Certification of Effort Reporting

Op4.02-6 Certification of Effort Reporting


Salaries constitute the largest component of the expenses charged to sponsored projects. It is essential that Missouri State University administrators, Principal Investigators, and support staff understand the basic principles underlying the allocation of effort, and the corresponding charging of salaries, to those projects.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 2 C.F.R. 200 titled Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance), requires charges to Federal awards for salaries and wages must be based on records that accurately reflect the work performed. These records must be supported by a system of internal control which provides reasonable assurance that the charges are accurate, allowable, and properly allocated.


The purpose of an effort reporting system is to provide a reasonable basis for verifying the distribution of salary charges among direct activities (sponsored research and match) and indirect activities (administration and instruction). Effort directly related to sponsored projects must be identified in the effort distribution and reporting process. Charges for work performed on Federal awards are allowable at the Institutional Base Salary (IBS) rate. Amounts in excess of IBS may be permitted for “Incidental Activities” and “Extra Service Pay” as defined in 2 CFR 200.430. In an academic setting, teaching, research, service and administration are often inextricably intermingled; therefore, a precise assessment of factors that contribute to costs is not always feasible. Effort is not defined as a single standard number of hours or days per week, since it will likely be different for each employee and may vary during the year. The federal government recognizes that measuring effort is not an exact science. The University's threshold for complying with the requirements while allowing for the approximation involved is 5%. Actual effort, therefore, can differ from that on the effort certification by up to 5% without necessitating a correction. Effort certification serves as an after-the-fact confirmation that the individual expended the promised effort budgeted to the project.


An electronic Semester Effort Report should be certified for each individual (faculty, professional staff or graduate assistant) who has been involved with an externally sponsored program (grant/contract) and should account for 100% of a person's effort. Reports are not required for employees paid on an hourly basis.

Following the end of the semester, a report based on actual payroll will be made available for each individual who was paid with funds either directly from or match for externally sponsored programs. Principal Investigators will be responsible to review all reports for their projects and certify that each employee did in fact put forth the effort indicated by the report.

Semester reports will use reporting periods which coincide with pay periods and are due by the dates listed below:

Semester Period Due Date
Fall 08/01 - 12/31 January 31
Spring 01/01 - 04/30 June 30
Summer 05/01 - 07/31 September 30

For additional information, please refer to “Electronic Time & Effort Certification User Guide” for instructions and terminology.