Virginia Tech®home

Effort Reporting System Frequently Asked Questions

Contact the Office of Sponsored Programs (ERS@vt.edu) to update the department coordinator.

Only department coordinators can add sub-department coordinators.

Department coordinator and sub-department coordinator can add a pre-reviewer.

This is done with the principal investigator line assignment process using the following steps:

  1. Select management 
  2. Select assignments 
  3. Select change assignments for individuals 
  4. Select the department (use the top text box to filter, if desired), then select proceed
  5. Select the sub-department(s) and select proceed.  This lists all individuals in the sub-department(s). 
  6. Using the status dropdown menu (found in the top right corner of the list), select Eligible for principal investigator line item to see these individuals 
  7. Select all these individuals and select proceed 
  8. Select Enable line item forms and select proceed 
  9. Review the results, or note any errors, then select apply 

If error messages display, contact an ERS central administrator at: ERS@vt.edu.

  1. Select management 
  2. Select assignments 
  3. Select change sub-department assignments 
  4. Select a sub-department , then select proceed 
  5. Select change sub-department pre-reviewer
  6. Select from the list, then select proceed 
  7. Select apply

A department can add up to five sub-department coordinator, using the following steps: 

  1. Select management 
  2. Select assignments 
  3. Select change sub-department assignments 
  4. Select a sub-department, then select proceed 
  5. Select add sub-department coordinator
  6. Select desired name from the list, then select proceed 
  7. Review the selection, then select apply

The ERS form can be assigned to a pre-reviewer in the other department with the following steps: 

  1. Select management 
  2. Select assignments 
  3. Select change assignments for individuals 
  4. Select the department, then the sub-department 
  5. Begin principal investigator the graduate student name in the top row to filter, then select the graduate student and select proceed
  6. Select change pre-reviewer, then select proceed. 
  7. Note three options at the top, above the list of employees. Select assign somebody not in your domain
  8. Enter the sub-department associated with the graduate students project, then select search 
  9. Select a name from the list presented, then select proceed 
  10. Review the selection, then select apply
  1. Select the Initiate CT button at the bottom of the screen. This will lock the form to prevent further action until a correction can be made 
  2. Complete a Labor Redistribution (LR) in Banner, outside of ERS.  Updated payroll records will be automatically updated in ERS after the LR has been completely approved and finalized in Banner, and the pre-reviewer will be notified that that an updated report is ready for review 
  3. Log back into ERS, select the person and effort report. Note the message at the top of the effort report that a Retroactive Cost Transfer (RCT) has been applied.
  4. Review the changes and complete prereview, or select Initiate CT button if further changes are necessary.
  1. On the home page go to Search Employee Effort Form 
  2. Begin with typing the name of employee effort report, then select on the name and choose modify 
  3. Select the make changes button, then select on initiate CT. 

The status changes from pending certification to pre-review (CT Pending) and the form is locked until a Labor Redistribution can be completed.

When the pre-reviewer and line item assignment is completed, the status of the form will change to awaiting certification and both principal investigators will be notified that it is available for each to certify the line that applies to their project. After both have completed their project certification, the form will be complete.  

The graduate student will be on the list until the ther principal investigator certifies the effort for his/her project.

The employee is required to certify their effort on both funds with the effort form.

If they think a fund or percentage is incorrect, they should contact the home department coordinator to initiate the appropriate labor redistribution.

Determine if there has been a change to the employees home organization, and contact that department's department coordinator. 

If necessary, change the pre-reviewer. 

If necessary, complete a labor redistribution if the effort is incorrectly charged to your principal investigators fund.

A responsible official who is able to verify the work performed can be assigned by an ERS central administrator to certify the employee's effort form. 

ERS provides a way for the employee to certify their effort to date before they leave, which will make the verification easier for the responsible official. 

As part of the employees off boarding procedures, use the following steps to obtain a preview of any upcoming effort forms.

  1. Go to the reports menu, located in the effort results section.
  2. Generate the effort on demand preview report.
  3. Let the employee review the effort charged to the grant for the semester.
  4. Request an email from the employee indicating that the effort charge to the grant is accurate
  5. When the effort report for that semester becomes available, contact: ERS@vt.edu to change the certifier to principal investigator/department head.
  6. Have the principal investigator/department head certify the email.
  7. Send the email confirmation from the employee to ERS@vt.edu and attach it to the Effort Reporting System. 

Locate the reports menu.  Reports that can be generated are:

  • Common reports 
  • Comprehensive status report 
  • Effort by fund 
  • Effort by individual 
  • Effort form not completed 
  • Effort on demand preview

On the Effort Reporting System home page, in search employee effort forms,  enter the  employee name or ID.

The employee will receive an automatic to certify after it is pre-reviewed. 

  1. Login to Effort Reporting System
  2. Observe the status/to do section 
  3. Select the number that appears on the individual certification line in the current column 
  4. Verify that the fund(s) and the percent of effort is reasonable, then select proceed. IMPORTANT: If any corrections need to be made, inform the pre-reviewer or department coordinator by using the notify button and do not continue with certification until the form is correct.
  5. Allocate any effort charged to non-sponsored allocable fund if applicable review the certifier checklist 
  6. Select certify
  1. Observe the status/to do section.
  2. Project certification select on pending number of certifications
  3. Select name 
  4. Verify that the fund(s) and the percent of effort is reasonable, then select proceed. IMPORTANT: If any corrections need to be made, inform the pre-reviewer or department coordinator by using the notify button and do not continue with certification until the form is correct.
  5. Review the certifier checklist
  6. Select certify. Note: For assistance go to Help menu for resources.

The following reasons may be the isse:

  • The certifier may not have a Virginia Tech email address on file 
  • The email may have been delivered to a spam or junk folder 

If neither of the above, contact Effort Reporting Ssystem central administrators at ERS@vt.edu

Additional reasons may include:

  • The effort charged on the effort report does not match the employee's payroll history. 
  • Retroactive pay adjustments done without the Banner Labor Distribution system (i.e. earn codes CPA, RET, RTG, etc.) are not included in the effort form since these adjustments are not associated with pay periods and the system cannot determine with accuracy which semester the adjustments belong. To avoid this situation, ensure that the employee is paid from an E&G fund first, and then use LR to adjust the pay within the appropriate pay periods. 
  • Other non-effort related types of pay, such as mobile phone allowances, are not included in the effort form.