Cost categories and simplified cost options

The programme aims to simplify the reporting of costs as much as possible. This is done by using some Simplified Cost Options (SCOs) such as flat rates and lump sums.  When using flat rates, all partners must use the same method.

The benefits of SCOs are many. As SCOs are typically very easy to calculate, the beneficiary rarely makes mistakes in applying them. Reporting becomes much easier as there is no need to attach invoices. Thus, SCOs helps the programme to focus the efforts on what actually matters – results – and less on technicalities and practicalities that come with regular reporting. There can also be some downsides worth mentioning. As SCOs are calculated on the principle of being approximately suitable, some partners or projects will, by definition, be undercompensated where others will be overcompensated. Another aspect to consider is that SCOs are always defined in advance and cannot be modified later.

In Min Ansökan one chooses the method for the budget and the following cost categories are possible in Aurora projects depending on the choice of method:

A) The 40%-method

  1. Staff costs (real costs)
  2. Other costs – flat rate 40% based on staff costs

B) All cost categories

  1. Staff costs (real costs)

  2. Office and administrative expenditure – flat rate 15% based on staff costs

  3. Travel and accommodation costs – flat rate 15% based on staff costs
  4. External expertise and services costs (real costs)
  5. Equipment expenditure (real costs)
  6. Costs for infrastructure and works (real costs)

Small-scale projects
A lump sum is not a cost category but a method used when granting the support in small-scale projects. The grant is based on a draft budget. In the application stage the budget shall therefore clearly define the planned costs either using the 40%-method or the method with all cost categories. But then, once the application is approved, there is no need to report on the actual expenditure. The payment of the lump sum will be based on the results. If the final report is approved the lump sum will be paid and if the final report is not approved there will be no payment at all.

Programme manual