Policies & Procedures


 

Section: C&G
Part: PRO
Statement No.: 4.8.1
Date: 12/20/10
University of North Carolina - General Administration
Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual
Title: Time and Effort Reporting

 UNC General Administration is subject to OMB Circular A-87, "Cost Principles for State, Local, and Indian Tribal Governments" and its stated requirements for Time and Effort documentation practices:  www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/omb/fedreg/2005/083105_a87.pdf.

Consistent with A-87, the UNC-GA Time and Effort Reporting System utilizes a planned effort reporting process.  For each subject employee, a plan is established at the beginning of the grant period showing the commitment of their time and effort and whether the time is contributed or charged directly to the grant.  This planned effort is certified by the employee each month, should correspond to payroll records and grant activities, and is approved by a person (supervisor) with first-hand knowledge of the employee's activities or the project principal investigator.  An employee's effort distribution must equal 100% across all sources.  Should the planned effort change during the grant period, a new plan is reported, approved and entered into the T/E system, and salary distribution system if applicable.  In all cases, the employing department is responsible for communicating Time and Effort reporting requirements to unit employees in association with contract or grant activities and the principal investigator is ultimately responsible for the activities of project employees and the allowability of grant-funded expenditures, including salary charges.

Who is required to complete a Time and Effort Report?
Any UNC-GA permanent employee working on a contract or grant, who:

  • Receives 100% or less of their salary directly from grant funds
  • Receives no direct salary but is contributing effort to meet required cost sharing on a contract or grant.

For hourly employees (temporary employees, graduate assistants) the biweekly time sheet will serve as the after-the-fact certification of effort.

 

How is Time and Effort Reporting Established for Employees?

UNC GA Human Resource Forms required for Time and Effort Reporting:

Request to Establish Position:  www.northcarolina.edu/hr/ga/class_comp/forms/Request-to-fill-position.pdf

Employee Status Change Form, PD-109:  www.northcarolina.edu/hr/ga/class_comp/forms/Form_109_07-2010.pdf

 

New Positions as a Direct Cost

New employees can be established in the time and effort system once recruitment is complete.  The first step is to have the establish new position request approved by Contracts and Grants for budget availability and allowability relative to the approved project scope of work.  The Request to Establish EPA/SPA Position form and any supporting documentation is submitted to Contracts and Grants by the hiring department for approval.  The Request to Establish will indicate the distribution of salary support from all approved sources.  Contracts and Grants will forward the package to HR for review and approval.  Upon recruitment, a T/E set-up form is created by the hiring department indicating the effective date, position number, name of employee, name of supervisor or project PI, and the distribution of effort from all approved sources.  The T/E set-up form is submitted to Contracts and Grants for entry into the T/E system no later than the first week of employment.

 

Established Positions as a  Direct Cost

Existing employees may have changes to their level of effort on contract and grant activities to reflect changes in duties or the additiona or expiration of contract or grant-funded projects.  In this case, both the salary administration system and the T/E system must be updated to reflect the new level of effort and corresponding distribution of salary.  To change an existing employee's distribution of effort and salary, and Employee Change Status/Compensation Form, "PD-109" is created by the employing department to indicate the effective date of the change, the current salary distribution, the revised salary distribution, and a brief justification for the change.  The PD-109 should be approved by the principal investigator and the Division Director or Vice President.  The revised salary distribution represents the "new" planned effort.  The PD-109 form is submitted to Contracts and Grants by the hiring department for budget availability and allowability relative to the approved project scope of work.  Contracts will forward the approved PD-109 to Human Resources for final approval and implementation.  A T/E set-up form is also completed by the hiring department indicating the effective date of the revised level of effort (the "new" planned effort), position number, name of employee, name of supervisor or project PI, and the distribution of effort from all approved sources.  The PI should also provide a brief justificatioin for the change on the T/E set-up form.  The employee's total effort must equal 100%.  The T/E set-up form should be submitted to Contracts and Grants for entry into the T/E system.  The PD-109 and T/E set-up forms should be submitted to Contracts and Grants simultaneously.  For monthly employees, the forms must be submitted to Contracts and Grants at least one month prior to the effective date.  For biweekly employees, the forms must be submitted to Contracts and Grants at least one pay cycle in advance of the effective date.

Established Positions as Cost Share

Employees may contribute a portion of their state or trust-funded effort as cost share or match against contract or grant-funded activities.  The value of the contributed effort must be captured in an auditable and consistent manner.  The UNC-GA Time and Effort Reporting System is the only approved auditable manner to quantify contributed time and effort for reporting to external sponsors.  In the case of contributed effort, only the Time and Effort System needs to be updated.  A T/E set-up form is completed by the employing department to indicate the effective date, the current salary distribution, and the percentage of effort that will be contributed to the contract or grant activity along with a brief justification from the project principal investigator.  The total effort on the T/E set-up form must equal 100%.  The form is submitted to Contracts and Grants by the hiring department for approval as to allowability relative to the approved project scope of work and entry into the T/E system.  The T/E set-up form for contributed effort should be submitted to Contracts and Grants as least 15 days prior to the effective date.

How are Time and Effort Reports Completed?

All subject employees will indicate the planned effort equals the actual effort for the reporting period by checking the affirmation box above the signature line.  In the event the actual effort deviated from the planned effort, the actual effort percentage will be written on the form.  Action should be taken by the employing department to submit a PD-109 form to update the employee's salary distribution if the deviation will exceed the month being reported/certified.  The employing department should also generate a reclassification of the salary charges associated with the period being reported so the actual effort and the actual payroll charges are reconciled (equal), as is required by OMB Circular A-87.  In all cases, the total effort for each T/E reporting cycle should equal 100%.  The form is not considered complete or duly certified without the affirmation check box marked, or the actual effort entered by the reporting employee. 

Who Should Approve Time and Effort Reports?

Under Federal OMB Circular A-87, effort reports should be approved as follows:

  • For Principal Investigators - no approval signature needed - just PI certification of actual effort
  • For Employees - principal investigator or supervisor with first-hand knowledge of the employee's activities must provide approval signature for the certification of effort.

When Should Time and Efforts Reports be Submitted?

Time and Effort reports are generaged at the beginning of each month for the previous month's activity.  The reports reflect the planned effort identified during the T/E set-up process and are based on actual payroll charges or contributed effort.   Certified and approved reports must be returned by close of business on the Friday of the 3rd week of the month.  Each T/E report will list the specific calendar due date.

Time and Effort Training

Training for departmental contract and grant administrators is conducted several times each year.  Time and Effort reporting is featured during each training session to ensure continuity of practice in the event of staff turn-over.