Time & Effort Certification Team: • Douglas Backman email@example.com • Justo Torres firstname.lastname@example.org • Maxine Zimmerman email@example.com • Brian Dornbusch firstname.lastname@example.org • Jaswinder Kaur email@example.com • Richard Moya firstname.lastname@example.org • Benika Forte email@example.com
The Agenda • Definition of Effort Reporting • Overview of Reporting Requirements • Who, What, When, Where, Why (but not in that order) • Important Things to Consider… • The Effort Reporting Process • Current Issues • Direct Charged vs. Cost Shared • Effort vs. Pay • Questions
Definition of Effort Reportingas A-21 would say it… • ef·fort (n.) - the proportion of time spent on any activity and expressed as a percentage of the total professional activity for which an individual is employed by the institution
In other words… For Faculty, this usually means: • Teaching • Research • Service Employee must account for all activities in their assignment
WHAT is Effort Reporting, really? Effort Reporting is the only means that the Federal Government has to verify that salary dollars were charged properly, either as a direct-charge or cost-share.
WHO has to certify Effort? Any individual (Faculty, A&P, USPS, OPS) who works any portion of their time on sponsored projects or activities whether compensated or uncompensated by that project is required to certify effort.
WHEN should one certify? THREE TIMES PER YEAR at the end of each semester FALL SPRING SUMMER
WHERE? It depends on who you are: • FACULTY, A&P, and salaried OPS • Via the ECRT System a web-based system that tracks effort commitments and allows employee to certify effort online • USPS (exempt & non-exempt) and hourly OPS • Via Timecard timecards have been modified to include wording for effort certification
WHY is Effort Reporting Necessary? • If we don’t do it, we are at risk… • University of Minnesota, 1994-95 • First of several NIH reviews that resulted in “exceptional” status; estimated cost = $100 million • Thomas Jefferson University, 2000 • Federally imposed Institutional Integrity Agreement, “exceptional” status; estimated cost = $2.6 million • Northwestern University, 2003 • Among other things, Non-compliant Effort Reporting system; estimated cost = $5.5 million • Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University…
Effort Reporting is a reasonable estimate, not an exact science.
Degree of Tolerance: Certification must rely on a reasonable estimate of effort during a specified time period, and when estimating, a degree of tolerance is acceptable and appropriate. UCF recognizes this degree of tolerance to be no more than +/- 5%. • Payroll Transfers: Anytime that payroll does not accurately reflect how the employee spent his/her time on the certified effort report by a margin of +/- 5%, a payroll transfer request is necessary. • Exact Assessment: Activities that comprise an individual’s total effort (teaching, research, service, administration, etc) are often difficult to separate and that “an exact assessment of factors that contribute to costs is not always feasible, nor is it expected.”
Effort is not based on a 40-hour work week.
Normal Work Week: Effort is not calculated on a 40-hour workweek or other University approved standard workweek. Effort is expressed as a percentage based on the total number of hours worked by the individual. Example: If the employee worked 40 hours in one week on a sponsored project and 20 hours in the same week on an unrelated University project, then the employee’s effort report should show: 67% effort devoted to the sponsored project: 40 hours / 60 total-effort hours = 67% and 33% on the unrelated University project: 20 hours / 60 total-effort hours = 33% • Extra State Compensation (aka Overload): Effort Certification does not include effort for which the employee receives compensation directly from another entity (e.g., outside consulting work) or incidental work for which supplemental compensation (i.e., extra state/overload compensation) is paid.
Total Effort must equal 100%.
The total effort expended cannot be more than (or less than) 100%, whether the employee certifying effort is full time or part time. • In other words, an employee who is a .5 FTE certifies 100% of their .5 FTE
Effort Certification must be performed by the individual, not his/her designee.
First-Hand Knowledge: Either the individual or someone having firsthand knowledge of the activities performed by the employee must certify effort reports. • Suitable Means of Verification: The person signing the effort report must have "suitable means of verification that the work was performed." In most cases, this will be the employee performing the work. • Employee’s Absence: In the employee’s absence, the Principal Investigator for a specific project may certify the effort of the employees working on the PI’s project. The PI must be able to provide verification that persons certifying on their sponsored projects actually performed the work. • Laboratory Personnel: In some cases, laboratory personnel may be conducting experimentation but be unaware of which specific projects they are working towards, in these cases, the PI may certify their effort. • Departmental Staff: Certification of effort by a departmental secretary or other staff is not permitted.
Let’s talk about Direct-Charged, first… • Any time Effort is charged directly to a Funding Agency through the Payroll system (timecard, employment contract, etc.), then the salary is said to be direct-charged.
Now, let’s talk about cost-sharing… • Any time that Effort is expended towards a project, and the salary is not recovered from the project, the Effort is cost-shared. • There are 3 kinds of cost-sharing: • Mandatory-Committed • Voluntary-Committed • Voluntary-Uncommitted • Mandatory-Committed and Voluntary-Committed must be tracked and reported to the agency.
3 Types of Cost-Sharing • Mandatory/Committed: Cost sharing that is required by the sponsor, documented in the proposal and agreed to in the sponsor’s awarding documents. • Voluntary/Committed: Cost sharing that the sponsor did not require, but the proposal nonetheless included, and subsequently became a condition of the award. • Voluntary/Uncommitted: Cost sharing that the University expended on the project, but was not required by the sponsor nor was it included the proposal document.
All work performed on sponsored projects (whether employee was compensated from the Funding Agency or not) must be certified. • The effort certification report should list all the projects that the employee is working on and the % effort towards each, whether or not the project paid for the employee’s salary. • If payroll does not reflect (within the +/- 5% margin) the correct effort, then a payroll transfer is necessary.
The Effort Certification Process Employee reviews the report for accuracy End of Semester rolls around Salary Costs charged based on work performed Reports are generated and sent out Employee “agrees” or “disagrees” if Employee “disagrees,” adjustments are made and a new report is sent (and employee agrees)