INFORMATION FOR UNIT RAs AND FISCAL/BUSINESS STAFF
While Research Advancement Administrators (RAs) will not have a formal role in this process, they will be instrumental in prompting Principal Investigators to review and acknowledge reports and in supporting the PI’s confirmation and correction of pay where needed. To this end, RAs will be notified of report releases with a copy of the email notifications sent to Principal Investigators. The RA contacts for each Principal Investigator will be based on the ERA list of RAs for each Lead Financial Unit under which the Principal Investigator has an award.
Once a report is acknowledged, in place of the ACKNOWLEDGE button, Principal Investigators and RAs will see the ASURITE and date of whoever last acknowledged the report. This is referred to as the Acknowledgement Status. An overnight update process will remove reports with a status of ‘Acknowledged’ from the Award drop down list.
When RAs access the report, the Award drop down list will contain all awards for which they are listed as an RA in ERA. RAs will never see the acknowledgement button itself but will see the Acknowledgement Status.
All co-investigators on a selected award will have permission to view the report; however, they will not see the ACKNOWLEDGE button or Acknowledge Status. These are only visible to award PIs.
AFTER THE FACT REVIEW REPORT LEAD PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR INSTRUCTIONS
After the end of each academic period (spring semester, summer term, fall semester) you will receive an email with instructions for reviewing the personnel expenses charged to your sponsored accounts.
Please note: All co-investigators on a selected award will have permission to view the report; however, they will not see the ACKNOWLEDGE button or Acknowledge Status. These are only visible to award PIs.
Below is additional guidance for completing this compliance requirement, including screenshots and detailed instructions.
STEP 1: Access After-the-Fact Review Report via e-mail link
The email you receive will have a hyperlink to each of your projects for which an after-the-fact review and acknowledgement is required. When you click the hyperlink you will be taken directly into the After-the-Fact Review Report tool and the screen will display the personnel expenses for the sponsored project referenced in the hyperlink.
Click on the Award Number/Award Title hyperlink:
This will take you to the ASU Microsoft Services Sign In page, if you are not already signed in. Enter your ASURITE ID and Password
The After-the-Fact Review Report will open
If there are multiple accounts under the award, clicking the Expand All button will show amounts paid per account during the semester.
STEP 2: Review the payroll detail for each account and employee included in the report for the award which requires review and acknowledgement
STEP 3: Direct unit support staff to process any payroll transfers required to correct personnel charges
If you determine that payroll corrections are required, exit the report without acknowledging and work with your departmental support staff to process the required payroll transfers. After posting of the transfers, log back into the report and review the updated payroll detail.
You can log back into the report by creating a Favorites bookmark to save the report URL, or you can access the report by clicking on the hyperlink in the original email you received.
STEP 4: Acknowledge correctness of personnel charges
If correct, click the ACKNOWLEDGE button to acknowledge that all personnel expenses are accurate, allowable, allocable, and reasonable for the work performed.
The following message pop up box will appear:
If you wish to return to the report and not acknowledge, click cancel.
If you are ready to acknowledge, click and wait. There are a few seconds of delay before you will see the system processing. Once processed the Acknowledge button will be replaced with a status box reflecting the ASURITE ID of the person who acknowledged and the date acknowledged.
STEP 5: Repeat steps 1-4 for remaining awards with leading asterisk (*) in Award dropdown list
Each award can be accessed individually via the hyperlink in the email. Or, once you are logged into the report, you can move between award reports by using the drop down list at the top of the report page. The leading asterisk (*) means the award needs to be acknowledged. To move to a different award in the dropdown list, select the award and click on the View Report button in the upper right hand corner.
When all of the leading asterisks (*) for the awards in the award drop down list have been cleared, your review and acknowledgement requirement is complete. The star will immediately disappear from an acknowledged award and the acknowledged award will disappear from the dropdown list by the following day.
If future payroll transfers require you to re-acknowledge a report, you will receive a communication from the OKED system administrator. The award will be starred in your drop-down list again. If you have multiple accounts in your award you can hover over the acknowledge button to see which account has had redistributions.
You will have 45 days after the initial release of reports to complete your review and acknowledgement of all awards listed in the notification email. Please contact your Research Advancement Administrator or ATFfirstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance
The After-the-Fact Review Report, which replaces the former ASU effort reporting certification system, was developed by OKED to meet the requirements of compensation review in 2 CFR 200.430(i) Standards for Documentation of Personnel Expenses which states that
Charges to Federal awards for salaries and wages must be based on records that accurately reflect the work performed.
