The Office of Sponsored Accounting works collaboratively with the Office of Sponsored Programs to assist and support Syracuse University’s mission and dedication to research by providing guidance, assistance, education, and compliance throughout the effort certification process.
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Overview to get you started: Effort Reporting FAQs
The federal government requires an effort report when an individual is compensated by or has agreed to contribute time to a federally sponsored project. All faculty who serve as Principal Investigators (PI) on sponsored agreements are personally responsible to certify the amount of effort that they and their employees spent on sponsored activities.
The effort devoted to sponsored projects, whether charged to the sponsor or cost-shared by the University must be reflected in the University’s payroll system and its associated systems of records.
What is effort and effort reporting? Effort Reporting Glossary
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-share). 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.
Federal requirements regarding effort reporting
All federal awards are subject to A-21 and/or Uniform Guidance. The Office of Management and Budget’s Uniform Guidance defines what costs are allowable and allocable to federal grants. Uniform Guidance sets forth criteria for acceptable methods of charging salaries and wages to federally sponsored projects. Both Uniform Guidance and A-21 require a payroll system that directly charges salaries to appropriate projects.
Uniform Guidance also requires that the University develop a mechanism to determine or confirm how individuals actually expend effort during a specified time period. These effort reports must be performed on a regular schedule and must be certified by individuals who have first-hand knowledge of 100% of the employee’s compensated activities. In most cases, that would be the employee or the direct supervisor of that employee.
Syracuse University has an Effort Certification Window which is the timing of when Effort Reporting is open to campus for the pre-review and certification functions to be completed. The Effort Certification Window can occur up to three times a year and can be subject to change based upon system upgrades or other needs. This Effort Certification Window will be published in advance of the opening of each Effort Certification Window.
The Syracuse University Certification Time Period is the time period(s) for which effort is being certified such as Spring, Fall, Summer.
University Effort Reporting Certification Time Periods for the Current Year Payroll Calendar
Faculty Effort Reporting Certification Time Periods:
- Spring (January 1 – May 7)
- Summer (May 8 – August 23) Effort Certification Window Calendar
- Fall (August 24 – December 31)
Staff (including Grad Assistants) Effort Reporting Certification Time Periods:
- Spring (January 1 – May 15)
- Summer (May 16 – August 15) ERS – Read Only Feature [PDF]
- Fall (August 16 – December 31)
Effort Reporting Procedures
- Reference guide for department coordinator and sub-department coordinator responsibilities during the effort certification period [PDF file]
- Reference guide for faculty and staff (including grad students) responsibilities during the effort certification period [PDF file]