Financial Reporting

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  1. What are the different types of Financial Reporting?
    1. GMS Focus: what is the difference between line-level and category-level financial reports?
    2. GMS Focus : Year-end financial reports
  2. How to create and manage Financial Report instances in the Timelines (HFU)
  3. How to create and activate an Interim Financial Report (Implementing Partner)
  4. How to access the financial reports (Implementing Partner)
  5. How to fill in and submit a financial Report (Implementing Partner)
    1. Financial Report tab
      1. GMS tip: how to download the unsigned financial report as a PDF/Excel
    2. Signed Financial Report tab
    3. Documents’ tab
    4. Report tracking tab
    5. How to submit the financial report for review?
  6. How to review and approve Financial Reports (HFU/FCS Finance)
    1. HFU Review
    2. FCS Finance Review and approval
      1. GMS Focus : Final Financial Report Approval by FCS

I- What are the different types of Financial Reporting? Top 

All CBPFs require financial reporting to ensure that activities carried out are on track to reach proposed project objectives. All types of partners alike are bound to write and submit financial reports related to their approved and funded projects. Financial reports should reflect expenditure incurred for project activities. The submission of Financial reports to OCHA via GMS is the responsibility of the Agency or Implementing Partner (IP).

The UN Agency or IP shall provide financial reports in line with the reporting requirements stipulated in the Annex B of the signed grant agreement or otherwise agreed in the accountability framework of the fund.

The CBPFs use different types of financial reports depending on the Partner’s organization type and other considerations. They are listed below:

  • Budget Line level
    • Interim Financial report
    • Final Financial report
  • Category level (ONLY for UN Agencies)
    • Category Interim Financial report
    • Category Final Financial report

GMS Focus: what is the difference between line-level and category-level financial reports? 

In Category level Reporting, the reporting is done based on each budget category, while a line level Reporting is based on a detailed break-down of each category present in the budget.

*Please note, Category level reports are only applicable for UN projects. 

INTERIM AND FINAL FINANCIAL REPORTS (non-UN agency projects) 
The Interim and Final financial reports are line level reports.

Interim financial reports should be filled in by the partner to report on a specific period, while the project is still under implementation. They can be manually triggered either by HFU or the Partner to request for the next disbursement tranche, or automatically activated by the system at the set date. The number of interim reports that is requested from the partner will vary depending on the applicable Operational Modalities. Additional reports can also be required at the discretion of the HFU and the Partner.

Final financial reports are filled in by the partner at the end of the project. The report reflects the entire project’s budget expenditures. The report’s conclusion, along with the audit’s conclusions, will be used to determine whether a refund is required from the partner. One final financial report is required per project, and is activated either manually by the HFU, or automatically by the system at the set date. Final Financial Reports are due within 2 months after the end date of the project.

CATEGORY INTERIM AND FINAL FINANCIAL REPORTS (ONLY for UN Agency projects) 
Category Interim & Category Final financial reports are category level reports, where the reporting is done on the categories as defined in the budget. Category reports are only used when the implementing partner is a UN Agency.
Otherwise, their workflow and use are the same than interim and final financial reports (for OCHA Funds).

UN agencies will submit a year-end category interim financial statement to reflect expenditures incurred for project activities up to 31 December of each year by the 15 February   of the following year.

Upon completion of the project a final financial statement covering the period between inception and completion of the project will be due no later than 30 June of the following year. UN agencies will also submit a final narrative report within two months of completion of the project.

GMS Focus: Year-end financial reports 

IPs and UN Agencies are requested to submit financial statements to reflect the expenditures incurred for project activities up to 31 December of each year by the 31 January of the following year for non-UN partners and 15 February for UN Agencies. These year-end financial statements requirements are outlined in the below chart. Interim financial statements will be submitted every calendar year until the submission of the final financial statement.

Note: As noted in the below chart’s remarks section, projects whose start date is between 1 November and 31 December will not have to provide the interim financial report by the following 31 January.

 

How to create and manage Financial Report instances in the Timelines (HFU) Top 

The following information is valid for all types of financial reports.

The creation of Financial reports’ instances should be executed by the HFU at the Timelines development stage, when the project proposal is under ‘Budget Cleared’, and before the preparation of the Grant Agreement. This is required as all reporting requirements are listed in the Grant Agreement’s Annex B.

The HFU must enter the reporting and monitoring requirements in the Timelines’ tab of the project, and validate the Timelines. Once the timelines have been validated, the instances will automatically be activated upon the entered ‘Active Date’. You can also manually activate the instance.

Once activated, the reporting template will be created and accessible to the Partner.
You can still edit, create, deactivate and delete reporting instances after the Timelines’ validation, however certain rules apply to these actions.

If you wish to know more about the Timelines, creating and managing the financial reporting instances, please click on the content of your choice:

 

How to create and activate an interim financial report (IP)Top 

Implementing Partners can activate the Interim Financial Reports themselves when their expenditure reaches 70% of their current tranche and they wish to request the subsequent disbursement tranche.

