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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions Returned by Your Search:

1. Where can I get the current reimbursement rates for travel expenses?
2. How do I find out if a check has cleared the bank?
3. What is the procedure for making payments on a business contract?
4. Where should I look up foreign exchange rates?
5. Is it OK to re-use an account number in DaFIS?
6. Where can I deposit a payment in advance of receiving the award?
7. What should I do if a vendor wants to see a canceled check as proof of payment?
8. I have set up an agency account for a conference our department is hosting. How do I "recharge" participants from other UC Davis departments for their registration fees through DaFIS?
9. How can I reduce the number of attachments that are sent with a vendor payment? How can I ensure that a vendor knows what a payment is for?
10. How do I process a utility payment?
11. I have been issued a "customer account" number by a vendor I have used before. Where should this number be indicated in DaFIS?
12. Where can I find information on the proper use of training and development funds?
13. What is CTS and how does it differ from the Corporate Card?
14. Why are some Purchasing Card transactions taxed by DaFIS? What do I do if a transaction has been taxed twice?
15. How can I find the guidelines/restrictions for spending of an award?
16. Where can I get answers to questions regarding the purchasing process, including the appropriate document(s) to use and applicable policies?
17. When processing a Vendor Invoice against a Purchase Order, when is a Change Order required?
18. When is a comment required for a report in ERS?
19. If a faculty member changes their % of effort on the report when they certify, will staff in the department office be alerted about that change?
20. If I have view only access is it possible to add or edit a comment on an effort report?
21. I'm not set up with the correct access in ERS. I can't do what I need to do. How do I change my access in ERS?
22. Does changing the effort on the effort report trigger an automatic payroll adjustment?
23. One of my projects is not appearing on my effort report. How do I add it?
24. My PI wants me to make the effort changes on the report so he/she can just review and certify. How can I get permission to edit reports?
25. Some of the students who work for my PI are in another home department. How can my PI get permission to certify their reports?
26. My PI is a co-Investigator on an award and needs to certify some reports that don't appear on his/her list. What do they need to do?
27. I changed effort on the effort report. Does that information update the PPS or the Cost Share Tracking systems?
28. What types of Description of Service (DOS) codes are excluded from effort reporting?
29. What types of activities are considered "Other Sponsored Activities?" What are "Non-Sponsored Activities?"
30. What is the difference between a "service period" and a "pay period?"
31. What information is available on the Report Details screen in ERS?
32. For federal grants, if there is a reduction in effort of 25% or more, prior approval is to be secured from the sponsor. How does ERS handle these situations where prior approval should have been sought? Will there be an alert to the PI and/or department staff?
33. I'm not receiving the automated e-mail notifications that effort reports are ready for certification. Why not?
34. How does the PI List "know" which reports belong to that PI?
35. How often is ERS updated? When will my updates appear in ERS?
36. Is it possible to transfer ERS data into a spreadsheet?
37. Is it possible to e-mail an effort report?
38. Is it possible to share a saved ERS search with another user?
39. Since ERS changes the status of an effort report when there has been a payroll change that requires re-certification, will there be a change in status if there is a change in cost share commitment?
40. How does ERS determine which employees will receive an effort report?
41. What happens if I enter cost share data in the Cost Share Tracking system (CSTS) after the effort report for the period has already been generated? Will the cost share information update the effort report?
42. What happens when a payroll transfer is processed after an effort report has been certified?
43. What are the situations where an individual report must be generated?
44. What is the difference between a "Non-Academic" and a "Non-Academic Self-Certifier?"
45. PI Smith charged 30% of her salary to Project A for the entire effort reporting period. At the time of certification, she believes she only worked 28% of her time on the project. What should she do?
46. Why is there effort in both the Orig % and Adjusted % columns on my effort report?
47. What does the cost share percentage on the effort report represent?
48. My effort commitment on my federal project is for two and a half summer months. How can my July-December 2006 effort report show 36%?
49. Is negative percentage of effort allowed on the effort report?
50. What is the minimum level of effort required for an externally sponsored project?
51. If an award is funded at an amount less than what was proposed, do I still need to meet the levels of effort commitment proposed in the original proposal submission?
52. Will it be necessary or advisable for departments to print out and retain copies of effort reports for faculty?
53. What happens when effort changes during the project period?
54. If an employee is paid on grants outside of my organization, who should certify the effort?
55. When would an additional sponsored project need to be added to an effort report?
56. If someone voluntarily works on a sponsored project and the individual was not included in the proposal, is it necessary to certify the effort?
57. Can an MSO certify effort reports?
58. When must changes be made to an effort report?
