Recording time has nothing to do with the cost model. In AC, FC and FCF cost models personnel costs can be claimed as direct costs if the cost to the project can be identified. Where a member of staff works all of his time each month only on a single specific EU project the time recording is not relevant. However if a member of staff works part of his time on a project (even if all of his time is spent only on EU projects – but different projects not a single project) the amount of time chargeable to the project has to be identified.
The format of the timesheet is not laid down by the EU and can be handwritten, computerised or internet based. In each case the member of staff and his manager will need to “sign” the amounts recorded (physically or electronically).
For your own control purposes, we think that you would want staff to record in web-based programme amounts of time spent on different tasks, holidays, sickness, training etc. Otherwise why have a sophisticated web-based system? – just record time in and time out and have hand written details of the EU project time and holidays, sickness, training etc. We would expect the auditors to want to be able to check productive time (i.e. excluding holidays, sickness, etc) to arrive at an hourly rate.
The cost of the time recording system is for the benefit of the company as a whole and is therefore part of overheads. Administration time (not normally applicable for researchers – except perhaps training - but it is very relevant to managers) will be included in “productive time” to determine the productive hourly rate. The amount of salaries determined by the time on administration will be recorded (in the books of account) as overheads.