University of Massachusetts ECRT Effort Coordinator Training February 2009. Table of Contents. ECRT Basic Information------------------------------- 3 Department Dashboard-------------------------------- 11 Effort Certification Certifiers Perspective------- 20
University of Massachusetts
Effort Coordinator Training
Table of Contents
ECRT Basic Information-------------------------------3
Effort Certification Certifiers Perspective-------20
Additional tools for the Certifier-------------------- 27
Manage Effort Tasks------------------------------------37
Assign Proxy Functionality---------------------------48
On Hold Functionality----------------------------------53
Adding a Commitment---------------------------------58
Adding Cost Sharing------------------------------------61
Effort Recertification & Viewing Historical
ECRT Project Information-----------------------------81
ECRT Basic Information
To access ECRT please utilize the following URL:
This screen serves as an entry point to all system functions, provides an overview of the effort reporting process for administrators, and offers links to a variety of resources to assist users with effort reporting.
The “Effort Lifecycle” image shows three main sections of the system, with navigational links appropriate to the user’s role.
Most screens contain a help icon available in the upper right, under the Logout option.
Clicking this button will bring up a separate window containing help on the portion of the system currently being worked in.
At various points in the application, a data entry box is presented. The system will search on the character string that is entered, and return all items that include the string entered. The user can then select from among the choices by clicking on a selected choice. All search boxes use this methodology.
The user types in a minimum of three characters (letters or numbers) from the intended result, and then pauses for a few seconds. The program will query the database, and download a list of matches to the search text, which appears in a blue box under the search box.
The user puts the cursor on the intended result, and clicks the mouse or hits the enter key. If the list contains more than a few choices, arrows will appear at the top and bottom of the list. Clicking the arrows will scroll through the list of choices.
If a longer search string is entered, a shorter list of options is presented. The system works faster with a number search – so a department number, or employee number, or segment of a number may produce a faster search result.
To access the Department Summary page, select the ‘Department/Division Dashboard’ link.
If you have only one department for which you are an Effort Coordinator, you will be taken directly to the Department Summary page for that department.
The Department Summary page presents all of the information that an Effort Coordinator needs to manage the effort certification process for a department.
The first section of the screen shows a summary chart of the status of the Department’s Certification Forms.
For each status, it shows the number of individuals in the status, and percentage of total in each status.
Every effort statement in the system is tagged with a particular status, which changes as it moves through the system.
Note: These totals reflect the most recent certification period. When a new certification period starts, the totals are reset.
Certified, Processed, Payroll Pending
Not Certified, Not Processed, Reopened
The next section on the Department Dashboard page displays the department’s Primary and Secondary Effort Coordinators.
Effort Coordinators can be added and removed from the department in the Department Dashboard page.
The “Add” button is used to add a new effort coordinator for a department. A new window appears requesting the name of the new coordinator.
Next to all effort coordinators except the primary, in the “Actions” column, are three buttons. The left button, shaped like a yellow highlighter, will change the primary effort coordinator for the department, signaled by a change in the yellow highlighted row. The new primary effort coordinator will assume all the responsibilities of this role.
The middle button, a red “x”, will remove the individual from the list of effort coordinators for the department. The right button, a magnifying glass, is available only to system administrators.
The bottom of the Department Dashboard page shows the sub-departments that are associated with the department, if any. In ECRT these sub-departments are called Child Departments.
Below the sub-department list is the list of Certifiers associated to this Department. The Certifiers are subdivided into two groups – those employees that have Sponsored Activity, those with only Non-Sponsored Activity.
The third column, with the header ‘Statements’, will show previous periods’ certification statements. To review the certification statement, you will select the icon in the ‘Statements’ column.
The final portion of the Department Dashboard page is the awards section. This contains a list of all active and inactive accounts in the department. Similar to the Certifier list, the Award list is sub-divided into two groups: Active and Inactive. The system categorizes the awards by comparing the project end date to the current date.
This is a comprehensive list that contains both sponsored and non-sponsored accounts. To view more information about an award, select the award’s name.
Clicking on the name of any account in the list brings up a summary screen for the account. The summary page lists general information about the award including Name, Account Number, Sponsor Number, Sponsor Name, Sponsor Award Number, PI, Start and end dates. The middle section lists the department that the account is assigned to.
The bottom of the screen displays a list of all people with either effort commitments or payroll charges on the selected account. (The label “Certifier Name” is misleading.) Note that people from more than one home department may be linked to an specific account, and that the list includes both faculty and supporting individuals.
