The federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires an accurate record of effort contributed by University personnel to sponsored projects. These Effort Reports are generated semi-annually for all personnel except those classified as casual employees. Effort Reports must be certified within 30 calendar days of the end of the Effort Report period.
Effort is defined as the reasonable estimate of work performed by an employee on a sponsored project during the period covered by the Effort Report. Effort is not the same as the number of hours worked. It is a proportional measure of what tasks or projects that an employee worked on, regardless of how many hours they worked. Effort should always total to 100%, regardless of whether someone is full-time or part-time. Examples:
Effort worked during the period must support any amount compensated. To ensure this, effort worked must be greater than or equal to the percentage of the salary that was funded from the project during the period. Also, if effort is greater than funding, cost sharing may need to be reported.
Certifying Effort Reports is the process of reviewing Effort Reports for accuracy, making any appropriate changes to reflect effort accurately, and electronically signing the Effort Report to certify its accuracy.
There are two important aspects to managing Effort Reports well:
A person's FTE status can never be greater than his or her recorded effort. Also, when submitting Retro PAs, pay attention to the potential need for a Cost Transfer, as well as the potential effect on the accuracy of the Effort Report. All three of these components should be considered together as an integrated whole.
Effort Reporting is a 4-step process:
For detailed information on the institutional effort reporting system, please see: http://www.uthouston.edu/effort-reporting/