Time and Effort Reporting
As a recipient of federally sponsored projects, Notre Dame de Namur University must comply with the effort reporting and certification requirements of OMB Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions. Specifically, section J.10 of OMB A-21 requires the University to maintain and certify records to substantiate that salaries and benefits charged to sponsored projects accurately reflect the effort devoted toward activities associated with those charges. In application of this requirement, the federal government recognizes that “…in an academic setting, teaching, research, service, and administration are often inextricably intermingled. A precise assessment of factors that contribute to costs is not always feasible, nor is it expected. Reliance, therefore, is placed on estimates in which a degree of tolerance is appropriate.” This requirement does not put University personnel on a specific time-clock, but applies a standard of reasonable, allocable effort.
In compliance with this requirement, NDNU requires all University staff, faculty, and student workers, exempt and non-exempt, who have committed effort to a grant or sponsored project, in part or in full, to complete and certify a monthly Time and Effort Report. Effort is defined as the time spent on any professional activity by an individual and is expressed as a percentage of the individual’s total University effort. Total University Effort (100% effort) represents the total effort expended to accomplish the full set of activities encompassed by an NDNU appointment regardless of the actual number of hours expended on those activities. Therefore, effort distributions are not based on a 40-hour work week, but are calculated as a percentage based on the total hours spent on work-related duties. The sum of an individual’s effort percentages must always be 100%. Salary charges are distributed according to these effort percentages.
For example, if an employee works a total of 60 hours per week during a reporting period and spends 15 of these hours each week on a sponsored project, that person has spent 25% of his/her effort on the sponsored project and 75% effort on other professional activities. If another employee spends 20 hours per week during the same reporting period, of which 5 hours each week were spent on a sponsored project, that employee would also have spent 25% of his/her effort on the sponsored project and 75% effort on other professional activities. In either of the above examples, 25% of the employee’s wages and benefits for the reporting period would be charged to the sponsored project.
Time and Effort Reports will reflect an after-the-fact reporting of the percentage distribution of activity of NDNU personnel involved in federally sponsored projects.
Non-compliance with the effort reporting procedures set forth in this policy and in agreement with the requirements of OMB Circular A-21 may result in serious penalties for the University and/or the individual certifying effort. These penalties may include disallowance of costs, and in some cases criminal charges may be brought against an individual certifying to a falsified Time and Effort Report. In addition, failure to properly certify and submit Time and Effort Reports as required by this policy may result in salary costs being charged to the department of an employee, rather than to the applicable sponsored project.
Certified Time and Effort Reports, both physical and electronic (PDF copy), as well as any relevant backup documentation will be maintained and archived by the Office of Finance and Administration.
Effort Reporting and Certification Procedure
All NDNU staff, faculty, and student workers, exempt and non-exempt, who have committed effort to a grant or sponsored project, in part or in full, must complete a Time and Effort Report. Time and Effort Reports are to be completed and certified on a monthly basis.
The NDNU Time and Effort Report can be found at http://www.ndnu.edu/grants/documents/time-and-effort-report.xls, or by following the steps below:
- Point your web browser to www.ndnu.edu
- Click the Faculty and Staff tab
- Under Administration, click Grants and Sponsored Projects
- Click the Grant Management and Administration Handbook link
- Under Forms and Resources, click Time and Effort Report
- Open the Time and Effort Report (Excel file)
Complete each section of the Time and Effort Report following the instructions below. For detailed, visual instructions on how to properly complete a Time and Effort Report, please view the Time and Effort Reporting Tutorial PowerPoint presentation.
SECTION A: EMPLOYEE INFORMATION
- Electronically fill out all cells highlighted in blue, indicating your Name, your Position/Title, the Department for which you work, and the Month and Year for which you are reporting.
SECTION B: TIME & EFFORT REPORTING (TIME DEVOTED TO PROJECT)
- Electronically fill out all applicable cells for Section B highlighted in blue as follows:
- SPONSORED PROJECT EFFORT DETAIL – Identify the sponsored project(s) you have committed effort to and include a brief description of each activity performed.
- NON-SPONSORED EFFORT SUMMARY – Provide a summary of the non-sponsored activities you have committed effort to. If you are 100% funded by a grant/sponsored project, leave this section blank.
- FUNDING SOURCE ACCT # – Identify the 15-digit account number(s) to be charged for each sponsored and non-sponsored activity you have committed effort to. Ensure that the account number(s) indicated are complete and accurate. Contact your Project Director if you have any questions in regards to the proper account number(s) to be used.
- PERCENTAGE (%) OF EFFORT – Identify the percentage of your total effort devoted to each sponsored and non-sponsored activity. Once complete, ensure that your Total Efforts are equal to 100%.
- NUMBER OF VACATION HOURS TAKEN DURING REPORTING PERIOD – Indicate the number of vacation hours taken during the period for which you are reporting.
SECTION C: SIGNATURES
All Time and Effort Reports must be certified (signed and dated) by both the employee submitting the report and by a certifying official who possesses first-hand knowledge (direct evidence) of the activities performed by the employee. In many cases, the certifying official will be the Project Director of the sponsored project under which the employee has committed effort, but a certifying official could also include the manager/supervisor of the employee, the department chair/director, or a school/college dean.
Employee: By signing your Time and Effort Report, you are certifying that the distributions of effort reflected on such report represent a reasonable estimate of the actual work performed during the period covered by the report.
Certifying Official: By signing an employee’s Time and Effort Report, you are certifying that you have first-hand knowledge of the activities performed by the employee and that the distribution of effort shown represents a reasonable estimate of the actual work performed during the period covered by the report.
DUE DATE: Completed Time & Effort Reports are due to your Project Director within five business days following the last regularly scheduled work day of the month being reported. Please ensure that your Time & Effort Reports are submitted on time. Late submissions cause problematic delays in other aspects of grant management and administration. Incomplete/Inaccurate reports will be returned to the reporting employee for rectification. Recurrent delinquency may result in corrective disciplinary action.
SAMPLE TIME AND EFFORT REPORT: This is a sample of a properly completed and certified Time and Effort Report.
TIME AND EFFORT REPORTING TUTORIAL: This PowerPoint presentation provides step-by-step instructions on how to properly complete and certify your monthly Time and Effort Report. Once open, hit the F5 key to begin the slideshow. The slideshow is automated and will play through without having to advance slides. A PDF version of this tutorial can be found HERE. It is highly recommended that all new project personnel view this tutorial prior to completing their first Time and Effort Report.
ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE: The Financial Analyst, NDNU Office of Finance and Administration is available to answer questions and provide assistance on proper Time and Effort Reporting policies, procedures, and requirements. One-on-one or small group training sessions are also available. Please contact email@example.com for more information or to schedule a training session.