A certifier has a limited number of links on the Home Page when logged into ECRT. They can see reports and queries related to their project and department, view any historical effort statements that they have certified, or they can start the effort certification process for the current period by clicking on the link to View/Certify My Effort.
The certifier is brought to the Effort Certification screen. The effort statement must be reviewed by the certifier, updated if necessary, and certified by the user.
The top of the effort statement contains information about the certifier and his/her respective department, including the department name and number, certifier’s email address, effort coordinator, and certification period.
The body of the effort statement displays the effort category and awards which the researcher worked on in the previous period. There are subtotals for each effort category listed on the researcher’s statement.
The total in the Payroll % or $ column may add to more than 100% because of rounding. This will have no adverse effect on the certification process or statement.
The text box at the bottom allows certifiers to enter comments and notes.
Note that the % of Effort is shown in whole numbers, any changes that are made must be in whole numbers.
To complete an effort certification, the certifier reviews the effort percentages and adjusts as necessary.
The certifier will see an error message if the total certified effort in the % of Effort column is either less 99% or greater than 101%.
When all effort has been accounted for, the researcher clicks the “Certify” button below the totals.
The researcher is then presented with a certification message reminding them what they are certifying to.
After a final review of the information on the page and the certification statement at the top, the certifier will click the “I Agree” button under the message.
After this, the user is returned to the Home Page.
The effort statement is sent on to the EC for processing, along with any entered notes, as applicable.
For the Certifier
A notes box on the bottom of the effort statement is available to facilitate communication among people who share access to a statement – effort coordinator and certifier.
If an effort note is added to a statement, the department effort coordinator is required to perform the processing step. This ensures that the effort coordinator is aware of any note that may require action.
By clicking the Show Dollar Value link on the effort statement, the certifier can switch the view of the Payroll column, to show the total $ associated with the award.
The effort calculator link on the effort statement brings up a worksheet with all the individual’s accounts and the revised effort from the effort statement. The worksheet can be used to translate between hours vs. % of effort.
One can enter data in hours/week, and see the result in percentage and person months; enter percentage data and see the result in hours and person months.
First, it is necessary to enter the average number of hours worked per week during the period. This number will vary for each individual. Next, decide whether to convert hours worked to percentages, or percentages to hours worked. Select the appropriate radio button.
Enter average hours per week
Estimate average percentage. The calculator computes average hours worked per week.
Enter either hours to compute percent or percent to compute hours.
When the user “hovers” over the Account links with the mouse, a popup window appears which displays commitment data and the PI name, phone number, and email address.
If you would like to print a paper version of the effort statement, select the Effort statement PDF Icon from the top right of the View/Certify My Effort page.
The effort certification group view presents the effort cards of non-self certifiers for the Principal Investigator to certify.
To Certify in Group View the PI must click on “Certify My Researchers – Group View”.
The effort certification group view presents effort cards for all of the PI’s researchers. The PI will only be able to certify effort for the accounts that he is responsible for, all others will be grayed out.
By clicking certify all, all effort with checked boxes will be certified.
Once all researchers are certified, their cards will no longer be visible.
To review a certification statement from a prior period, select the View My Historical Effort link from the ECRT home page. This will take you to a page that will display any effort statements that you have previously certified in ECRT.
Manage Effort Tasks
Primary Effort Coordinator
There is only one difference between a primary and secondary effort coordinator. Primary effort coordinators are responsible for the various tasks in the system.
Tasks are created based on actions taken in the system.
These tasks include processing certifications and reviewing payroll adjustments to closed effort statements
In ECRT, these processes are tracked in the Manage Effort Tasks screens.
Manage effort tasks is separated into several different tabs.
The four available tabs are:
The tabs will only appear if
there is a task in that category.
ECRT will automatically process any effort statements that are certified with minimal changes to the effort percentages and no effort notes created by the certifier.
To make sure that all effort cards being processed are brought to the attention of the effort coordinator, these cards will still appear as tasks. However, those cards will be preceded by a double asterisk (**), and when clicked, the task will be removed.
If a certifier substantially changes the percentages in the effort statement, or leaves an effort note, the Effort Coordinator will need to review and process the effort statement, by selecting the link to the item in the Effort Processing Work Items list.
If the researcher certifies to a percentage that is different than the computed percentages, ECRT calculates the dollars related to the changes and shows them to the right of the changed lines.