Budget estimates (i.e., estimates determined before the services are performed) alone do not qualify as support for charges to Federal awards, but may be used for interim accounting purposes, provided that:
The non-Federal entity’s system of internal controls includes processes to review after-the-fact interim charges made to Federal awards based on budget estimates. All necessary adjustment must be made such that the final amount charged to the Federal award is accurate, allowable, and properly allocated.
This report, in combination with ASU’s existing strong internal control system, provides a less cumbersome, more intuitive means for ensuring compliance with OMB requirements.
1. Primary differences between the old and the new systems
After-the-Fact Review Reports are based on compensation, not effort. Instead of individual effort report certification by each employee, the PI can now review and acknowledge all personnel charges for a sponsored project in a single view. Any corrections that are needed are made through the standard Peoplesoft payroll distribution process. Upon completion of the redistribution process, the PI acknowledges all personnel expenses are correct. The system creates and maintains a record of acknowledgement for audit purposes to demonstrate compliance with Uniform Guidance 2 CFR200.430(i)(1)(viii)(C).
2. The notifications to PIs to complete their review
An email notification to prompt periodic review and acknowledgement of interim charges by lead investigator will be issued following the final pay period of each academic period: spring semester, summer term and fall semester.
3. The frequency of After-the Fact Review Report
Reports are issued at the end of each academic period (spring semester, summer term, fall semester).
4. How long does a PI have to acknowledge the accuracy of the report?
45 days are permitted to review the reports, initiate any payroll redistributions, and acknowledge the report. See the calendar above.
5. Where can assistance be obtained if there are questions?
Questions and requests for assistance can be sent via email to ATFemail@example.com.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Why are we changing effort reporting? Following the issuance of Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) confirmed that effort certification is not a requirement of §200.430; rather, strong internal controls are the key to compliance with §200.430. Consequently, OKED has developed an After-The-Fact Review Report which will be used in place of effort certification to meet the compliance requirements of 2 CFR 200.430(i) Standards for Documentation of Personnel Expenses.
- Is this the way ASU will comply with Uniform Guidance in perpetuity, or is this a one-time method? This new method will be used going forward to meet the requirements of Uniform Guidance.
- How often will PIs have to acknowledge After-The-Fact Review Reports? Payroll expenditures for the entire 2018 calendar year will be reviewed and acknowledged in spring 2019; moving forward, PIs will need to acknowledge ATF reports every term (spring, summer, and fall).
- Is there a deadline for the PI to acknowledge the report? Yes, 45 days after the initial release. See the calendar for the review period as well as the review and acknowledge window.
- What happens if the PI does not go in and click the Acknowledge button on the report? The report will remain in an Acknowledgement status of ‘Pending’ until acknowledged by the PI.
- Can the PI delegate this action? There is not currently an option for the PI to delegate this action.
- What is the RAs role in this process? RAs are expected to support the PI in the process by requesting needed payroll cost transfers and regularly reviewing account expenses with the PI.
- As an RA, will I be able to see the report? Yes, if you are listed as an RA for the award in ERA, you will be able to see the report by clicking on the following link, putting in your ASURITE ID and password and selecting the award from the report dropdown list. When you reach the report page, create a bookmark so you can easily return to the site later. Will I see all awards I am responsible for in the dropdown list? You will see only awards that you are listed as an RA for in ERA and which had payroll expenses for 2018. Once the PI acknowledges these awards, they will disappear from the dropdown list the following day. They will reappear if payroll expenses change on the award.
- As an RA, when I go into the report will I have the Acknowledge button? No, the Lead PI will be the only individual to have an Acknowledge button on his/her report. An RA will see a status box in the upper right area of the report indicating if the report has or has not been acknowledged. The report will disappear from your dropdown list the day after it has been acknowledged.
- Can PIs who manage a child project/account of an award see the report? Yes, if the PI is an account PI but not the Lead PI of the award s/he has access to the report. Do they also acknowledge? No, at this time only the Lead PI of the award will be able to acknowledge. How would this PI access the report? Account PIs do not receive the initial email but they can access the award reports that encompass their projects by going to the following link and putting in their ASURITE ID and password. A dropdown list at the top of the next page will show a list of all awards they are an account PI on. These awards will not have an asterisk (*) and will disappear from the dropdown list once the Lead PI has acknowledged them.
