Registration of a Team Account (Teams and Collaborations)

Applicable to:  Other persons concerned, Members of the personnel


A Team Account is a cost centre used for keeping track of expenditure at CERN and its corresponding external funding.

Accounting entries are made on behalf of and for the benefit of the requesting Institute or Collaboration. Transactions are not detailed in the CERN annual budget. Consequently, a Team Account cannot be used for CERN core activities but only for professional activities of external parties, which occur on CERN's premises and are related to a CERN approved or recognized experiment.

Research institutes actively participating in an experiment at CERN may request the opening of a Team Account either independently or in collaboration with other research teams. They must be registered in the CERN Grey Book as an active participant of an Experiment/Collaboration or be a party of a dedicated Agreement with CERN.

Externally funded projects that do not qualify for opening a Team Account are subject to the policies applicable to External Contributions and Fundraising.

All CERN rules, including financial rules, apply to Team Accounts and the Members of the Personnel responsible for them, except when explicitly waived or altered by an official regulation. In particular, CERN has formulated and adopted official policies related to integrity and anti-fraud:

CERN is particularly attentive to transparency towards funding institutes as well as prevention against tax evasion, money laundering and parking of money. A set of measures will be implemented progressively between 2017 and 2019 to reinforce prevention and controls in these areas, which apply to all Team Accounts.


1. Opening of a Team Account

1.1 Definitions

There are three types of Team Accounts, with specific purposes. The definitions and requested documentations are summarized hereafter:

Team Account type Description Requested documentation
Visiting Research Team Account - Used for running expenses of a Team of researchers on the CERN site that are not included in the collaboration MoU.
- Linked to one single Institute.
- Linked to one or several experiments.
- Automatic periodic invoicing of the expenses incurred since last invoice.
- Advance payments by RFF permitted under specific conditions (see Accounts receivable, invoicing and payment (Teams and Collaborations)).
- Annual expenditure budgets shall be set per Team Account.
- The Team Account Manager has a reporting obligation towards his/her institute.
- The Team Account Manager and signature holders represent the institute as Associated Members of the personnel.
- The Team Account shall be closed when the Team of researchers has left and/or has no more activity at CERN, or when the conditions for use are extinct. 
Application form (see 1.2) signed by an authorised responsible Finance Officer from the Institute in line with the
Grey Book registration.
Collaboration Team Account - Used for experimental infrastructure investments and maintenance as defined in the collaboration MoU(s).
- Financial contributions from several Institutes or Funding Agencies.
- Spending limits based on cash balance of single Team Account or groups of Team Accounts within the collaboration.
- Invoicing and reminders initiated by Team Account Manager (Resource Coordinator) in accordance with financial documents (RRB/FRC) with the use of RFF.
- The Team Account Manager (Resources Coordinator) has a reporting obligation towards the participating institutes, generally through Resources Review Boards (RRB) or Finance Review Committees (FRC).
- The Team Accounts shall be closed when the collaboration/experiment is finished or has no more activities at CERN.
Initial opening request sent by Spokeperson or Resources Coordinator (via Memo or e-mail) with reference to the Grey Book registration and
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or equivalent for each project phase (construction, M&O, upgrade, etc.).
Subsequent opening requests by e-mail.
Special Fund Team Account - Conditioned to the signature of an official Agreement with CERN.
- Linked to one single Institute.
- Might receive CERN funds.
- Invoicing and reminders issued by RFF and/or automatic periodic invoicing in accordance with agreement.
- A Team Account Manager (TAM) present at CERN is nominated by the party(ies).
- The Team Account Manager and/or the CERN person defined as the financial contact has a reporting obligation towards the party(ies).
- The Team Account should be closed when the Agreement expires.
Agreement or K-contract signed by CERN.

1.2 Request to open a Team Account

The requests to open Team Accounts shall be addressed to the Teams and Collaborations Section in the Finance and Administrative Processes Department.

a) Visiting Research Team Account

The head of the Institute or a Finance Officer authorised to make financial commitments on behalf of the Institute shall fill out and sign an Application and update form for a visiting research Team Account. It is advised to fill the form on a computer rather than on paper as it includes links to other webpages and services.

The Finance Officer of the Institute should not assign him or herself as Team Account Manager. More information about the role of Finance Officer can be found under Roles, access and signature rights (Teams and Collaborations) (see paragraph 1.1.).

The invoice address should be the official address of the Accounts Payable service of the institute requesting the opening. To ensure that the address is permanently valid, it is advised to enter a generic e-mail address (ex. Note that this e-mail cannot be to the person assigned as Team Account Manager who will receive the invoices anyway.

