Effort Reporting System

Effort Reporting Roles

This page gives an overview of the major responsibilities/roles in the Effort Reporting System (ERS). Having users in different roles maintains a proper separation of duties in ERS.

Each of these roles has its own system permissions/access. The ERS Security page provides information on how to add standard and customized roles and permissions in ERS for those situations where an ERS user does not automatically have all the access rights they need.

Your campus ERS Security Administrator assigns and modifies ERS permissions. Contact ERSHelp@ucdavis.edu if you have questions.

ERS Coordinator

Coordinators are responsible for receiving the ERS e-mail notifications and communicating the information to the reviewers and/or certifiers in their department. While ERS coordination duties will vary by department, typical duties during each reporting cycle include:

  • Receiving e-mail notifications from ERS.
  • Notifying the appropriate persons to verify or correct the percentages of actual effort and cost sharing. This may be someone other than the certifier.
  • Notifying certifiers that reports are ready to certify. May also involve meeting with certifier (PI).
  • Monitoring report lists to ensure all reports are certified within 30 days.
  • Following up to make sure payroll adjustments are made in the Payroll Personnel System (PPS) as needed.
  • Following up to make sure the Cost Share Tracking System is updated where needed. Is the cost sharing on the reports reflective of the information entered in the Cost Share Tracking System? Look specifically for any "default" entries that were created by Contracts & Grants Accounting on behalf of your department.
  • Monitoring report lists, watching for reports that are reopened or reissued. Recertification should be rare, as reports certified more than once indicate poor internal controls.
  • System Permissions for ERS Coordinators are usually assigned the Viewer or Payroll level.

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigators (PIs) are responsible for certifying their own effort reports. Effort must be certified for any employee who is paid from a federal or federal flow-through fund or who has a cost sharing commitment of effort on such a fund. The PI must ensure that the total percent for each sponsored project, including cost sharing, and the amount directly charged to the fund is correct.

PIs may also certify reports for student employees or staff who may not have sufficient knowledge of which project their work is benefiting. A PI should not certify for another faculty member, even if the faculty member worked on one or more of the PI’s projects. Effort reports must be certified by a person with first-hand knowledge of all the activities of the person for whom the certification is made. It is rare that one faculty member will be aware of all the activities of another faculty member, therefore it is generally inappropriate for one faculty member to certify for another.

Visit the FAQ page for instructions on what to do if a PI has inadvertently certified for another PI.

PIs have three automatic report lists in ERS that show them the reports for which they are responsible:

  • My Effort Reports shows their own reports only
  • My Projects shows the reports of all employees who were paid from or had cost sharing on any fund or account for which they are the PI.
  • My Certifications shows all reports the PI should certify.  See the My Certifications page for a comparison of My Projects and My Certifications.

PIs do not need any special system permissions in order to access, view, edit, and certify the reports on these lists.

ERS Security Administrator

ERS Security Administrator functions are performed by the Contracts & Grants Accounting staff for all campus departments. The ERS Security Administrator can:

  • grant and revoke ERS access to users
  • create, view and update roles and permissions
  • view and change user information such as e-mail address and active status
  • access ERS System Administration Menu functions, including compliance reports
  • Security Administrators CANNOT edit or certify any effort reports

Contact ERSHelp@ucdavis.edu if you need assistance with permissions.

Supplemental content

Effort Reporting System Menu