Grants Finance & Operations

Effort Certification


The U.S. Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21 requires personnel activity reports for employees who fit certain criteria. The method of accounting for effort is the after-the-fact method. Effort Certification Documents must be completed for employees who:

  • Receive full or partial compensation from a Federal and Federal Pass Through sponsored research account in the Research Administration fund group (40-59 accounts)
  • Contribute part of their effort as cost sharing on a Federal and Federal Pass Through sponsored research account

These effort certification documents will be generated according to the following schedule: 
(Also see Effort Certification Calendar)

  • Those on Academic 10-pay appointments have three effort certification periods per year, each semester and summer (August to December, January to May, and May to August for academic summer appointments). Electronic batch processing will be early February, early July and late September
  • Those on monthly 12-pay appointments have two effort certification periods per year (July to December and January to June). Electronic batch processing will be early February and early August
  • Those on biweekly appointments, paid either partially or wholly on sponsored research accounts have two effort certification periods per fiscal year. (July to December and January to June). Electronic batch processing will be early February and early August. (Please note that prior to the 2011 fiscal year, bi-weekly effort certification periods occurred on a quarterly basis.)

The effort certification document is designed to account for 100 percent of an individual's base salary during the period covered by the report. Activity covered by overload appointments and supplemental compensation, such as lectures or consulting, is excluded.

The effort certification document will represent all accounts from which the individual's salary was paid and the percentage of effort committed to each source. If an individual has made certain cost-sharing commitments, these will also be designated, showing both the sponsored research account that required the cost-sharing, the cost share sub-account and the source account from which these commitments are being met.

Any corrections to sponsored research accounts or cost-sharing must be added at the time of approval. Any increase or decrease of percent will spawn an automatic salary expense transfer document to reflect changes upon final approval of the effort certification document.

The effort certification documents route electronically to the primary delegate or fiscal officer established in Kuali FinancialSystem. These electronic documents route initially to the fiscal officer or assigned delegate on all sponsored accounts for which the employee was paid. Once approved the documents then route to account project directors on all federal and federal pass through projects for certification.

Effort certification documents are used by federal auditors to determine whether the appropriate effort was devoted to a sponsored project. If discrepancies are found on effort certification documents, the difference will be removed from the sponsored research account in question to a non-sponsored account.

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