To do so, click on the ‘Activate Financial Report’ icon  next to your approved project’s line, and click on [Activate].

The ‘activate financial report’ icon  is always displayed on the GMS, next to approved projects’ lines. However, you might read the below error message if there is already an active financial report template. The GMS does not allow two financial reports to be active at the same time.

You can access the active financial report instance by clicking on the magnifying glass icon.

 

How to access the activated financial reports (Implementing Partners) Top

All reports (both narrative and financial) are located on the upper right of the Implementing Partner’s Home Page, under the heading 'Active Instances'.

 

Brief descriptions of the columns present in the Reporting section are:

  • Action: Click on the [View] icon to view the report.
  • CHF Code: Displays the project code
  • Project Title: Displays the title of the project.
  • Report Name: Displays the name of the report name
  • Due Date: Displays the deadline date on which the Implementing Partner has to submit the report.
  • Status: Displays the current status of the report.

When activated (either automatically by the system, manually by the HFU, or manually by the IP), the Implementing Partner can view the report under the ‘Active Instances – Reporting section’.

Once an instance has been activated, Implementing Partners must fill in and submit the report before the due date, as indicated in the Timelines’ tab of the project.
To open the Report template, click on the [Edit] icon of the required project present in the Action column of the Reporting section under the Active Instances.

 

How to fill in and submit a financial Report (Implementing Partner) Top

FINANCIAL REPORT TAB 

The Financial Report tab is the main tab of the reporting module, as it includes the budget which lines or categories you must report against. You will find below a description of the tab’s fields, for both line and category levels reports:

Line-Level:

Fields Description:
Report End Date (Date box): Enter the date till which the entered expenditure information is applicable.
Budget template: Update the lines with the actual incurred expenditure information.
Leave Comment (Text box): Enter any additional comments applicable for the Financial Report’s line. (as usual in the GMS, you can always leave comments for the whole tab or the whole reporting template. To learn how to save comments in GMS modules, please refer to this article of the Help Portal.)

Please remember to click on Save & Stay OR Save & Exit button to save the inputted information. 

Category-Level:

The category level reports are different only on the first tab where the UN agency reports the category-wise expenditure in the budget.

Fields description:
• Report End date: (Date box): Enter the date till which the entered expenditure information is applicable.
• Cumulative Expenditures since project start date: Enter the values in the editable fields as per budget category mentioned in the screen.
• Comments box: Click on the Comments icon  to enter comments for individual budget category. (as usual in the GMS, you can always leave comments for the whole tab or the whole reporting template. To learn how to save comments in GMS modules, please refer to this article of the Help Portal.)

Click on the Save & Stay button or Save & Exit Project button to update the details.

Quick Note: The ‘Final Financial Report Details’ section

For FINAL Financial Reports only, Partners will notice an additional box at the top of the Financial Report tab, above the budget: the ‘Financial Report Details’.

Financial Report Details section
• Interest Income (Text field): Enter any interest amount earned.
• Miscellaneous Income (Text field): Enter any other miscellaneous income earned.

GMS tip: how to download the unsigned financial report as a PDF/Excel 

You have the possibility to download the unsigned information entered in the budget of the Financial report tab. To do so, go to the top-right of the page, and select the Excel or PDF option.

SIGNED FINANCIAL REPORT TAB 

 In the Signed Financial Report tab, you are required to (i) download the information you entered in the Financial Report tab’s budget, (ii) print it, (iii) sign it , (iv) date it and (v)stamp it, before (vi) uploading this signed document for HFU review.

You can find all guidance on these steps below:

  1. Click on [Download Unsigned Financial Report] to download the unsigned report in excel format.

    *Please note: If a disbursement is required, Tick the [Include Disbursement Request] checkbox (as shown in the screenshot below). You need to select the tranche details from the drop-down list displayed. 

  1. Print the downloaded Excel document, sign, date and stamp it. Please convert your document to a PDF before uploading it on the GMS. Make sure that both Excel sheets (the Financial Statement and the Financial Report) are combined into one PDF before uploading it on GMS.
  2. Back on the Signed Financial Report tab of the Financial Reporting module of the GMS, select the checkbox to certify that the financial report corresponds to the approved project and project budget.
  3. Select the signed document from your desktop by clicking on [choose document], then click on [upload] to upload your signed financial Report in PDF format.

You will find your signed document uploaded on the right side of the page. You can view it by clicking on the magnifying glass icon.

DOCUMENTS’ TAB 
At any point during the Financial reporting stage, users, HFU, FCS Finance and IP alike, can upload/download documents. To do so, go to the Documents’ tab, and click on [Add documents]. In the pop-up window, select the document’s category, and choose the document from your desktop before clicking on [upload].
You can also download all documents by clicking on [Download All Files].

REPORT TRACKING TAB 

The Financial Report tracking tab allows users to track the who, what, when, pertaining to the financial report. This tab shows all the steps of the financial report workflow, including the dates when the financial report’s status changed, and the user who pushed it to the next stage.