- What if the PI has left ASU? If the PI has left ASU and the award has not ended, an ORSPA Action Form should be completed to process a change in PI. If the award has ended, please contact ATFfirstname.lastname@example.org.
- How do PIs access the reports? At the end of the reporting period, Lead PIs will receive an email listing all their awards. Each award in that email will be hyperlinked to the report. PIs can access their reports by simply clicking the links embedded in the initial email. They may also access reports via the following link. Any awards needing acknowledgement will have an asterisk (*). Those without an asterisk will either be awards that they are account PIs for only or are awards they have just acknowledged. Once acknowledged reports will disappear from the dropdown list the next day.
- In the email going to investigators it says that the PI should hold off acknowledging the report until after any payroll cost transfers are processed. Is the report not static? Correct, it will continue to update as changes are made in the financial system.
- When I click on the Acknowledge button, nothing happens. What’s wrong? When the PI clicks on the report Acknowledge button, a popup box will appear giving the PI a chance to return to the report or go ahead and acknowledge. Once the OK button is clicked in the popup box, the box disappears. There is a few second delay before the system indicates it is processing. When the Acknowledge button has been replaced by a status box, the report is done processing.
- Accounts seem to be missing from the report. Who should I contact for help? Accounts will only appear on the report for acknowledgement if payroll expenses were posted to the account for the reporting period. If accounts with payroll expenses seem to be missing, first contact your RA and unit HR support staff to confirm that payroll expenses were charged to the account for the reporting period. If payroll expenses were charged during the reporting period and the account is still not showing on the report please follow up with an email to ATFemail@example.com to determine why the account is not showing up on the report.
- What happens when personnel expenses are moved on/off the account after the report has been acknowledged? An auto email will be sent to the PI (RAs copied) saying the report has changed and needs re-acknowledgement. The dropdown menu at the top of the report will show the report listed again with an asterisk (*).
- If changes need to be made to a report that has already been acknowledged, will the PI need to acknowledge again? Yes. What happens to let the PI know s/he needs to re-acknowledge? An auto email with a link to the award that had payroll cost transfers, will be sent to the PI (RAs copied) the Monday morning after a pay period ends, letting the PI know a re-acknowledgment is needed.
- When the PI must re-acknowledge an award report with multiple accounts, is there any way to tell which account(s) had the changes, so s/he does not have to review the accounts that did not change? Yes, if the PI hovers over the Acknowledge button a popup box will appear with a list of the accounts on the award. Any account with “Pending” next to it is one that had a change and needs to be reviewed.
- What happens if someone acknowledges by mistake and the report is inaccurate? When the report is corrected with payroll cost transfers the report will again be available with the Acknowledge button.
- How will I know the report has changed and is ready to be re-acknowledged? An auto email with a link to the award that had payroll cost transfers, will be sent to the PI (RAs copied) the Monday morning after a pay period ends, letting the PI know a re-acknowledgment is needed.
- What training/communication will be provided to PIs? Step-by-step PI work instructions have been created to assist PIs in completing the review and acknowledgement process.
- Will effort-q still be the go-to resource for questions? No, a new mailbox ATFfirstname.lastname@example.org has been set up for questions regarding After-The-Fact Review Reports.
- Where can we send process improvement requests? Any process improvement suggestions can be sent to the ATFemail@example.com mailbox.
- What is IBS and what is the IBS% column on the report for? IBS (Institutional Base Salary) is the base annual compensation set by ASU for an individual’s appointment, whether that individual’s professional effort for ASU is spent on instruction, research, public service, administration, or other activities, and whether that employee is appointed full-time or part-time. The IBS % is on the report for your convenience. It provides a reference point for comparing payroll charged to an account to total payroll earned for a period of time, excluding non-IBS pay. For example: If you see on the report that $1,000 of an individual’s pay was charged to the XYZ account for the spring semester and you know that this individual should be receiving 50% of his/her pay from this account, how do you know that the $1,000 represents the correct pay from this account for this individual? You can look at the IBS %. If it says 50%, the pay is probably correct. If it says 100% you know cost transfers may be needed.