It is important that a valid e-mail address for the head of the institute or the Finance officer is entered on the opening form and that this information is kept up-to-date. This will allow CERN Finance services to inform the institute when the database is updated at the request of the Team Account Manager, in particular when the modifications concern the Team Account Manager. As of 01.06.2017, this information is mandatory for Visiting Research Team Account and must be included on the form to open the account. The Team Account Manager is required to ensure that this information is always valid, and update it using the Team Account Management webpage (TAM) in case of change. Team Account Managers are regularly reminded to ensure that the information is still valid.

The signed form shall be sent electronically to or by paper to CERN, FAP-EF-TC, Mailbox C20700, CH-1211 Geneva 23.

b) Collaboration Team Account

For each project phase, the opening of a new Collaboration common fund Team Account is done through a written request from the nominated Spokesperson or Resources Coordinator and accompanied by the corresponding MoU. The opening of additional Team Accounts for the collaboration can be requested in writing by the Collaboration’s Resources Coordinator, or by the secretariat with the Spokesperson or Resources Coordinator in Cc.

c) Special Fund Team Account

A Special Fund Team Account may be opened when an Agreement between CERN and another party necessitates the opening of a cost centre and does not qualify as a CERN activity. The Agreement must contain:

  • The purpose of the work;
  • A start date;
  • An end date or, at least, a clear condition for termination (e.g. final deliverable);
  • A clear estimate of the expense and funding profile;
  • The invoicing conditions;
  • A technical responsible at CERN, employed by CERN or the other party.

The External Funding group must be informed in advance of any preparation of an Agreement with external funding coming towards CERN.

At the termination of the Agreement, the Special Fund Team Account shall be closed. Any remaining funds should return to the funding party, unless explicitly stated otherwise in the Agreement. When the funding originated from several parties and the remaining funds cannot be identified as belonging to one or the other, the funds are returned pro rata to the funding or each party.

1.3 Approval of the request

When the request is approved, the nominated Team Account Manager receives an e-mail giving access to the website for Team Account Management together with important information on how to financially manage and check the Team Account. More information about this role can be found under Roles, access and signature rights (Teams and Collaborations) (see paragraph 1.2).

2. Modify Team Account information 

Any change in the purpose of a Team Account shall be communicated in writing to the Teams and Collaborations Section. Some information might be changed directly by the Team Account Manager as described hereafter:

2.1 Who can modify registered data

a) Visiting Research Team Account

The Finance Officer can update certain information by filling out the Application and update form for a visiting research Team Account. CERN will inform the Finance Officer about any modification request concerning the Team Account Manager.

The Team Account Manager can update expenditure budget, signature rights, access to invoices and other data registered for the Team Account on a webpage:

Team Account Management webpage (TAM)

b) Collaboration Team Account and Special Fund Agreement

The Team Account Manager can modify all information on a webpage:

The Resources Coordinator or Spokesperson of a Collaboration can nominate a new Team Account Manager for a collaboration Team Account. One of the signatories of the Agreement can nominate a new Team Account Manager for a Special Fund Team Account.

2.2 Enter and modify data on the webpage

Open the webpage: Team Account Management webpage (TAM)

Click on the hyperlink of the Team Account Txxxxxx and select “Edit Item” to modify, press OK when ready. It may take a couple of days for the modification to be approved and transferred to CERN’s main database.

Note that this page is accessible only for Team Account Managers that have logged in to the site (via “Sign in” in the top right corner). A person might have signature rights without being the assigned Team Account Manager, in which case the person will not have access to the site.

3. Closing of a Team Account

3.1 Request to close a Team Account

A Team Account shall be closed when any of the following happens:

  • An authorized person (TAM, Finance Officer, Spokesperson, etc.) makes the request;
  • The Team Account is unused;
  • The conditions for having a Team Account at CERN have ceased to exist.

The following conditions shall be met before closing a Team Account:

  • All expenses have been invoiced;
  • All invoices have been paid;
  • The cash balance is at zero.

Any remaining funds on a Visiting Research Team Account shall be returned to the Institute through a bank transfer or a TID to another Team Account of the same Institute, provided that the funds did originate from the Institute. The Team Account Manager shall use the Closing form with remaining balance to initiate the transfer.

3.2 "Clean-up" campaigns

In order to contain the administrative management of Team Accounts, the Teams and Collaborations Section periodically launches “clean-up” campaigns in order to ensure that unused Team Accounts are closed and that the information in CERN’s database are up-to-date.

In order to reduce the number of requests, the Team Account Managers can proactively review the Team Accounts under their responsibility as described in paragraph 2 of this procedure.

3.3 Breach of applicable rules

CERN reserves the right to suspend or close a Team Account that is not used for its original purpose, is in breach of the applicable rules, or for which the mandatory information is missing or outdated.


No revision Modifications Approved
1 Return of the remaining funds. 15.03.2017
2 Updated application form and opening procedure 28.06.2017
3 Complete revision 17.01.2018