59. What are the possible consequences of not certifying a report in an accurate and timely manner?
60. What are the implications of making a change in the effort percentages on the effort report?
61. How does a PI know which reports need certification?
62. Why do I have a report that's Not Required? (PI) Do I have to do anything?
63. Should a PI certify for everyone on his/her My Projects list?
64. If a Principal Investigator or other employee leaves the university, who should certify the effort reports?
65. What needs to be done if a PI inadvertently certifies for another PI or faculty member?
66. How can an effort report total 100% when the employee has a less than full-time appointment with the university?
67. What is the difference between effort commitment and effort reporting?
68. Is there a help desk for ERS questions and issues? What other help is available?
69. What are the hours of availability for ERS?
70. Why are the cost sharing and direct salary charges for the same project listed separately on the effort report?
71. In what order will the accounts in my plan appear when I run my ledgers for review?
72. Why don't I have the Prev Month and Next Month links on the report?
73. How do I add a plan manager?
74. How long does it take for a new plan manager to be set up?
75. How soon after I add a plan reviewer can they begin reviewing and annotating the ledger?
76. Can anyone be a ledger reviewer?
77. What is the difference between a reviewer and a primary reviewer?
78. How do I designate a primary reviewer for a plan?
79. Once I create a plan, when will I see it on my Start Ledger Review screen?
80. Can I still annotate my ledger if my new plan isn't showing in the Start Ledger Review menu yet?
81. My plan no longer has accounts. Why do I still have to finalize it?
82. Where do I go to annotate my ledgers?
83. When I drill down on a document during ledger review, how do I return to the Ledger Review screen with the annotations?
84. Yesterday I was using the green highlighting to keep my place. When I open the same ledgers today, why is the green highlighting gone?
85. My review plan has several accounts. When I run the report for the plan, is there a search capability to quickly find a particular account for reviewing?
86. What does the error message "Background process is not defined / popup has no properties / syntax error" mean?
87. How can I tell if new accounts have been added to my review plans?
88. If a DaFIS document is changed after it leaves a department (e.g., Accounts Payable modifies a Vendor Invoice document) will it auto-annotate?
89. Can I turn on document summarization and still see the auto-annotations?
90. How can I tell the difference between an item that was auto-annotated and one that the reviewer annotated?
91. If an account delegate rather than an account manager approves a document, will the document auto-annotate?
92. What makes a transaction valid?
93. Are approvers allowed to annotate?
94. If my document is paid against multiple accounts, some of which are in another department or organization, can I annotate the document?
95. What happens if I annotate a summarized document but some of the line items belong to another organization?
96. I annotated all of the items required for ledger review. How can I be sure the annotations were accepted?
97. How can I see notes created during annotation?
98. I had several transactions last month that I need to correct. Can I get a report that shows just those transactions?
99. I have transactions that I am prohibited from approving due to separation of duties. Is there an easy way for a different reviewer to see only these items?
100. Our business officer wants to see which reviewer annotated a particular transaction. What report provides that information?
101. Can document initiators annotate?
102. How can I view plans that have already been finalized?
103. I updated my plan to include Auto-Annotation, but when I run the report none of the transactions are annotated. Why not?
104. I created and reviewed my plans, but they are not available to select for finalization. Why not?
105. A Purchasing Card charge hits a default account and default object code PCRD, showing up in the ledger as a DaFIS Direct Charge (DC). The department moves the charge to a different account. Does the DC get marked as invalid?
106. On a Purchasing Card transaction, if the department changes the object code from the default of PCRD to something more specific, does the DaFIS Direct Charge (DC) get marked as invalid?
107. How will benefits be charged to my Account with the composite rates?
108. Must we use the new composite rates or can we use actual rates if we have them?
109. If I am charged a composite rate that is different from my actual costs, who will be responsible for the difference?
110. Why are there different rates for Campus compared to ANR?
111. How do I project composite benefits costs beyond the provided schedules?
112. How are the salary bands for health benefits factored into the fringe benefit rates?
113. How will the university cover the actual benefits cost if the composite rate is lower than the actual benefit cost for a particular employee?
114. Why do the composite rates not distinguish between academic year and summer appointment faculty?
115. How can you charge benefits to DOS codes that have not historically been charged for all benefits?
116. What if a person is eligible for full benefits but is not appointed at 100% time?
117. How do I account for leave with the composite benefit rate?
118. In determining the Healthcomp Faculty salary amount for the two different composite benefit rates, what is considered the base salary?
119. How do we account for projects that cross fiscal years and the rates change?
120. Who do I contact if I have questions not answered in the FAQ or on the Composite Benefit website?
121. What happens when grants are submitted through one department, but employees' appointments are not in that department?
