Hello. Today we’re going to look at the MMRF Employee Effort Certification process. I’m Jeff Banchor with the MMRF Grants and Contracts office.
Have you ever had to track your time in previous positions? I remember my very first job at Dairy Queen—we literally had to punch in and out on a timeclock! Now, things are a little bit different.
MMRF employees have two means of tracking time: one is filling in your timesheet in Dayforce. This tracks your hours worked, as well as your vacation and sick time.
We also have the MMRF employee effort certification form. This is how our payroll and accounting departments know which projects will cover the costs for your time. This video will explore how to track your time and fill in the certification form.
For more on Dayforce, please visit the HR portal on MMRF’s website.
So why do we certify our effort spent? Believe me; we don’t love more paperwork. It’s actually a requirement of the federal government.
It’s also how MMRF keeps track of which account to use when paying you. Each project, be it a grant, contract, or internal funding, has an MMRF account number. Effort certification forms let accounting know which projects you’ve been working on and therefore which accounts to use for your paycheck.
Certification forms need to be filled out by you twice a month. This also means you get paid twice a month for a total of 24 times in a year.
Your first form of the month will cover the period from the 1st to the 15th of that month; and the second will cover the period starting the 16thand ending the last day.
Certification forms should be completed the day immediately AFTER the time period, so on the 16th for the first period and the 1st day of the following month for the second period.
Signed employee effort forms are incredibly important. Missing signatures from you or your supervisor could mean a delay in getting paid. And incorrect effort or account information leads to the wrong amount or account being charged. This is corrected by either payment from the correct account, or if it is no longer available, repayment by the employee. You need to sign them as a personal guarantee that the information provided is accurate, true, and correct to the best of your knowledge.
Then, give the form to your supervisor. They sign it which serves as their certification that the information provided by you is accurate, true, and correct to the best of their knowledge. If your supervisor is completely unavailable, then contact your Grant Administrator. Failure to get a signature could result in, what’s called in audit language, a “finding” during our annual institutional audit. A finding can lead to the project you’re working on being shut down, the funds for it having to be returned, and difficulties getting future awards and projects.
Effort Certification forms may not be as innovative as the research you are doing, but they are necessary. Making sure you sign an accurate and complete form is incredibly important, not just so you get paid, but to ensure appropriate spending on projects. Half of the funding that comes through MMRF is from federal projects, which means we have to follow federal guidelines and cost principles. And to show that we’re consistent throughout the entire institution we have to apply those standards to all projects, federal or otherwise. This means these forms are official documents and reviewed at audit time for accuracy and consistency. That’s why it’s important to be correct and clear on your effort certification.
Here’s an example effort certification form. These need to be filled out by all employees, regardless of how many hours they do or do not work during a pay period. Even if you are sick or on vacation you must fill out a form. A copy of the previous form with updated dates is acceptable in this situation.
In box one, choose the current year, then the current pay period on which you’re reporting. In box two, enter you name and contact information.
Box three, asks for your effort assignment: what projects did you work on during this time period? You can see in this example that Zelda did some pretty heavy work (40%) on the research project “Keeping up with best practices in the field”. No matter how many hours you work, you must account for 100% of your time during the pay period.
Box four is the certification all federal projects require.
All that’s left for Zelda is signing in box five and asking her supervisor to review and sign. Depending on how your department operates, either you or your supervisor will then send it to MMRF grant accounting. This can be done via interoffice mail, dropped off at Parkside 7, or scanned and emailed to Sheena Lossing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Up until now, we’ve been talking about how MMRF employees certify their time spent at work. HCMC has a slightly different system, and while this will not apply to most of you, some of you may need to know how it’s done as part of your job.
HCMC effort certification forms are how MMRF tracks the time of the HCMC employees conducting research at MMRF. The major differences are instead of completing them twice a month they are done once at the end and the person filling it out must specify the percentage of time actually spent on projects versus what was budgeted. Non-Physician HCMC employees must submit a copy of their time sheet highlighting the hours worked on MMRF projects. Physicians can sign their own time sheets and employees must sign along with their supervisors.
Today we talked about the MMRF effort certification form, the HCMC effort form, the differences between the two, and their similarities. If you have specific questions about your own effort certification, contact your supervisor first, then your grant administrator.
For more information, visit the training resources section of the MMRF website. There you can rewatch this video and find more others about various MMRF processes.
Have questions? Feel free to email us at research email@example.com. Thanks for watching and have a good day.