Financial Management and Audit of EU Structural and Cohesion Funds — Moving from 2014-2020 to 2021-2027

Project number: 2030209

INAP, Madrid (ES)

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Date & pricing

29/09/2020 - 30/09/2020
Register before: 07/09/2020

€ 1.100,00 per attendee

€ 990,00 for EIPA members*

Financial Management and Audit of EU Structural and Cohesion Funds — Moving from 2014-2020 to 2021-2027

From:  990,00

This seminar will examine how Financial Management and Audit rules are changing between the 2014-2020 period and the 2021-2027 period. There will be a special focus on simplification and performance measurement – of programmes, finance and audit.

About this course

This seminar will examine how Financial Management and Audit rules are changing between the 2014-2020 programming period and the 2021-2027 period. There will be a special focus on financial planning, increasing the use of Simplified Costs Options, anti-fraud measures and protecting the audit trail.

  • Using ARACHNE may become a requirement for some projects in the future. Luc Molemans, the European Commission’s ARACHNE Project manager, will explain and illustrate how ARACHNE works and how you can use it.
  • Dermot Byrne, a leading Member State audit practitioner, will highlight how control (including so-called “first-level control”) and audit differ, and look in detail at the audit of accounts, systems and operations for 2014-20 and planned changes for 2021-2027.
  • We look at how to complete the Simplified Cost Options section of the new OP template.
  • We examine the special link between finance and performance in current and future programmes, and the notion of Value for Money for projects and programmes. How will you report programme progress in the new template?

Who will benefit most?

This seminar is intended for:

  • practitioners from national, regional and local authorities and from other public bodies of EU Member States (and associated countries) working with ESI Funds
  • economic and social partners working with the Structural and Investment Funds, such as universities, NGOs, employers’ associations, consultants.

What you will learn in this course

Participants will work with live issues and practical solutions for challenges in the fields of financial management and audit. They will enjoy quality speakers from Member States and the European Commission, as well as EIPA’s own regional experts and consultants – who have worked with stakeholders from all Member States.

The seminar will include numerous workshops and exercise sessions where examples and case studies will be presented. Participants will be encouraged to exchange practical examples, experiences and good practice in managing EU Structural Funds.

Robin Smail

Robin Smail

Robin Smail Training & Consultancy
EU Structural Funds

Dermot Byrne

Dermot Byrne

EU Audit and Public Management

Luc Molemans

Luc Molemans

European Commission
IT project manager

Practical information

Course venue
Atocha 106
28012 Madrid (ES)

Programme Organiser
Ms Nancy Vermeulen
Tel: +31 43 32 96 212

The fee includes documentation and refreshments. Lunches, a reception or dinner are included if mentioned in the programme. Accommodation and travel costs are at the expense of the participants or their administration.

EIPA offers a 10% discount to all civil servants working for one of EIPA’s supporting countries, and civil servants working for an EU institution, body or agency.

Who are the supporting countries?
Civil servants coming from the following EIPA supporting countries are entitled to get the reduced fee: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

For all other participants, the regular fee applies.

Lunches and the reception will be served at a restaurant in town. Special dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian, diabetic) can be indicated once you receive the confirmation of the seminar.

Prior payment is a condition for participation.

Cancellation policy
For administrative reasons you will be charged €150 for cancellations received within 15 days before the activity begins. There is no charge for qualified substitute participants.

EIPA reserves the right to cancel the activity up to 2 weeks before the starting date. In that case, registration fees received will be fully reimbursed. EIPA accepts no responsibility for any costs incurred (travel, accommodation, etc.). 