122. What rate is used when an employee waives our medical benefits?
123. Where do I get information on the actual calculations? Who can assist me with this?
124. How will the new rate structure affect existing awards?
125. The composite rates seem high. Why?
126. The composite rates seem low. For example, our lab staff includes academic titles of Post-doc, Project Scientist and Jr. Specialist. Based on December 2010 payroll, their actual benefit rates ranged from 13% to 69% depending on each employee individual benefit options. If we use a 30% fixed benefit rate for an employee who is actually at 69%, there would be a huge shortage in the benefits category vs. the actual costs. How would a PI handle this?
127. While trying to approve a transaction on an account, I got the message "Image element not found: 'A_8E82D8F73ED4349CA00FA448EC3C5CB7_IMG' Can you tell me what that means and what I need to do so it can be approved and I can print and certify the ledgers?
128. What employees are eligible to use the Time Reporting System?
129. Where can I learn about the Time Reporting System?
131. I am approved to work a 9/80 alternate work schedule. Will I be able to record my work hours in the Time Reporting System?
132. Can I use the Time Reporting System to report vacation and sick time?
133. Where can I get step-by-step instructions on using the Time Reporting System?
134. What are the benefits to using the Time Reporting System?
135. I am a non-exempt employee eligible for overtime compensation. How do I enter overtime on my timesheet in the Time Reporting System?
136. Who do I contact if I have a question regarding the Time Reporting System?
137. What are the hours of availability for the Time Reporting System?
138. What do I need to do in the Time Reporting System if I am ending one job assignment at UC Davis and starting a new job assignment at UC Davis?
139. I am an employee with multiple job assignments in the payroll system. How do I record my time in the Time Reporting System?
140. I am an employee with multiple job assignments with the same description (same title code). Is there a way that these assigments can be differentiated in the Time Reporting System?
141. I am a Department Time Administrator (DTA) who is trying to submit a timesheet with more than 5 Description of Service (DOS) codes. I keep getting a PPS error message. What should I do?
142. How can I use the Repeat Work Hours functionality in the Time Reporting System?
144. The primary and/or backup supervisor information in the Time Reporting System is incorrect. What do I do?
145. I am a monthly-paid employee. Do I have to enter my work time?
146. I am an employee that would like to submit a timesheet early in the Time Reporting System, as I will be out of the office during the time it is normally submitted. Is this ok?
148. What type of training is available for the Time Reporting System?
149. When a new employee is hired, will they be automatically added to the Time Reporting System (TRS)?
150. When ending an employee's appointment in the Payroll and Personnel System (PPS), how does it affect the information in the Time Reporting System?
151. How should student employees with work study be entered in the Time Reporting System?
153. How do I ensure that I or my employees do not lose accrued vacation hours?
154. What is the difference between an exempt and a non-exempt employee?
157. I have an Alternate Work Schedule set up in the Time Reporting System. Does this impact the Repeated Work Hours functionality?
155. How does time reporting differ for Exempt (NOT eligible for overtime) versus Non-Exempt employees?
156. How does an employee report time off that is part of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?
159. Are e-mail notifications sent from the Time Reporting System?
160. When do the offsets in SUB6 & SB28 for 19900 accounts post each month?
161. Where can I locate the current leave accrual rates for employees?
162. As an employee, why is it important that I keep track of my vacation hours accrual?
163. I heard that monthly employee reporting in TRS is done in arrears. What does this mean, and how does it relate to the vacation and sick leave balances I see in TRS and on my earnings statement?
164. Is there anything I have to do when a holiday occurs in a time period?
165. What is considered an 'alternate' work schedule?
166. I am an employee participating in the Employee-Initiated Reduction In Time (ERIT) program. What do I need to enter on my timesheet?
167. If my appointment changes (ending one position and starting a new one), what happens in the Time Reporting System?
168. I am a supervisor and inadvertently approved an employee's timesheet. How can I get the timesheet returned to me?
169. What happens in TRS when an employee separates from the university?
170. I need to enter a leave time that is not available as a drop-down menu item in TRS. How do I do this?
171. How does TRS know which type of overtime to apply for an employee?
172. If an employee transitions from one department to another in the middle of an active pay period, which department is responsible for the holiday/sick leave/vacation pay reported in that pay period?
173. As a DTA, I see an EDLR option on the screen that allows me to submit employee timesheets to PPS. What is this option for and how does it work?
174. As a Department Time Administrator, I see a Work Schedule option available for each employee. How does this option work and what are the situations in which it should be used?
175. I am a Department Time Administrator and I want to set up an employee with a 9/80 schedule, but the employee works the 36 hour week PRIOR to the 44 hour week. How can I enter this in the Time Reporting System?
176. How Do I Access Data from a Previous Timesheet in the L&S Online Timesheet System?
177. Can an employee delete a timesheet entered in error?
178. Can a supervisor create a timesheet on behalf of an employee?

