Cost Share Tracking System (CSTS)

Frequently Asked Questions

System Functionality/Access

Policy/Compliance

General

Q.  Are transactions in the Cost Share Tracking System (CSTS) routed for approval?
A. No. Entries in CSTS take effect immediately.
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Q. If one is neither a fiscal officer nor an account delegate, how does one input and update the cost-sharing and effort in the Cost Share Tracking system?
A. The Account Associate can also access and use the Cost Share Tracking System. Account associates are set up on the Account document in KFS.
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Q.  Who is able to access the Cost Share Tracking System?
A. Access is restricted to certain key individuals assigned to an account(s)with an UC Fund Cost Share indicator set to yes in KFS:
  • Principal Investigator
  • Fiscal Officer
  • Account Delegate
  • Account Associate
The above individuals may enter and retrieve information in the Cost Share Tracking System.
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Q.  How often is the information in the Cost Share Tracking System updated?
A. The Cost Share Tracking System uses account and payroll information from DaFIS Decision Support, which is updated nightly Sunday through Friday.
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Q.  When looking at the Payroll Transactions on the Imported Transaction Review screen, how are the cost share dollar amounts calculated?
A.

For each month, the system calculates the total amount (salary and benefits) paid to the employee (no matter the pay period end date) and then takes a percentage of that to find the target dollars for the month. However, since exact transactions need to be referenced (for tracking and preventing double-sharing), the program then loops over the transactions made during that pay period and uses that information.

The cost share amounts are based on the percentage that was entered in the cost share tracking entry for the specified account. The system pulls the first transaction it finds and if the target dollars are reached with that transaction, no additional transactions are imported. If the percentage is not fulfilled with the first transaction, the system will import a second, third, or fourth transaction until the target dollars are met.

