Employee Compensation Confirmation (ECC)
As a recipient of federal research funding, the University of Pittsburgh is required to maintain a system that allows for verification that direct labor charges to sponsored projects are accurate, timely and reflective of the actual level of work performed.
Employee Compensation Confirmation (ECC) is a web-based application that facilitates the electronic certification of effort on federally sponsored projects. ECC integrates data from the University’s PRISM General Ledger, Payroll, Salaried Personnel Activity Report (SPAR), and Research Proposal and Accounting (RPA) applications to enhance compliance management while significantly reducing the administrative burden of the effort certification process.
ECC Roles, Training and Reference Materials
ECs are responsible for the pre-review of effort statements associated to their department(s) prior to opening of the Certification Period. As the Certification Period progresses, ECs must monitor the remaining uncertified effort in their department(s) and follow up with Principal Investigators (PIs) as necessary to resolve issues so that all effort may be certified in a timely manner.
- Lead Effort Coordinator (LEC): Each department must have at least one LEC, but multiple LECs are allowable. It is recommended to have at least two LECs to ensure coverage during employee absences. LECs are able to view Department Dashboards, individual effort statements, and run reports of activity within their assigned department(s). LEC will be able to view effort percentages and salary dollars distributed for all individuals within the LEC’s assigned area of responsibility.
- Secondary Effort Coordinator (SEC): The SEC role is optional, there is no requirement to have an SEC in your department. SECs may view Department Dashboards, individual effort statements, and run reports of activity within their assigned department(s). SECs will only see effort percentages for all individuals within the SEC’s assigned area of responsibility. No salary distribution information will be visible to the SEC.
- Primary Effort Coordinator (PEC): One of the LECs in each department must be identified as the PEC. The PEC will serve as the primary department contact for all effort correspondence for automatic emails from ECC and follow up emails from Central Administration. Additionally, the PEC is the only person to receive and approve PAR Tasks in the ECC application. Care should be taken to ensure that the designated PEC is available for these critical tasks throughout the certification period. PEC designation may be changed as necessary on the Department Dashboard by clicking the yellow highlighter next to another LEC’s name in the Department Effort Coordinator section.
Mandatory Effort Coordinator Workshops
ECs must complete the Basics of Effort Reporting and ECC Effort Coordinator Training prior to being granted access to ECC.
A description of the workshop and registration is available on the Workshop Registration page.
Basics of Effort Reporting
Learning Objectives of Workshop: To develop an understanding of effort reporting requirements on federally sponsored research as mandated by the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and supported by the University’s Effort Reporting policy.
Target Audience: Required for University staff whose responsibilities include administration of sponsored research projects.
ECC Effort Coordinator Training
Learning Objectives of Workshop: To understand the responsibilities of an Effort Coordinator and to navigate Employee Compensation Compliance (ECC).
Target Audience: New Department Administrators or other staff whose responsibilities include managing effort certification by research faculty. Required in order to be granted access to ECC. Basics of Effort Reporting is a prerequisite to this workshop.
Brief Description of Workshop
- Brief overview of effort reporting requirements
- Effort Certification Schedule
- Overview of ECC application
- Discussion of Effort Coordinator responsibilities
- Hands-on exercises to learn application navigation
- Discussion of Principal Investigator responsibilities and hands-on certification exercise
- Certifier designee and proxy discussion
- Review of resources available on Financial Compliance for Research website
EC Reference Materials
PIs of federally-funded sponsored projects are responsible to inform department/grants administrators of effort contributed on their sponsored projects by themselves and all others working on those projects, and to provide an after-the-fact confirmation that labor costs appearing on their federal sponsored projects are reasonable based on the work performed on those projects. This effort certification also provides a confirmation to the sponsor that the effort expended in support of this project has been performed as promised (the pre-award commitment).
The Faculty Effort Reporting workshop is offered each academic term. A description of the workshop and registration is available on the Workshop Registration page . Training is not mandatory, but highly recommended.
PI Reference Materials
Certification Period and Other Critical Dates
Summer Academic Term
- May 1, 2020 – August 31, 2020: Period of Performance
- September 8, 2020: Pre-Review Start Date
- October 2, 2020 – November 17, 2020: PI Certification Window
- November 24, 2020: Deadline to modify SPARs for Salaried Employees and allow one business day for PAR Task/re-certification before Write-Off Date
- December 1, 2020: Write-Off of Uncertified Effort
Fall Academic Term
- September 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020: Salaried Payroll Period of Performance
- November 1, 2020 – December 26, 2020: Hourly Payroll Period of Performance
- January 8, 2021: Pre-Review Start Date
- February 5, 2021 – March 23, 2021: PI Certification Window
- March 24, 2021 at 5:00 pm: Deadline to submit SWCT for Hourly Employees*
- March 30, 2021: Deadline to modify SPARs for Salaried Employees and allow one business day for PAR task/re-certification before Write-Off Date
- April 1, 2021: Write-Off of Uncertified Effort
*SWCTs impacting this academic period of performance that are submitted after 03/24/2021 will be processed in April and require a 90-day exception request
Spring Academic Term
- January 1, 2021 – April 30, 2021: Salaried Payroll Period of Performance
- December 27, 2020 – May 1, 2021: Hourly Payroll Period of Performance
- May 7, 2021: Pre-Review Start Date
- June 8, 2021 – July 22, 2021: PI Certification Window
- July 23, 2021 at 5:00 pm: Deadline to submit SWCT for Hourly Employees*
- July 29, 2021: Deadline to modify SPARs for Salaried Employees and allow one business day for PAR task/re-certification before Write-Off Date
- August 2, 2021: Write-Off of Uncertified Effort
*SWCTs impacting this academic period of performance that are submitted after 07/23/2021 will be processed in August and require a 90-day exception request