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A-21 Effort Certification at UACES

A-21 Effort Certification at UACES

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A-21 Effort Certification at UACES

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  1. A-21 Effort Certification at UACES SANDRA WILLIAMS Office of Sponsored Programs

  2. Effort and Effort Reporting Effort is defined as the amount of time spent on a particular activity. It includes the time spent working on a sponsored project in which salary is directly charged or contributed (cost-shared effort). Effort reporting is the mandated method of certifying to the granting agencies that the effort charged or cost shared to each award has actually been completed.

  3. Why do we certify Effort? • Effort reporting is a federal requirement. • As a condition to receive federal funding, institutions must maintain an accurate system for reporting the percentage of time (i.e., effort) that employees devote to federally sponsored projects (see OMB Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions - Compensation for Personal Services). • UACES applies this standard to all sponsored projects.

  4. When do we Certify Effort? UACES has two effort reporting periods: • January 1st to June 30th • Effort Certification Report generated about Sept 1, return by Sep 30 • July 1st to December 31st • Effort Certification Report generated about April 1, return by Apr 30

  5. Who Certifies Effort? OMB Circular A-21, Section J.10 requires that the certification report be signed by “the employee, principal investigator, or responsible official(s) using suitable means of verification that the work was performed.”

  6. Examples of suitable means of verification: • E-mail correspondence • Direct supervisory responsibility • Contact from the employee’s supervisor • Establish a protocol with employee for communicating changes in effort • Notes from meetings or discussions • Calendars, travel records, teaching schedules and lab notes • Time sheets and log books

  7. What Effort Certification Is “NOT”. Effort certification is not how the payroll expense was distributed. If the payroll expense distribution does not match actual effort, a payroll correction will need to be processed. It is recommended that supervisors check expense distribution and effort at the beginning of each certification cycle to assure they will match.

  8. Which Funds Do We Certify? Federal Smith Lever (14xxx) Federal Smith Lever (21xxx) Federal Smith Lever Matching (22xxx) Other Federal Grants and Contracts (23xxx) Other Federal Matching (24xxx) State Grants & Contracts (25xxx) State Grants & Contracts Matching (26xxx) Private Grants & Contracts (28xxx) As of fiscal year 2010, federal formula funds effort must be certified. (14xxx)

  9. Some Red Flags: • Late effort certifications • Certifier does not have firsthand knowledge of work performed or suitable means of verification • Over 90% effort placed on the grant • No effort placed on grant • Untimely payroll redistributions and corrections without proper justification/explanation • Significant amount of re-certifications • Records do not match certification • Effort on proposal is not reflected in certification

  10. Some Red Flags: • Late effort certifications • Certifier does not have firsthand knowledge of work performed or suitable means of verification • Over 90% effort placed on the grant • No effort placed on grant • Untimely payroll redistributions and corrections without proper justification/explanation • Significant amount of re-certifications • Records do not match certification • Effort on proposal is not reflected in certification

  11. Reminders: • Effort Reports for the Period 7/1/11 – 12/31/11 will be distributed by April 1st. • When submitting retro-active e-Hires include appropriate descriptions explaining the need for the adjustment in the remarks section, such as (to reflect appropriate effort associated with grant-related activity). ***If you find any payroll entry errors which do not require an updated e-Hire, please contact Nicholas Dudley in payroll at ext. 2057 and provide a copy of the original e-Hire for the payroll correction to be processed.