It is the EC’s responsibility to review the appropriateness of the cost transfers and effort that has been certified. After review, the EC clicks the “Process” button at bottom of the page.
After processing, the item is removed from the task list and the status is set to “Certified Processed”.
If after reviewing the certification the Effort Coordinator believes the values entered are not appropriate, he/she should indicate the reason why there is a problem in the notes box and click the “Return to Certifier” button at the bottom of the screen.
This action causes an email to automatically be sent to the researcher telling him/her that the certification needs further review and to contact the EC. It also changes the status of the certification from “Certified” back to “Not Certified”.
The researcher would then reopen the certification, review the notes, take appropriate action as needed, and resubmit for processing.
If an activity is above or below the configurable threshold, currently set at 25%, then the activity will be highlighted in yellow. This highlighting is meant to alert a user that there is a large discrepancy between the sponsor commitment in ECRT and certified effort.
The next tab of the Manage Effort Tasks page is Sponsored Activity Notification. Items appear here when an effort coordinator processes an effort card with a certified effort percentage significantly less than the sponsored required effort.
The Cost Transfer tab is contains a list of all effort cards that have cost transfers calculated during their processing.
Clicking on the notification will display the effort card as it was processed.
To find the dollar value of the calculated cost transfer, it will be necessary to run the cost transfer report.
The next tab of the Manage Tasks page is Payroll Adjustment Work Items. Items appear here when a cost transfer is loaded into the system after an effort statement is certified and processed.
Selecting a link from the Payroll Adjustment Work Item list will display the individual payroll adjustment that has been made. From this screen the user can select to Post Adjustment or Ignore Adjustment. A checkbox allows you to determine whether the effort card will need to be certified again after the adjustment is posted.
Note: Ignore Adjustment is rarely utilized, as the user will either want to accept the adjustment and select Post Adjustment, OR accept the adjustment and Re-Open the card for additional review or changes.
Assign Proxy Functionality
To assign a proxy to a certifier, an Effort Coordinator will select the Manage Users link on the ECRT home page, then enter the individual who they would like to assign a proxy to.
At the bottom of the individual’s page, the Effort Coordinator will be able to enter a Proxy for the selected user, as shown to the left. When a proxy is assigned, the user will also need to chose a reason for why the proxy is being assigned. If the pre-defined reason “Other” is selected, the user will be prompted for an additional explanation in a short text box.
When a proxy has been assigned, the bottom of the individual’s manage users page will display the Proxy name and reason, as shown to the left. Both the proxy and certifier will be sent an email notifying them that the designation has been made. Similar emails will be sent if a proxy assignment is transferred or terminated.
When a Proxy logs on to ECRT, if they have users they are designated for, they will see a link for “Complete Proxy Certifications”
By clicking the Complete Proxy Certifications link, the Proxy can see a list of all of the certifiers he/she is responsible for. The Proxy can select “View Current” for each certifier, which will take them to Effort statement, where he/she can certify the statement.
When a Proxy certifies an effort statement, the attestation statement states that the Proxy must have suitable means of verification that the work that was performed.
Proxy Assignment Rules:
On Hold Functionality
Effort Coordinators have the ability to place a certifier’s effort statement On Hold. There are two ways to put an effort statement On Hold – one at a time or multiple statements at a time. To place an individual effort statement On Hold, an Effort Coordinator can navigate to the certifier’s effort statement, and select the On Hold check box, as shown to the left.
To place multiple statements On Hold, the Effort Coordinator can go to the Effort Cards on Hold link on the ECRT home page.
Once in the Effort statements on Hold page, the Effort Coordinator will be able to select multiple certifiers and then place them all On Hold at one time. When the save button is pressed, each of the effort statements will be listed at the bottom screen as On Hold.
In order to take an effort statement off, the effort coordinators will have to go to the individual’s effort statement and uncheck the “On Hold” checkbox. Effort Coordinators are able to navigate to the individual’s effort statement from the Effort Cards on Hold page, by selecting the magnifying glass icon in the Statements column, shown to the left.
The Effort Coordinators will be able to reference the total number of effort statements On Hold by reviewing Certification Summary on the Manage Department Page. This page can be viewed by selecting the Manage Department link from the ECRT home page, and scrolling down to view the Certification Summary statistics, shown to the left.
Adding a Commitment
If it is necessary to add a line on the effort card because effort was expended on the award without pay, or payroll charges are not yet posted on an account, the effort coordinator selects the ‘Add Commitment’ link on the Home Page or from the drop down menu on any screen.
