Operating grants: Accounting is an art

If you receive subsidies, the accounting must be correct. Assets, liabilities and the balance sheet clearly presented. A handful of other legal formalities must also be in order. Sounds complex, but it’s all quite doable.

No profit 

First things first: you can only apply for operating subsidies if you do not aim to make a profit. So you start from a non-profit organisation, a cooperative or another organisational structure that is not out for profit. 


Together with your application, you must also submit a budget for the first operating year. This is an estimate of all income and expenditures for 2023. This is best done according to the structure of a profit-and-loss account, i.e. a summary of all income and expenses. 

The attachment with figures that you have to fill in for your application in any case is in Excel and largely has the structure of such a profit-and-loss account. Easy. Because that way you can later compare your budget with the actual figures. 

Annual accountability 

If your organisation receives subsidies, you must account for this annually. You must submit functional and financial justification in the financial section:  

  • Annual accounts in the form of a profit-and-loss account, with notes 
  • A detailed report of all remuneration 

Independent audit 

If your organisation receives more than 100,000 euros, you must always include with the annual report, the report of an independently certified accountant or company auditor.

Accounting first aid  

Feel uncomfortable with all those figures and the legal jargon? At Cultuurloket you will find clear information (in Dutch) about annual accounts and starting double-entry bookkeeping. And for that matter. Don’t worry about that double-entry bookkeeping. That’s just a profit-and-loss account with a balance sheet, and the two fit together logically.

Questions? Contact us!

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