Documentation of Personnel Expenses – LR 603.13

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University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Policy Name: Documentation of Personnel Expenses
Policy Number: LR 603.13
Effective Date: June 15, 2016
Revised Dates: –
Most Recent Review Date: –


As a recipient of federal funding, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is required to comply with the Office of Management and Budget Circular Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (“Uniform Guidance”) 2 CFR 200. Documentation of personnel expenses (also known as effort certification, salary certification, or time and effort) is a process mandated by the Federal government to verify that direct labor charges to federally sponsored agreements and any associated cost share is reasonable and reflects the actual work performed. This policy must be applied consistently to ensure that the salaries and wages charged to sponsored projects are accurate, allowable, reasonable, properly allocated, timely, and consistently treated.

To Whom Does This Policy Apply

This policy applies to all UA Little Rock individuals, including students and temporary employees, who have salaries or wages paid from sponsored projects and/or have effort committed to sponsored projects.

Rules and Regulations

Faculty and staff involved in sponsored projects must report activities for which they are compensated each academic term. “Effort” refers to the amount of time and effort spent on any sponsored activity, expressed as a percentage of one’s total compensated institutional activities. In no case can the percentage of an individual’s salary charged to a sponsored project significantly exceed the percentage of the individual’s total effort that is expended on the project during an effort reporting period.

Documentation of personnel expenses should reasonably reflect the total activity for which the employee is compensated by the non-Federal entity and Federal entity, not exceeding 100% of compensated activities; outside consulting and stipend payments should typically not be included.

UA Little Rock requires all federally funded employees involved in sponsored activities to use the BOSS Effort Certification online system to report their effort each semester. Additionally, all principal investigators (PIs) are required to use this system to approve their employees’ effort reports. For an effort report to be completed, both employee and PI must sign the effort report.


The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) processes effort reporting as follows:

  1. ORSP sends an email to all employees, PIs, and unit administrators when an effort report is available to be certified and/or reviewed.
  2. ORSP sends an email reminder if the effort report has not been certified after one (1) week.
  3. After two (2) weeks, ORSP sends an email to the dean listing the names of the employees in their college who have not certified their effort reports.
  4. After three (3) weeks, ORSP sends an email to the provost listing the names of the employees who have not certified their effort reports.

After 30 days, the following penalties will be imposed for non-compliance:

First offense: Indirect cost distribution to the PI, department, and dean will be held until the certification is completed.

Second offense: A 5% non-compliance fee will be imposed on the existing cash balance of the designated fund associated with the PI and department.

Any personnel expense transfer, COST changes or Labor Redistribution will reflect on the Effort Report. All Labor Redistribution must be processed in a timely manner online in BOSS.

The Department must maintain the documentation on the Labor Redistribution and the reason the labor redistribution occurred.

Roles and Responsibilities

All employees paid through federal grants, principal investigators, and unit administrators are required to attend an Office of Research and Sponsored training session on effort certification. Each individual is only required to attend one session.

Principal investigators are required to approve effort reports after the employees certify them. Graduate assistants are not required to certify an effort report. PIs will certify for them.

Unit administrators must review effort reports for accuracy.

ORSP contacts employees to notify them of their effort reporting responsibilities and reviews and approves/disapproves all submitted effort reports.

Source: Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
Status: Active
Approved By: Chancellor Joel E. Anderson, June 15, 2016
Custodian: Office of Research and Sponsored Programs