Effort Reporting

Personnel Activity Report (PAR)

UM launched an electronic effort/salary reporting system imbedded within U-Approve on January 28, 2018, to meet federal award requirements (2 CFR 200.430.i.8(i)).  PAR records are generated from Banner, is completely separate from existing timecard/timesheet efforts, and serves two purposes:

  1. Certify that time paid to an individual from a sponsored program was actual time spent working on that particular grant (effort certification), and/or

  2. Certify that time shown as cost sharing was actual time spent working on that particular sponsored program but charged to another Banner Index Number (Cost Match Certification). Funds from a federal award typically cannot be used as cost match to another federal award. State and private funding can be used as cost match on all funding sources, if not federal pass through funding.

Refer to the PAR Help Guide for information regarding:

  • Cost match overview
  • Employee approval
  • Notification emails
  • PI approval/dashboard
  • Process route & rules (flowchart of system actions)
  • Process timeline notes
  • Search functionality
  • Videos to assist in understanding the process

If you still have questions after reviewing the help guide, please contact your post award SPS listed in the ORSP departmental assignments

Email notification and employee verification

Users must have a umontana alias and a NetID and passwordTo facilitate communications, add uapprove@mso.umt.edu to the safe senders list in your Outlook.

On the 28th of each month

Each employee who is paid from, or has salary committed as cost share on, an externally sponsored project, will receive an email notification to personally verify 100% of his/her institutional effort/salary.  This email notification is also sent to the departmental research administrators (DRAs) listed in the ORSP departmental assignments

Once an employee verifies his/her effort/salary, the PAR will electronically route to the principal investigator (PI) of the sponsored project.  

Effort percentages reflected in PAR are based on pay amounts.  As a result, effort percentages may be skewed if an individual has more than one rate of pay for different work performed.  For example, an individual may devote 50% effort to one position/activity for which she is paid $15/hour and 50% to a position where she makes $18/hour.  In such cases, the effort percentage for the latter will be larger than 50%.  The PAR record “provides reasonable assurance that the charges are accurate, allowable, and properly allocated (2 CFR 200.430)” and it is completely appropriate that the individual review the amount of pay reflected for the work performed, and proceed accordingly.

Two weeks after the 28th

Rather than receiving an email notification when each employee verifies the PAR, the PI will receive one email notification two weeks after the 28th to review and approve (or correct) what was submitted by each employee and, if necessary, add or correct any salary cost share information. Please note that the PI will verify 1) his/her own salary as an employee and 2) again as the PI of the project. 

Timeline and reminders

Month of verification Email sent to employees / DRAs PIs Notified two weeks later (notification email dates vary by month) 1st reminder sent to PIs two weeks after PI notification - 28 days from original email 2nd reminder sent to PIs two weeks after 1st reminder - 42 days 3rd reminder sent to PIs two weeks after 2nd reminder - 56 days ORSP follow-up after 3rd notice
June July 28 Aug 11 Aug 25 Sept 8 Sept 22

As needed

Reminder emails are sent to PIs.  It is the PIs responsibility to follow up with any employees who have not reviewed/approved their individual PAR records.  Such employee PAR records will be reflected on the PI's PI Dashboard under "Pending Other's Approval."

Why do we need personnel effort verification? 

Any time a person is paid by a sponsored program, it is a federal requirement that an institution verify that all of that individual’s payroll expenses (effort) are accurate, allowable, and properly allocated. Thus, UM must maintain documentation that verifies all components (100%) of an individual’s effort.  Employees are reflected on PAR for two reasons:  

  1. They are paid directly from a sponsored program.

  2. There is a cost match commitment of part of their time on at least one sponsored project and a TE indicator has been added to FRAGRNT.  Each ORSP post-award sponsored programs specialist (SPS) tracks cost match commitments for all of their assigned sponsored programs.  When the effort cost match commitment has been met, the TE indicator is removed. Several cost match reports are available via InfoGriz.