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Q.  The percentages on the Approved Transaction Review screen don’t reflect the percentage I entered in the Manage Tracking Entries page. Why?
A. The percentages in the Approved Transaction Review screen do not represent the percentage of your total salary. They represent the percent of the transaction line that was used to meet the dollar value needed. For example, assume you charge your salary of $5000/month to two accounts at 50% each. Each month, you’d have two pay transaction lines:
  • Account A, $5000 at 50% = $2500
  • Account B, $5000 at 50% = $2500
If you cost share 10% of your total salary ($500) to a project and run the retroactive import, the cost share system will pick up:
Account A, $2500 at 20% = $500
The 20% is what you see in the Approved Transaction Review screen.
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Q.  I tried a Retroactive Transaction Import but no transactions were found. Why?
A. It’s possible that your salary entries are being ‘held’ in another fund. When the retroactive import is run, transactions are marked as fully used until someone accepts or rejects them. Once they’re rejected, they are available for another retroactive import. If they’re accepted, the portion of the transaction needed to meet the cost share commitment is noted, and subsequent retroactive import requests can access only the remainder of the funds for that transaction.
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Q.  The system has categories for cost sharing by 'Salaries and Wages', 'Equipment', 'Supplies/Travel', and 'Other'. Indirect Costs doesn't seem to be an option. How can I report my indirect costs?
A. Indirect costs are calculated by the system on any direct costs you identify. There is no mechanism in the system for identifying waived indirect costs. The Extramural Fund Manager will calculate those manually when reporting to the sponsor.
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Q.  The amount of cost sharing dollars for one month is much higher than the other months. Why?
A. The cost sharing dollars are based on all salary transactions that posted during the month based on the transaction month, not the pay period end date. If payroll cost transfers were processed during the month, the total salary for that month may be greater than in other months.
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Q.  At the time of submission the grant did not have cost sharing in the budget, but cost sharing later takes place. What needs to be done?
A. E-mail the Extramural Fund Manager, informing of the change and request that the fund be established as cost shared in the Cost Share Tracking system. Follow the instructions for documenting the cost sharing in the Cost Share Tracking system.
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Q.  How often should a department review and update the Cost Sharing Tracking System?
A. At least quarterly, unless more frequent reporting of cost share information is required by the sponsor. Any changes in the commitment of cost sharing or a change in effort commitments resulting in a cost share obligation should be entered into the Cost Share Tracking System at the time they occur.
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Q. What account should I use for cost-share obligation if my faculty member is split-funded on general funds by different colleges and/or departments?
A. You must confer with your faculty member to determine the funding source/account that will be used to meet the cost sharing commitment. Please note that a federal or federal flow-through fund source cannot be used to meet the cost share commitment.
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Q. In my proposal I listed 10% effort but I will not charge my salary to the award. This represents a voluntary cost share commitment. As the project progresses some costs are less than originally anticipated and I now have funds available to re-budget to cover my 10% commitment of effort. Am I allowed to direct charge my effort to the project?
A. The Office of Research should first be contacted to determine if the award from your agency sponsor contains terms and conditions that allow rebudgeting, and if prior approval is required. If rebudgeting is allowable, then you must establish the payroll distribution to direct charge the 10% budgeted effort to the project account and reduce your cost share commitment in the Cost Share Tracking system. Because you promised voluntary committed cost share, the cost share must still be met with funds other than the 10% of your salary which is now direct-charged.
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Q.  How should a department handle cost sharing for emeriti since they have a 0% appointment in PPS?
A. If the emeritus faculty member is named as the PI on the award, the emeritus PI is volunteering his or her services on the research agreement. Volunteer services furnished by professional and technical personnel, consultants, and other skilled and unskilled labor may be counted as cost sharing or matching if the service is an integral and necessary part of an approved project or program. Rates for volunteer services shall be consistent with those paid for similar work in the recipient's organization. In the case of emeriti working on sponsored projects, it is generally acceptable to calculate the value of the contribution using the last salary rate, including benefits, multiplied by the percentage of time worked (as compared to the hours worked when full time). Use the ‘Manage 3rd Party Contributions’ screen in the Cost Share Tracking System to enter the emeritus faculty member’s contribution.
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Q.  What are the documentation requirements for third-party contributions?
A. See Documentation Requirements for Third-Party Contributions
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Q.  Since the system will not allow fractional percentage points, I cannot exactly match my cost sharing dollar commitment. Should I use a percentage that exceeds the target, if I can’t match exactly?
A. Yes, we need to show the sponsor that we met or exceeded the cost sharing commitment.
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Q. We submitted a proposal that included 50% cost-sharing for a co-investigator. The funding agency cut the amount of our award by 18%. How much cost sharing is now committed to the project?
A. In general, we are obligated to meet our original cost sharing commitment based upon the terms and conditions of the award. However, if the proposal committed the cost sharing at a fixed dollar amount, or at a fixed percentage of the proposed budget, then we are committed to cost sharing that fixed dollar amount or fixed percentage. Reducing that amount based on the reduced award would require the PI and department to work with the Office of Research in requesting an amendment to the original submission. However, if the proposal was submitted with a cost-sharing promise that was based on a percent of the awarded amount, then the Office of Research will likely not need to seek agency approval for a reduction in our committed cost share. It is critical to work with Office of Research in either case.
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Q.  How does cost sharing work with faculty who hold administrative appointments in addition to research appointments where their administrative position is for the full 12 months at a higher salary than their professorial title where their research would normally be charged?
A. If the faculty member holds an administrative appointment and has also been awarded a research award where a cost sharing commitment of effort has been offered, the cost share funding must be provided from the fund source where the faculty member's effort is being freed up to perform the duties under the research agreement. Each faculty member's institutional activities and responsibilities differ greatly and effort commitments should be monitored closely to ensure that a faculty member does not over-commit their time in light of all their institutional responsibilities.
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Q.  How does one's time and salary relate to effort reporting?
A. Effort is not the same as salary. Effort must be reported based on one's total institutional activities and must total 100%. Effort does not equate to any specific number of hours. The number of hours one works varies greatly among individuals. Salary payments are recorded in the Payroll and Personnel System (PPS) based on the estimated percent of effort budgeted in the award. The actual effort expended on a project may be different than that estimated in the budget. Because PPS generates the payroll effort on the effort reports, it is important for the individual to certify their effort report based on the actual effort expended in the quarter.
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Q.  Do cost share Salaries and Wages entries include benefits?
A. Yes, the cost share percentage is based on total Salary plus Benefits. To calculate the dollars needed to match the cost share commitment, total all salaries and benefits for the period based on transaction month not pay period end date, then multiply by the percentage of the cost share commitment.

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