programme
- Auditors controlling and auditing ESI Funds programmes and projects
- Experts from EU, National and regional Court of Auditors
- Experts from Institutions involved in implementation of ESI funds
- Consultants and lawyers specialized on ESI Funds
- Beneficiaries of EU funded projects
Workshop Material – No need to miss anything!
If you were unable to make it to the workshop you may want to order a copy of the printed material including the access data to all presentations shown during the events. The price is € 299,- (each, excl. of VAT). If interested, please contact Anya Zuschke.
Day 1: Wednesday, 22. May | 08:45 - 17:15
Registration & Welcome Coffee
Welcome Note by Lexxion and Chair, Introduction Round
Session 1: Financial Management and Control System in this Programming Period and Outlook into 2021-2027
Financial Management and Control Requirements for Managing, Certifying, Audit Authorities and Intermediate Bodies
- Regulatory environment 2014-2020 –what is new?
- Roles and responsibilities of the bodies involved
- Implementation of a control framework: control checklists and control reports
Outlook into the future: Regulatory Framework 2021-2027
- Proposal for the Regulatory framework 2021-2027
- What are the main expected changes and challenges?
- Points for duscusstion at national level
Session 2: Effective Management Verifications in ESI Funds
Guidance on Management Verifications
- Legal requirements
- Verification methodologies
- Delegation principles
- Timing / nature / frequency of verification
Administrative versus On-the-Spot Verifications
- Strategy and planning: Administrative versus on-the-spot verification
- Cooperation between Managing Authorities and Intermediate Bodies
- Segregation of duties
- Record-keeping and reporting requirements
- How to put together a verification methodology for on-the-spot checks
- How to deal with personnel and overhead costs?
- The importance of documentation in the verification process
- Verification of Simplified Cost Options
- Verification of State Aid and Public Procurement
- Verification of Eligibility of Expenditure
Day 2: Thursday, 23. May | 09:00 - 17:45
Session 3: Assurance Package for 2020 and Challenges with Annual Accounts
Introduction into the Assurance Package
- Regulatory framework
- What is the Assurance Package
- Requirements and obligations of involved actors
- Management declaration and annual summary (Managing Authority)
- Annual accounts (Certifying Authority)
- Audit opinion and annual control report (Audit Authority)
- Timing obligations for programming bodies and division of tasks
How to Draw up, Certify and Submit Annual Accounts to the EC: Exchange of Experiences from 2017, 2018 and 2019
- Timeline for structure of annual accounts
- Preparation, documentation and reporting requirements
- Content of annual accounts
- Which information can be added after submission to the EC
- How to treat irregularities
- Planning the activities for upcoming months
Practical Exercise on Annual Accounts
Participants will be offered to go through the template for annual accounts and discuss on concrete examples, how to fill it in.
Audit of Annual Accounts
- Regulatory framework
- Timeline for conducting audit of annual accounts
- Communication between certifying and audit authorities
- How to use results of system audits for the audit of accounts
- How to use results of audit of operations for the audit of accounts
- Final additional verifications of the draft certified accounts
- Audit opinion on the accounts
Participants will go through the check list for audit of accounts and discuss in groups the most important issues to be checked and the common errors.
Session 4: Dealing with Irregularities in ESI Funds
Management of and Most Common Irregularities in ESI Funds
- Definition of an irregularity and difference between error and irregularity
- Overview on most common types of irregularities
- Who can determine irregularities?
- Which irregularities can be identified by first level controllers?
- Which irregularities are typically identified by auditors?
- How to treat irregularities?
Practical exercises on how to detect and handle irregularities. You are welcome to contribute to this session. Just send us your questions in advance and we will discuss them during the event.
Session 5: Financial Corrections
Reporting and Financial Corrections
- When do irregularities lead to recoveries, withdrawals and financial corrections?
- Rules and obligations for bodies involved
- Purpose and types of financial corrections
- Pre‐ and post‐payments
- Reporting requirements
- New rules on treatment and reporting of irrecoverable amounts
- Recoveries and withdrawal workflow
How to Choose the Right Type of Financial Correction and how to Calculate the Rate of Corrections.
Session 6: Combating Fraud and Corruption in ESI Funds – Practical Insight
Requirements and Tools
- The anti‐fraud cycle
- KR 7: Anti-Fraud Measures
- Instruments and methods for the prevention and detection of irregularities, fraud and corruption
- How to identify red flags of fraud and corruption?
- Cyber fraud
- Capability of IT tools: The obligatory fraud risk self‐assessment tool and Arachne
Best practice from one of the countries: cooperation between AFCOS and Audit Authority
How to conduct a (fraud) risk analysis with fraud risk self‐assessment tool, and how to define effective and proportionate measures based on the outcome of that risk analysis.
End of Day 2
Day 3: Friday, 24. May | 08:30 - 16:00
Audit Findings and Recommendations in ESI Funds
Audit Findings – Practical Insights
- Newest legal requirements: Chapter on good practices promoted by Audit Community (EC and national AAs) when carrying out audits under ESI funds, by DG REGIO
- Audit findings and recommendations in system audits
- Audit findings and recommendations in audits on operations/projects
- Process of the audit of projects (planning, execution, reporting)
During this practical session participants from managing, certifying authorities and intermediate bodies will be asked to brainstorm, what and how they would prepare for audit control. Auditors will be asked to consider their expectations to the auditees. Finally we will examine the gap between auditors and auditees.
You are welcome to take part in the quiz and to test your gained knowledge. Don’t miss the chance to win special prizes from our speaker!
Session 8: Audit of Simplified Cost Options
Audit of Simplified Cost Options
- Using SCOs: Considerations for Audit Authorities
- Implications for the audit procedure: Audit of methodology
- Specific audit trail requirements
Session 9: Audit of Public Procurement and State Aid
Audit Findings in State Aid and Public Procurement
- Use of professional expert institutions in public procurement and State aid
- Public procurement and State aid errors detected and corrected during management verifications
- Main audit findings in public procurement and State aid
- Practical examples
Practical examples of
- Audit findings in State aid and public procurement from the ongoing audit in Croatian city municipalities
- Findings from the Competition Council of Croatia
- Using Arachne when auditing public procurement
Session 10: Audits by the European Court of Auditors
Audits by the European Court of Auditors
- Financial and compliance audits
- Performance Auditing
- Reasons & Objectives
- Performance audit approaches and methodologies
- Typical audit results/Weaknesses in EU funded programmes
A Real-life Performance Audit
End of Summer Course & Distribution of Certificates
*Programme may be subject to change.