The programme

08.30 Registration of participants
09.00 Welcome of participants and opening of the conference
Methodology of seminar
Meeting the participants – participants’ needs and questions
Marco Lopriore, Expert, EIPA Maastricht
09.25 The new Cohesion Policy 2021-2027: financial framework

  • Updates on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework, Cohesion Policy and Just Transition Fund
  • Finance issues in your Country Reports (Annex D)
  • Preparing better synergies and complementarities between funds
  • Simpler and more flexible rules, Territorial dimension

Marco Lopriore

09.45 Programme Finance, Financial Management and Control: moving from 2014-2020 to 2021-2027

  • programme structure and finance, priorities and financial allocations
  • financial tables, financial planning, commitments, automatic de-commitment
  • the new OP template
  • pre-financing, payment applications, interim payments
  • the accounting year and the calculation of the annual balance

Robin Smail, Visiting Expert EIPA, Consultant, (IE/UK) (and former Detached National Expert, EC)

10.45 Coffee break
11.15 Programme Finance, Financial Management and Control: moving from 2014-2020 to 2021-2027 (contd).

  • financial information flows, reporting, closure
  • financial control, management verifications

Robin Smail

12.00 WORKSHOP: Financial planning for the new Programmes

  • your OP priorities
  • financial allocations for priorities

Robin Smail

12.30 Simplification and Simplified Cost Options

  • current legal provisions on SCO and the OMNIBUS regulation 2018
  • extending SCO in 2021-2027 and financing not linked to costs
  • methodologies and audit requirements

Marco Lopriore, Expert, EIPA

13.15 Lunch break
14.45 WORKSHOP: simplified costs options

  • preventing errors when using flat rates; standard scales of unit costs
  • improving result-orientation; audit requirements

Marco Lopriore

15.30 Control and Audit of Structural Funds, moving from 2014-2020 to 2021-2027

  • Management and Control Systems (MCS), assurance models
  • risk assessment and risk mitigation, management verifications and audit
  • current audit issues

Dermot Byrne, ERDF Audit Authority, Department of Public Expenditure Reform, Dublin (IE)

16.30 Coffee break
17.00 Control and Audit of Structural Funds, moving from 2014-2020 to 2021-2027 (contd.)

  • proportionality, simplifying audit work
  • future challenges for the authorities

Dermot Byrne

17.30 Linking programme finance to programme performance: 2021-2027

  • The current and proposed Performance Framework: financial, output and result indicators
  • Real-time reporting and the new Reporting template
  • The new Mid-term Review
  • Measuring progress and success

Robin Smail

18.00 WORKSHOP: checking indicators and targets for the new Reporting template

Robin Smail

18.20 End of first day
20.00 Dinner/Reception
09.00 Audit of accounts, systems and operations: old and new

  • annual Accounts – preparation, audit and acceptance by Commission
  • audits of systems and the key requirements
  • audits of operations, sampling
  • calculating error rates for programmes, implications for the accounts process
  • irregularities and corrections

Dermot Byrne

10.30 Coffee break
11.00 Anti-fraud: using the ARACHNE system

  • What is ARACHNE? Objectives and benefits
  • ARACHNE overview – Datasources and dataflow, State of the play in the Member States, basic concepts of Arachne
  • Risk indicators and categories, risk scoring principles
  • experiences, cases, lessons learned

Luc Molemans, Arachne Project Manager, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Unit F5 – Information Technologies, European Commission, Brussels (BE)


  • ARACHNE interface/functionalities
  • Consultation of companies and persons data
  • Use of dashboards and reports, other functionalities

Luc Molemans

13.30 Lunch break
14.45 Value for Money and Performance Audit

  • achieving Value for Money for projects
  • Evaluation requirements 2021-2027
  • Achieving Value for Money (VfM) for Programmes
  • From compliance audit to performance audit

Robin Smail

15.30 Eligible expenditure rules, types of funding in 2021-2027

  • principal changes from 2014-2020 to 2021-2027
  • retention of documents, VAT, durability,  new scope of support in specific fund rules
  • location of expenditure, visibility rules, transition rules between periods
  • grant funding, funding based on results, national rules

Marco Lopriore

16.15 WORKSHOP: exercises on eligibility changes post-2020
Marco Lopriore
16.40 Evaluation of seminar
16.45 Close of seminar