Accounting FAQs

Accounting FAQs

A currency is not available in EDH, how can I calculate the equivalent in Swiss francs?

You must email The e-mail must mention the currency, the amount and the date of travel return. You will receive a reply by e-mail with a calculation of the conversion rate, which you should then attach to your claim in EDH. The request can also be sent via the following Service Desk form.

Can a surplus from one conference be used to organise another conference?

No. Each conference must be treated as a separate financial operation. Any surplus must be returned to the department organising the conference (see procedure).

Can I begin to spend the revenues before the registration fees are received?

Yes. This code can show a negative balance prior to payment of the first registration fees.

Can I receive a payment in cash?

Considering the current situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, please note it might be temporarily impossible to issue cash payments. The hours mentioned below can also vary depending on the post office’s opening hours.

Payments by cash are possible only in exceptional cases, i.e. only for claimants who have bank accounts in countries where it might be difficult to proceed with a bank transfer.

How can I get my payment in cash?

Once the claim and the exception to pay in cash have been approved by Personnel Accounting, the beneficiary may collect the payment from the Post office in the shopping center in Meyrin. All necessary information are sent to the beneficiary by email.

Can I receive my payment outside of Switzerland?

Yes, it is possible to complete a transfer abroad whatever the country. However some accounts have restricted rights and cannot receive transfers in a foreign currency. Since all our transfers are sent in CHF, please check with your bank if your account can receive payments in CHF.

Can I request a conference code for a conference organised by an outside institute?

No.  The conference must be organised by CERN alone or jointly with a third party.

Can I take out income protection insurance through the CERN Staff Association?

Yes, members of the Staff Association can subscribe to income protection insurance. The premiums and membership fees are deducted in January each year.

Do I need to send the original documents with the internal mail service?

Copies and scans are accepted except for Sundry expenditure claims (original receipts required when applicable)

How are my contributions to the Health Insurance Scheme and to the Pension Fund calculated if I take parental leave or compassionate leave?

Parental leave is granted for a minimum of 10 days within a maximum period of three months until the child is three years old. Compassionate leave is granted for a minimum of 10 days within a period of three months per leave year. The contributions to the Health Insurance Scheme and the Pension Fund are obligatory for up to one month. Thereafter these contributions may be optional.

How can I provide my bank details?

Bank details must be registered by using the EDH Bank form.

How do I get a conference code opened?

Follow this procedure: conference accounting

How do I request a change to a budget code?

Contact for all questions related to General Accounting.  The emails from this shared mailbox are assigned within the team. 

General Accounting includes:

- requests to change budget codes

- VAT issues

- recording of bank transactions

- invoices issued by CERN

How frequently are claims paid?

Payment method Payment frequency
Bank transfer to a Swiss or a foreign bank account

Claims are approved every Tuesday and Thursday. Bank transfers are sent 2 to 3 working days after the claims’ final approval in EDH


How long can the code remain open?

It must be possible to close a conference code within six months after the end of the conference.

How should I send invoices?

Invoices should be sent in paper format by mail or by email ( in PDF format.

How to contact general accounting?

Please send an e-mail to:

I am currently on unpaid leave and am maintaining my contributions to the Health Insurance Scheme and/or to the Pension Fund. What is the procedure for paying them since I am not in receipt of a salary?

If your unpaid leave is for a period of between one and three months, the contributions are calculated and debited to a special account as amounts to be charged in due course. The corresponding amounts are subsequently deducted from your salary once your unpaid leave ends. If your unpaid leave is longer than three months, you must go to the Salaries Office to obtain details of the bank account onto which the monthly payment must be made.

I checked my account on the day the salary was paid but I have not yet received my salary. Is this normal procedure?

No, you should contact the Salaries Office to find out what the problem is.

I don't understand the amount of the telephone calls deducted from my payslip. Whom should I contact?

Telephone calls are automatically deducted from your payslip. If you have any queries, contact: ais-support

I don't understand the deductions for child allowances obtained from an outside source shown on my payslip. Whom should I contact?

HR Department manages declarations of allowances obtained from other sources:  contact Mme Nadége Bordon.

I have altered my declaration of family situation and this modifies the amount of my spouse’s UNIQA premium, but I don't see any corresponding adjustment on my payslip. Is this normal procedure?

It all depends when you altered your declaration: If you made the alteration after the 10th day of the month, its impact will be shown on your payslip the following month. If you made the alteration before the 10th day of the month, contact ais-support.

I have been on sick leave for several months, what consequences will this have on my pay?

If you did not take out income protection insurance, your salary will be reduced by one third until further notice.

If you took out income protection insurance, you will continue to be paid your full salary, with a specific mention on your pay slip indicating the last third of your salary will be paid by UNIQA.

I have changed my bank account details. Whom should I contact to ensure that my salary is paid into my new account?

