Most sponsored projects require a number of reports during the life of the project. The PI should be prepared to submit a final technical report at the very least. The importance of the submission of such a report on a timely basis cannot be overstated. The sponsor expects and deserves to be informed of results. Negligence by the PI may substantially impact his/her and the university's ability to receive future support from the sponsor and may also result in a loss of payment to the university for costs incurred. Such losses could become a liability chargeable to the investigator, department, and college.
Time & Effort Reporting
Under federal regulations, the university is obligated to provide detailed records of time and effort spent by faculty and staff on activities such as instruction, research, extension, public service, administration, and so forth.
Documentation of time and effort activity is required on all contracts and grants regardless of the source of funding and on all other activities that would have an impact on F&A costs. The university must be ready to provide sufficient detail concerning these activities to allow a reviewer to determine whether the work performed benefited sponsored projects. Faculty are reminded to take these reporting duties very seriously. Refer to the UWF ACRES User Manual (PDF) for more information.
Total UWF Effort
The federal government acknowledges that practices vary among institutions and within institutions as to the activity constituting a full workload. Accordingly, institutions are permitted to express effort in terms of a percentage distribution of total institutional activities.
UWF’s ACRES is intended to report 100% of an individual’s university activity. University activity includes teaching, research, public service, administration, and other university-related activities. It also includes activities performed by UWF personnel related to community service, service to the university, and/or service to his/her department. RSP’s staff offers periodic training to individuals/groups and will provide assistance upon request.
Only specific employee activities have to be certified on an effort report under 2 CFR 200 regulations. Activities that are always certifiable are the direct activities of Sponsored Research, Sponsored Instruction, Other Sponsored Activities, and associated cost sharing. When an individual has a pay distribution during the semester from a UWF fund classified as one of these certifiable activities, then ACRES will be required for that individual. ACRES will include 100% of the individual’s effort related to the base salary for which UWF compensates the individual. For example, an employee may be employed for .5 FTE or half time, but the .5 represents 100% of the individual's university related appointment. Therefore, 100% of the contracted effort is allocated to the salary source.
Effort Reporting (ACRES)
UWF's effort reporting is done on a semesterly "after-the-fact" basis. This means the ACRES report is completed in the semester following the activity. The individual will receive email notification when the system is open for ACRES submission. The ACRES reports are to be completed within 60 days of the end of the prior semester.
Changes in Effort
A Personnel Action Sheet should be submitted to officially change the payroll account distribution of an employee when that individual's effort changes. This will record the account distribution change on the Effort Report for future pay periods. Occasionally, corrections must be made to a previously certified effort report. When retroactive payroll changes are made to a previously filed term effort report (ACRES), each effort report must be re-certified and an explanation of why the change was made must be provided.
Federal Executive Level Salary Cap
The legislative mandated provision on some federal programs (such as NIH) imposing a cap on reimbursement of salaries creates a special problem in completing effort reports at UWF for highly compensated faculty and staff. By law, these federal agencies may not reimburse salaries under awards at an annual rate that exceeds the cap. This requires UWF to create a special Effort Report for those individuals that are compensated from these awards. These Effort Reports have to reflect the NIH salary cap base in effect for each award. The difference in the amount charged to the UWF account and the federal salary cap base is considered cost sharing for UWF. Once the effort report is certified, entries will be made to record this cost sharing.