Effort Reporting

Effort Certification Overview

Effort Concept Map

Why Effort Reports Are Necessary

The university uses Effort Reporting to help ensure that agencies are charged only for the time employees spend working on their project.  Appointments are allocated based on an estimate of what a person is expected to do.  After the work is performed, salary is paid and allocated according to that estimate.  Effort Reports are generated based on the payroll allocation in Banner®.  Project Directors must certify that the payroll allocation reasonably reflects the employee's actual effort.  Effort certification confirms charges made to a grant project are appropriate and correct.  Without certification, the salary charge is not authorized and may be transferred to the responsible department. 

How to Verify Effort Reports

Effort reports are generated using the payroll distribution in Banner®.  The payroll distribution should be a reasonable reflection of an employee's actual effort, within 5%.  In other words, is the portion of salary paid relatively the same as the portion of time worked? The formula below can be used to determine whether an Effort Report can be certified.

Effort Cert Equation

If the Effort Report is reasonable, it can be certified and returned to Grants Accounting.  If the Effort Report is not accurate, it should not be signed.  Return it to Grants Accounting with an explanation.  If the salary allocation needs to be revised, include a Salary Distribution Revision form to correct Banner®.  A new Effort Report will be generated and sent for certification.

Earnings Excluded from Effort Calculation

Some types of salary are not used to calculate effort percentages.  Earnings which are not considered part of the Institutional Base Salary and earnings that do not impact the percentage are excluded.  These include:

  • Supplemental Pay
  • Retroactive Pay

When are Effort Reports Sent

Effort Reports are generated 6-8 weeks after the close of a period, typically around the 15th of the month.  This allows at least 45 days for salary payments to be reviewed and corrected if necessary.  Reports are generated three times a year based on semester.

Certification ID
Earning paid during...

Redistribution Deadline

Reports Compiled on or near








est. 6/16
follows year end deadlines


Uncertified Effort

Effort Reports are the university's way of verifying that salary expenses charged to grants are accurate and reasonable.  When Effort Reports are not returned on time, there is no assurance that the salary expenses have been reviewed.  Department Chairs may be notified and the salary expense could be transferred from the project to the responsible department.

Recertification of Effort

Once effort has been certified, further changes to salary allocations are rarely permitted and may require additional documentation to explain why the original allocation was certified if it was not correct.