Let me tell you what is scarier than anything Stephen King could imagine: Finance.
Advanced Finance, Corporate Finance, EU Finance, basically anything that contains finance. The only thing that made me question my decision to pursue a Marketing degree is the endless finance classes I had to take.
The next story I am about to share is not something that I personally experienced, as I don’t deal with EU finance on everyday basis (Luckily). My task is to transform a story into a blog post and share it with the world, and this is exactly what I’m going to do. But to create this blog post, I knew I would need some help…
When we came up with the idea of writing horror stories Iasmina and I grabbed our dictaphones (just kidding, we grabbed our phones because nobody uses dictaphones anymore but it sure sounds more dramatic). So, we held our phones and started collecting horror stories from different departments.
I knew that if I am looking to get a really spooky horror story, I need to consult an expert on the financial issues of EU funded projects. If you previously attended our courses, you know that nobody can better explain the financial rules of H2020 better than our CEO Gábor Kitley.
If you asked Gabor why people are scared of finance, he would tell you it is because people think finance equals accounting, and it's not. Finance in H2020 is all about reporting. People get scared of everything from budgeting, reporting of personnel costs to spine-chilling financial audits.
On the other hand, this fear keeps you focused, and it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you don’t pay attention to financial rules from the beginning of your project, they can quickly turn into terrifying horror stories. And this is exactly what happened to one of our project partners.
Once upon a pumpkin, as Iasmina would say, a university decided to charge equipment to a project. Equipment that cost… well some hundred thousand euros. When asked if they were aware of reporting rules, they said: Well, of course! So, they bought the equipment, which is where our horror story begins. The equipment was bought for a 3-year long project. Why is this important? The equipment had at least 10-year-long depreciation (or in simple words, it could be used long after the project ended). Meaning, you can’t fully charge it on the project. Actually, the story got worse because they could charge only 10% of the value to the project. And what about the rest? The rest of the money, you guess, had to be returned because they could not report it.
This tale opened a Pandora's box of various finance horror stories that I heard that afternoon. I will just tell you that some of them were so terrifying that we cannot even share them with the public.
But what can we learn from this? If you ask me: Please listen to Gabor and take notes, take every single word. But if you are the type of person (like me) who hates taking notes and survives from responsible students who pay attention, maybe the best solution is to buy our recorded webinars and learn things at your own pace. What is even better than buying it is winning it for FREE. Today is the last day to submit your horror story and win a recorded webinar that will help you conquer H2020 demons.
If this story scared you (I know it scared me) and if you feel like you need some in-depth knowledge of EU finance, join us for our Academy Part IV. Financial rules of H2020 and Horizon Europe - 2 days.
Thank you for joining Iasmina and me on this journey. We wish you a spooktacular Halloween!