Research & Economic Development

Office of the Vice Chancellor

Review FAQs about Effort Verification Reports

What is the purpose of Effort Verification Reporting?

Federal regulations require that the effort devoted to sponsored projects be appropriately documented, including a semiannual certification that the salaries charged are reasonable in relation to the effort devoted to those projects.

Some grant awards may require a recertification of effort more often than university policy dictates. If this is the case, the more restrictive language of the grant award should be followed.

Who is governed by this regulation?

Faculty and staff who dedicate effort to one or more sponsored projects (whether funded by federal agencies or other sponsors); administrative staff responsible for monitoring payroll charges; and others who may be responsible for certifying the effort of others.

What is meant by “effort”?

Effort is the proportion of time spent on any activity, expressed as a percentage of the total professional activity for which an employee is employed by UMKC.

If an employee works 20 hours a week and spends 10 of them on a particular grant project, effort should be listed as 50 percent for that project.

If an individual is monitored monthly (such as on NIH or NSF grants), the concept is the same: two months spent on a specific project out of a six month period is equal to 33 percent.

The total university effort constitutes 100 percent effort, so the total effort expended cannot be more, or less, than 100 percent.

Does the Effort Allocation Estimate (EAE) always need to be completed?

Yes.

It is important to monitor the actual level of effort an employee is dedicating to an activity against the level of payroll the employee is receiving from the same activity.

Effort distributions reflect the actual allocation of an individual’s effort to individual projects.

Who should sign the Effort Verification Reports?

Each employee should certify his or her own effort and sign his or her own report.

If this is not possible, an individual who has reliable information as to how the employee's effort was expended (such as a direct supervisor, fiscal officer, chair, or dean) may complete and sign the report.

If the Effort Allocation Estimate is different from the Planned Allocation, are Payroll Correcting Entries required?

No.

The Planned Allocation is just an estimate, and correcting entries are not necessary to update the payroll to match this number.

If Effort Allocation Estimate is different from Payroll Data, are Payroll Correcting Entries required?

Yes.

The EAE should match the payroll with a maximum discrepancy of 5 percent per line. Copies of any Payroll Correction Entries (PCE) created to reconcile the effort and payroll must be attached to the EVR and submitted along with the report itself.

If an employee is devoting 10 percent effort to an activity, but our department is subsidizing 5 percent of her salary to keep payroll costs low on the grant project, how should she report the Effort Allocation Estimate?

If an employee is devoting more time to an activity than payroll is being paid from the same activity, it is acceptable to report less effort than is truly being expended.

In this case, the employee should report 5 percent effort on the grant project and 5 percent on the departmental account from which her salary is subsidized.

(The exception to this would be if the sponsored project requires a certain level of effort from employees, in which case the employee should report her level of effort as it truly is.)

What if an employee was paid from a chart field string, but did no work on that activity?

Payroll Correction Entries (PCE) should be created to move payroll off of that chart field string.

Copies of any correcting entries created to reconcile the effort and payroll must be attached to the EVR and submitted along with the report itself.

Why would there be a need for a Payroll Correcting Entry if my department is tracking and monitoring pay and effort throughout the year?

While salary charges to sponsored projects are made initially based upon the planned or estimated workload of faculty and others, the actual effort of each individual working on sponsored projects must be monitored, with charges modified as necessary based upon the variances between estimated and actual effort.