The Salaries Office records all new bank account details. You must submit a request via the following secure portal service: CERN Service now for Change Bank Details

I have received an amendment to my contract indicating that I owe CERN a substantial amount relating to allowances for my children. Will this amount be deducted from my salary in one go?

The debt can be staggered over a maximum of 6 months provided that it is reimbursed in full before the end of the current year. You should contact the Salaries Office if you wish to use this debt repayment options.

I have Swiss nationality and wish to contribute to the Swiss national pension (AVS) and unemployment insurance schemes, should I contact the administrators of the Geneva canton's fund?

If you have been employed by CERN as a member of the staff or an associate, the Salaries Office will handle the procedure with your home canton's fund - you should nevertheless register with them. If you were employed under any circumstances, you should contact your canton's fund administrators directly.

For more information please see Caisses cantonales de compensation.

I must complete military/civil service, which will require me to take leave. What would be the consequences on my pay?

None. Your salary is not modified. Leave will be deducted in the context of a military/civil service.

I started work on the 15th day of the month but I didn't get a payslip at the end of the month like my colleagues. Is this normal procedure?

Members of the personnel starting work in the middle of the month do not receive a payslip for that month. They get a payslip for one and a half months the following month.

I started work on the 15th of the month. As I didn't receive a payslip, will I get any salary for the part of the month I worked?

Yes, you will be paid an amount corresponding to 50% of your basic salary.

I took out income protection insurance and am on long-term sick leave with a reduction of my salary. Should I inform UNIQA or the Staff Association?

No, CERN will take care of the administrative processes.

I took out income protection insurance from UNIQA. Who pays if my salary is reduced due to long-term sick leave?

Your salary will continue to be paid at 100%, with CERN invoicing UNIQA for the difference.

I would like to reduce my working hours. How will my contributions to the Health Insurance Scheme and to the Pension Fund be calculated?

The health insurance contribution remains unchanged except where your spouse works at CERN. In the latter case, your contribution will be calculated on a pro rata basis. Your contribution to the Pension Fund depends on which option you choose: either a reduction on a pro rata basis, or 100% contribution where you bear the cost of both the employer and the employee contributions for the supplementary part. You can request a simulation from the Salaries Office at

I would like to reduce my working hours. Will my allowances be reduced?

The family allowances, the child allowance, the infant allowance and any allowances received from other sources will remain unchanged

I would like to take out life insurance from Helvetia. How can I subscribe?

The registration form is available online from the procedure "Life Insurance (Helvetia)" in the Admin e-guide. The insurance will be effective 30 days after the subscription. Terms and conditions are available from the same page.

I would like to take out life insurance from Helvetia. Who would benefit from it in case of my death?

Different situations can occur:

  1. You are married, separated but not divorced, engaged through a PACS agreement or any other official partnership registered by a Member State : your partner will be the beneficiary.
  2. By default, the first beneficiaries will be any children, then your mother and father and lastly any legal heirs. The organisation holds the group life insurance.

If I am in receipt of revenues from CERN (e.g. TIDs, subsidies from my department), can I open a conference code?

No. This code operates in a particular way and is opened only if there are incoming revenues from outside CERN.

If I don't anticipate any revenue, can I still open a conference code?

No. This code operates in a particular way and is opened only if there are incoming revenues from outside CERN.

In order to pay a supplier’s invoice, should I create a TPP claim or a DAI?

The DAI procedure is the first procedure that should be used to pay a supplier, however it is possible to create TPP claim for expenses related to the activity of a staff member or associate (conference registration fees, membership fees,…). Please note that training courses cannot be paid by TPP (DAI must be used in this case).

Is it possible to pay a subsistence for an EXTERNAL person?

Yes, it is then necessary to create an official travel claim and to enclose the official invitation letter mentioning the period and the amount. 

My bank details have changed, who should I inform?


My contract terminates in the middle of a month. Will my final salary be paid on my last day of work?

Salaries are automatically paid around the 25th of each month.

My spouse has to provide his or her employer with a certificate that he or she is covered by my insurance. How do I obtain this certificate?

You can request a certificate via the following service portal:

My staff contract specifies an international indemnity which does not appear on my first payslip. Should I contact the Salaries Office?

The international indemnity is paid every six months for six years from the start date of the contract. After the first year the international indemnity decreases annually according to specified percentage reductions.

To whom should I ask a copy of the A/OI form?

The A/OI form is valid for 5 years and is required to justify our exoneration to the fiscal authorities.

The copy of it should be ask directly to your commercial contact at CERN which is mention on the last purchase order.

To whom should I send invoices?

One copy of invoice should be addressed to:

Finance and Administrative Processes Department
Accounts Payable / Bureau des factures (4-3-009)
CH – 1211 GENEVA 23

We would request that invoices are sent by post to the above address, or by email to .

Please do not send invoices with packages, they are received by another service. 

All invoices must mention the CERN order number(s) or CERN contract number under which the order was placed, along with the name of the technician who placed the order. These conditions are mandatory in order for invoices to be treated promptly.

