Inaccurate and incomplete effort certification of effort continues to be the top audit finding for colleges and universities and is resulting in severe financial penalties.
Effort is work or the proportion of time spent on any activity and expressed as a percentage of total time worked. Total time worked is based on total hours worked during the week and could be greater than 40 hours. Total effort for an employee must equal 100%. Salaries and wages charged to grants must be based on effort expended.
Institutions must maintain an accurate system for reporting the percentage of time that employees devote to sponsored projects. An effort reporting system provides the principal means for certifying that the salaries and wages charged to sponsored projects are consistent with the effort contributed. All employees involved in certifying effort must understand that severe penalties and funding disallowances could result from inaccurate, incomplete, or untimely effort reporting.
The A-21 requires an after the fact confirmation of effort so that costs distributed represent actual costs. Rate of Effort (ROE) reports are to be completed by all non-student employees whose salary is charged, in whole or in part, to a grant or is used to meet cost sharing or matching requirement on a grant, according to OMB A-21 Section J.10c(2).
Rate of Effort Reports are to be done at the end of each semester and are to account for 100% of the employee's time. The report is certified by the employee. The report is due to SPA immediately following the end of the semester.
These reports are viewed regularly by the auditors who may discuss indicated effort with individual faculty members.
More information: Tips on Effort Reporting