HOW TO SUBMIT THE REPORT FOR REVIEW?

After entering all information and uploading the signed financial report and statement in PDF, you can send your financial report for HFU’s review. To do so, click on [Submit financial Report for review].

*Please note that the system will not allow you to submit the report if one of the tabs’ header is red. Make sure that all tabs’ headers are blue. If you are unsure what this means, please refer to this article on the tab’s headers.

In the pop-up window, add comments if needed, and click on [Save and Go to Report Under Review].

How to review and approve Financial Reports (HFU/FCS Finance) ? Top

Once an Implementing Partner has submitted the financial report for review, the HFU receives an email notification and the task is displayed on the ‘Task Overview’ of the HFU home page, under the ‘Financial Reports Task List’ section. To access the report, click on the date of the relevant line. Clicking on the project’s code will redirect you to the project’s page, not the report. 

You can review the data entered by the Implementing Partner in the Financial Report tab, or you can download the signed financial report.
To do so, go to the Signed Financial Report tab – If an Implementing Partner has submitted a financial report for HFU and FCS Finance to review, it will be displayed under the ‘Latest Signed Financial Reports' section. Click on the magnifying glass icon to review the report.

Review the report and leave comments (if needed) in the relevant ‘Comments’ sections at the bottom of each tab.

As HFU, the following options (buttons) are available at the top of the page:

• Send to IP for re-draft: On clicking this button, the HFU can send back the report to the Implementing Partner for redrafting. Do not forget to write your comments on the ‘Comments’ section before sending to re-draft.

• Approved on behalf of/as Fund Manager for FCS review and disbursement: If the report entails a disbursement request, HFU will click on this button. The report will then be sent to FCS Finance for their review/clearance and for processing the disbursement.

• Approved on behalf of/as Fund Manager for FCS review: If report does not entail a disbursement request, HFU will click on this button. The report will then be sent to FCS Finance for their review and approval. FCS Finance reviews the report, and either approves it or sends it back with comments to HFU, which will then be sent back to the implementing partner so that FCS Finance comments are addressed. Once the partner re-submits the report to HFU, HFU will re-approve and send the report again to FCS Finance for approval.

*Please Note, the 'Approved' options will trigger a pop-up window linked to Performance Management. The quality and timeliness of reports are included in the PI calculation. Please answer faithfully and rigorously the question in the pop-up. Click on [Save] to save the performance information entered. You will find more information on Performance index scoring in this article of the Help Portal.

As FCS Finance, after HFU review, you are required to review the financial report. The workflow will differ depending on whether the report is an interim or a final financial report. To go directly to the Final Financial Reports process section, please click HERE.

Interim financial reports:

1- If there is a disbursement request, you can click on either of the below two options:

•  [Send back to HFU]: click on this button to send the Financial Report back to HFU. Do not forget to write your comments on the ‘Comments’ section before sending to re-draft. HFU will then inform the Implementing Partner that a re-draft is needed on the Financial Report.

• [Read and Certified by FCS for disbursement]: this option will approve the report and trigger a disbursement, which you need to configure. To know how to configure a disbursement tranche, please refer to this article of the Help Portal.

2- If there is NO disbursement request from the partner, you can click on either of the below two options:

• [Send back to HFU]: click on this button to send the Financial Report back to HFU. Do not forget to write your comments on the ‘Comments’ section before sending to re-draft. HFU will then inform the Implementing Partner that a re-draft is needed on the Financial Report.

• [Read and Certified by FCS for recording]: this option will approve the report. In case of an interim report, no other action is required from FCS Finance. In case of a final financial report, please refer to the section below.

GMS Focus: Final Financial Report Approval by FCS 

When the HFU approves a Final Financial Report, you are required to review it, and click on the below two options:

•  [Send back to HFU]: click on this button to send the Financial Report back to HFU. Do not forget to write your comments on the ‘Comments’ section before sending to re-draft. HFU will then inform the Implementing Partner that a re-draft is needed on the Financial Report.
• [Received by FCS]: Pressing this button means that FCS approves the report and is ready to initiate Project Closure.

Following the approval of the final financial report by FCS Finance, (confirmed by clicking on [received by FCS]), FCS Finance will initiate the closure of the project.

This means:

• For non-UN projects, after the approval of the final financial report, and, when necessary, a tranche disbursement, FCS is required to trigger the audit for the project. In this case, click on [Trigger Audit]. FCS can also decide to initiate the refund of unspent balance (if any) when triggering the audit. This can be done manually from the Project Admin tab. Please refer to the dedicated article on Refunds.
To learn more about the next steps, namely the audit and project closure, please refer to the related Help Portal articles : Project audit, and Project closure

• For UN projects, FCS Finance will either trigger the closure of the project or request the HFU to initiate the refund of unspent balance (if any). In the former case, click on [Trigger Project Closure], in the latter, click on [Trigger Refund].