Effort Reporting

Why do we have to certify effort?

OMB’s Uniform Guidance requires that institutions receiving federal awards maintain systems and procedures documenting the distribution of activity, and associated payroll charges, to each individual sponsored agreement.  Effort Certification is our means of providing assurance to sponsors that faculty and staff have met their commitments, paid or unpaid, to sponsored projects.

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Why is effort reporting important to Emory?

Federal awards represent the majority of Emory’s sponsored project grant and contract award activity. Salary expense represents the largest direct cost component included in the budgets of sponsored projects. Paying salaries with federal funds requires an institution to have a system that provides records on how individuals participating in federally funded sponsored agreements actually spend their time. It is incumbent upon institutions receiving federal funding to maintain accurate and auditable systems and records. In recent years, the federal government has become very active in reviewing the effort reporting requirement. It is currently a specific audit focus in federal audit plans. Federal audit disallowances can result in large audit disallowances and financial penalties for institutions. Additionally, criminal charges may be brought against an individual certifying to falsified effort.

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Who should certify effort forms?

Effort should be certified by the PI, the supervisor or by an employee who has firsthand knowledge of the time spent by the individual. The signer must understand what they are signing and “know” the effort. Business managers, administrative and accounting personnel should not certify for faculty. The certifier should be as close as possible to the work performed.

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Effort Reporting System (ERS)

Emory fulfills its effort reporting requirement by using ERS (Effort Reporting System).  ERS is a web-based system with electronic routing and email notification for updating and certifying efforts. Effort reports are system generated for employees who are paid from sponsored projects or have effort commitments on sponsored projects. Effort certification is done semi-annually for all eligivle employees. Certification of the effort form should be done by the individual with effort commitments or salary payments from the sponsored project. Before a form is certified it must be pre-reviewed by a department representative.  Forms are accessible via the web by means of the user’s Emory Net ID/Emory Single Sign-on.  Access is limited only to the department representative pre-reviewing forms or the certifiers. To gain access to ERS, email the request to EFFORT@LISTSERV.CC.EMORY.EDU.

Access the system at: https://effort.emory.edu.

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Labor Distribution System

Labor Reports are available via the Emory Business Intelligence tool and are used to view detailed payroll information. 
To request labor access, please submit the Labor Data Access Form, located at:http://ogca.emory.edu/documents/reporting/laboracessdataform.pdf.
Department access should be approved by the department chair or business manager.
Access Emory Business Intelligence (EBI) at: https://dwbi.emory.edu/analytics/.

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Cost Transfers of Salary/Effort

The electronic RST system allows for the processing of adjustments related to salary dollars and the associated fringe benefits (retroactive salary transfers (retroactive salary transfers (RST)) from within the system. RSTs may be done before an effort from is generated.

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