Supplier bank account details – IBAN and SWIFT code or the complete bank account number – should also appear on invoices. Payment slips are not necessary.    


Under what conditions can bank guarantees be accepted at CERN?

Bank guarantees addressed to CERN by suppliers are validated by the controller responsible for the related contract or order. (Note that not all contracts or orders require a bank guarantee).


Where a bank guarantee is required, it must meet the following requirements:


  • Be provided by a bank with a rating higher or equivalent to BBB+. The supplier must obtain certification of this from the bank and provide it with the bank guarantee. Bank guarantees provided by insurance companies are not accepted.

  • Be in accordance with CERN model attached.

  • Meet all requirements set out in the contract (amount, deadline etc.)


The process for cancelling/expiring bank guarantees is followed up by the General accounting section.

What are the implications for the technical responsible of signing the "Delivery acceptance" EDH document ?

When signing this document, the technical responsible agrees on :

  • the quantities received
  • the conformity of the goods or services delivered

The agreement will result in the payment of the invoice to the supplier.

What informations must my invoice contain?

  • the date of issue

  • invoice number

  • the supplier’s full name and address

  • the supplier’s VAT identification number

  • the supplier bank account details – IBAN and SWIFT code or the complete bank account number – should also appear on invoices. Payment slips are not necessary

  • CERN name and address

  • the CERN order number(s) or CERN contract number or lacking that your technician contact at CERN

  • a description of the quantity and nature of the goods supplied or services rendered

  • the date of the supply

  • the VAT rate applied

  • the VAT amount payable

  • a break-down of the VAT amount payable per VAT rate or exemption

  • the unit price of the goods or services exclusive of tax, discounts or rebates (unless included in the unit price)

What is a proof of payment ?

It could be :

  • An invoice mentionned as paid
  • A statement of account mentionning the expenses
  • A confirmation of payment (by credit card, Paypal…)

What is CERN's SIRET (France) number?

CERN is identified in the French company register with the following SIRET code (Système d'Identification du Répertoire des établissements): 394 610 661 000 16

It is useful in absence of the French VAT identification number.

Indeed, CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) is an Intergovernmental Organization with a diplomatic status and is not subject to any value added taxes (VAT) neither in Switzerland nor in France.
For this reason, CERN does NOT have any French VAT identification number.

What is CERN's Swiss registration number?

CERN is listed in the Swiss Administration register, IDE n° CHE-108.967.751

What is CERN’s VAT number?

As an international organisation, CERN is exempted from Value Added Tax (VAT) in its Host States, Switzerland and France therefore does not have a VAT number.

For more information, including guidance on how invoices should be drawn up, please see the VAT and Invoicing Guide:

Who can request the opening of a conference code?

Only a staff member can request the opening of a conference code.

Who should I contact in case of unpaid invoices?

For questions related to billing and payment of invoices, please send an email directly to

Please include in the email a reference to the CERN order number or CERN contract and attach a copy of the invoice.

Who should I contact to find out about the details of a bank transfer?

Please contact our Payment Service: CERN Payment Service <>


Who to contact for questions on suppliers or invoices?

Contact so our colleagues in Accounts Payable can help.

Why do I receive EDH Reception Approval documents from different sources?

The EDH Reception Approval document is automatically generated and sent in the name of the Reception service for orders designated 'manual' where the goods are received by Reception.  These manual orders require a 'qualitative' reception by the technical contact (to ensure the quality is accepted and not just the physical goods).

The same format EDH Reception Approval document is generated by Accounts Payable for manual orders which have not passed through reception but an invoice has been received (typically for services). 

In addition, for all orders (manual and automatic), if there is a difference between the invoice and the orders (for example charges exceed the order), Accounts Payable will also initiate the EDH document or re-route the existing document. 

Why has my claim been held by the Personnel Accounting section for several days?

There are several possible reasons:

  • You have indicated that several documents are to accompany the claim, the Claims Office is waiting to receive these via internal mail.
  • You have indicated that several documents are attached to the claim, but none have been attached in EDH.
  • The Claims Office has sent you a request for further information or documentary evidence.
  • Claims are approved by Personnel Accounting on the days of payments (Tuesday and Thursday). If your claim is treated shortly after the payments, it will stay in Personnel Accounting pool until next payments but it does not necessarily means it is blocked.



Why my invoice was paid without the transport fees initially included?

An invoice is paid without the transport fees when delivery instructions for orders placed by the CERN purchase service under the Incoterm FCA (2010) have not been followed.

Delivery instructions specified on the command are mandatory and must be followed by our suppliers.

 In the future, if you have used the normal postal service and wish to be reimbursed, please attach the proof of payment as required in our shipping instructions.

Why open a Conference code?

A conference code allows you to have registration fees credited to your code and to use the money to meet expenses linked to organisation of the conference.

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