On this screen, the coordinator will enter the data necessary to create a commitment, the certifier’s name, and the account to be added. The user can select from both active and inactive accounts.
Once all of this information has been entered, the user will select the ‘Add Entry’ button. When the button is selected, the user will see a confirmation screen. If the information that has been entered is correct, the user will select ‘Add Entry’ and receive a confirmation that the commitment was added.
Adding Cost Sharing
To add cost sharing over the life of an award, the add cost sharing link can be used.
This method will have the same basic effect of adding the cost sharing in PeopleSoft directly.
On this screen, the coordinator will enter the data necessary to add cost sharing; the employees name, the sponsored account receiving the cost shared effort (To Account), the non-sponsored funding source providing the effort (From Account), the cost share % or the dollar amount, the start and end dates and an optional justification for the cost share that will to be added. The user can select from both active and inactive accounts.
Once all of this information has been entered, the user will select the ‘Add Entry’ button. When the button is selected, the user will see a confirmation screen. If the information that has been entered is correct, the user will select ‘Add Entry’ and receive a confirmation that the cost share was added.
Viewing Historical Effort Statements
The Effort Recertification link on the ECRT home page allows an Effort Coordinator to view previous effort statements for members of their departments, as well as to re-open effort statements if the current certification period is still open.
Enter the name of the certifier in the search box.
The Administrator should select the period desired and click the button at the bottom right to “Open for Recertification”. This will cause an email to be sent to the researcher saying she needs to recertify her time for that period.
Effort Coordinators can re-open a card for certification if the certification period is still open. After the certification period is closed, only Central Administrator can re-open an effort card.
The Certification Payroll Report shows the GL payroll transaction entries for a specific individual or a department and date range. It summarizes these entries in two formats -- by account or by pay period.
The report for an individual will show the pay that was charged to each account during each pay period within the certification period, the total amounts charged to each account during the period, and the percent of total pay during the period for each account
The Sponsored Project Employee Summary (SPES) report lists all of the employees and amounts associated with effort on a specific account, for the effort reporting period. It shows the amounts both as percent and dollar amounts.
The Commitment Listing Report allows a user to view the details of a Commitment and status as indicated by the Commitment icon. There are multiple criteria for narrowing or expanding searches. This report can be downloaded to PDF for easy printing of effort statements for auditors.
The Monthly Commitment Summary Report allows the user to view a twelve (12) month summary of Commitment. Use the fields provided to search for Commitment threshold entries.
The External Audit Report lists all individuals that have effort statements in a specified status. There are multiple criteria for narrowing or expanding searches. This report can be downloaded to PDF for easy printing of effort statements for auditors.
Because it can be run for a whole department, it is also a useful tool for department effort coordinators to make a printed file copy of all effort statements for their department for a given quarter.
The Certifier Salary Activity Report displays the salary information for all supporting individualscharging the selected Certifier’s awards.
The effort coordinator selects the Certifier and then a Month and Year to return payroll information, by month from the time selected for the subsequent 12 months.
The Certification Status Report allows the user to search for a status of a certification statement for a specified group of certifiers. The report shows the current status for each certifier of a specific employee type for a period of performance
The Cost Transfer Report displays all of the cost transfers that have taken place for a particular Department, period, and certifier type. Only cost transfers for Awards in the Department selected will be displayed.
The ECRT Created Cost Transfer Report displays all cost transfers generated in ECRT along with the payroll data from the Certification Payroll Report. The combination of data shows the detail history or payroll transactions on the certification statement.
The Department Award report displays all active and inactive Awards for the selected Department.
The Grant Without Principal Investigator report will produce a list of Grants that do not have an assigned principal investigator. The report results are displayed in a table format and can be exported to an Excel file, a PDF document, a Microsoft Word document, or an XML file. Press the Run Report button to launch the report.
ECRT Project Information
Campus Effort Administrators
- XXX XXXXX - ### - ### - #### - [email protected]
- XXX XXXXX - ### - ### - #### - [email protected]
- XXX XXXXX - ### - ### - #### - [email protected]
Huron Consulting Group
-Daniel Lodes– 636-795-0101 – [email protected]
-Stephen Kosciolek – 312-731-6840 – [email protected]
The effort on a sponsored project may be equal to or greater than the salary charged to the project, and may be the same or different than the planned effort. It is recognized that activities of individuals in an academic institutions are often inextricably intermingled so a precise accounting of time spent on various activities is not required.