The University of Alabama (UA) employs an after-the-fact effort reporting system as the principal means for certifying that salaries charged to sponsored projects are reasonable and consistent with the portion of total effort committed to sponsored projects. The effort reporting process allows UA to document that actual effort in direct benefit of sponsored projects is certified and appropriately allocated when considered in the context of all institutional activities. Principal Investigators (PIs) and other faculty and staff paid from sponsored projects must confirm, after the fact, that salaries charged to sponsored projects are consistent with the actual effort that was contributed during the certification period.
The federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR 200) require that each grantee maintain a system of distributing salary charges to federal awards that results in a reasonable allocation to each award. The salary distribution system must include a periodic review to confirm the reasonableness of salary charges to federal projects.
Contract & Grant Accounting manages the Effort Reporting System (ERS) and process to ensure that faculty, student, and staff salaries charged to externally sponsored grants and contracts are reviewed and certified.
UA policies and procedures set forth internal controls on effort reporting that comply with federal regulations. The actual effort devoted to each sponsored project during the certification period must be the determining factor in allocating the appropriate salaries to those sponsored projects. Additional resources and access to the Effort Reporting System are available for review.
All employees involved in certifying effort must be aware of these requirements and the importance of compliance. As a reminder, sponsored effort committed during the academic year cannot be deferred or “charged” to the summer period.