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Don't take an 'IAR' for granted!
22 July 2021
Grants … they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so where on earth do we begin? …Let’s start at the end (or close enough to it), the Independent Accountants Report (IAR).
So, what’s the IAR and why are they needed?
Well, it’s a common contractual requirement for the entity receiving the grant (the awardee) and is used by the granting body to satisfy themselves that the financial requirements of the grant have been complied with. Each grant will have its own eligibility criteria for the costs that an entity can reclaim from the grant body. Despite being called an ‘Accountants Report’, the report must actually be completed by a registered auditor, such as Fortus.
There are numerous bodies awarding grants to UK entities and the most common one we see here at Fortus are those issued by Innovate UK (the operating name of the Technology Strategy Board). On gov.uk, you’ll see Innovate UK issued £944m in grants in 19/20. Our team also has experience of those awarded by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP’s) which gov.uk shows distributed £737m in 19/20. Grants from the likes of Innovate UK and the LEPs are often for the purpose of building business innovation and growth, enabling the awardee to reclaim costs in respect of, but not exclusively to labour, subcontractors, materials, travel, assets and an agreed level of overheads in fulfilling their obligations of the grant project.
So, where does Fortus come in?
Well, it’s the awardee’s responsibility to budget, manage and record their finances throughout the project’s duration but without a signed IAR, final reclaims are often not released to the awardee by the grant body! This is where our knowledge of grants comes in. Whether an IAR is required at the beginning of a grant project, middle or end, or all of the above depends on the specific grant’s T&Cs but the requirements are largely similar and we can independently verify that all qualifying expenditure’s been incurred and paid. We’ll work openly with you from the start of the claim through to issuing the IAR.