Q.   Where can I get the current reimbursement rates for travel expenses?
A.   A summary of university travel policies is available in the Accounting & Financial Services Travel Guide. This summary includes meal allowance and mileage rates. For more detailed information on reimbursement rate, please see Section 300-10 of the UC Davis Policy and Procedure Manual.

Q.   How do I find out if a check has cleared the bank?
A.   In DaFIS Transaction Processing, go to the Inquiries menu and select Accounts Payable. Click on the AP Query button. Use the look-up screen to locate the payment in question. Once the results are up on your screen, double-click on the Check Number for the payment in the search results section. If the check has been cashed, the date it cleared the bank will be listed under the Check Paid Date column.

Q.   What is the procedure for making payments on a business contract?
A.   If your contract was established (usually by the Business Contracts office) on a Non-Purchasing Agreement (NPA) you will use the Vendor Invoice document to make payments. Put the contract number in the PO number field and all of the information for the contract will automatically fill-in for you. Process your VI as usual.

If the contract is for a lease, you will make the payments on a Direct Charge (DC). Get more information on leases ...


Q.   Where should I look up foreign exchange rates?
A.   Oanda.com operates an easy-to-use foreign exchange currency converter site.

Q.   Is it OK to re-use an account number in DaFIS?
A.   Account numbers should only be re-used when you receive an amendment to an award. You should not re-use an account number for a new award or just to avoid setting up a new account number.

Q.   Where can I deposit a payment in advance of receiving the award?
A.   Account 3-1160121 should be used for contracts and grants. Account 3-1160120 should be used for gifts and endowments.

Q.   What should I do if a vendor wants to see a canceled check as proof of payment?
A.   Most vendors will be able to track down a payment in their records just by using a print-out of the Check Detail (32) report in Decision Support. If the vendor still wants to see the canceled check after you have provided them the check detail, you will need to contact Nancy Van Tassel in Accounts Payable.

Q.   I have set up an agency account for a conference our department is hosting. How do I "recharge" participants from other UC Davis departments for their registration fees through DaFIS?
A.   Departments using agency accounts to "recharge" for fees or other expenses should not use an Interdepartmental Bill document. "Recharges" should always be done on a Restricted Error Correction (REC) document if you are not a recharge unit.

When processing the REC document, use object 0710 for the agency account receiving credit, and charge the department's account using object 7200. Your prior document number field will be blank. Please use the word "recharge" in the description field, and cite a detailed reason for the "recharge" in the explanation field.


Q.   How can I reduce the number of attachments that are sent with a vendor payment? How can I ensure that a vendor knows what a payment is for?
A.   Some users request that attachments be sent with a vendor payment in order to ensure that a vendor knows what the payment is for. Attachments slow the payment process, and in many cases are not required by the vendor. If you want to be sure that a payment is posted for the correct reason, use the Payment Purpose Text field on your AP document. This field holds 120 characters, but the first 40 characters appear on the printed check to the vendor! Common uses for this field include a membership number or name, a registration ID number, a conference name or venue, or a utility account number; basically any reason why the payment is being made.

There may be times when you are paying for something that does not have an invoice number associated with it. In those cases, you can include the payment purpose information in the Invoice Num field. If paying a utility bill without an invoice number, enter the utility account number in the Invoice Num field. The contents of this field also appear on the printed check to the vendor, but this field only holds 15 characters.


Q.   How do I process a utility payment?
A.   Utility payments, such as those to Pacific Gas & Electric, should be processed on a DaFIS Direct Charge (DC) document. If there is no invoice number associated with the payment, enter the utility account number in the Invoice Num field. If you have an invoice number, enter the utility account number in the Payment Purpose Text field. The utility account number can often be found on the remittance stub. Make sure you enter the entire number in the field.

Q.   I have been issued a "customer account" number by a vendor I have used before. Where should this number be indicated in DaFIS?
A.   Customer account numbers are not added to the Vendor Maintenance table by Purchasing. However, a department can cite them on Purchasing and Accounts Payable documents. Citing a customer account number may expedite processing time by a vendor.

When processing a Departmental Purchase Order or Purchase Requisition indicate the customer account number in the Cust Account field in the Header section of the document.

If you want the customer account number to appear on the check to the vendor, make sure it is indicated in the Payment Purpose Text field on your Accounts Payable document.


Q.   Where can I find information on the proper use of training and development funds?
A.   Payroll does the accounting for T&D funds, but the funds are administered through Human Resources. Some of the funds are used to operate staff development and the rest are distributed to the deans and vice chancellors. You should contact your dean or vice chancellor's office to see how the funds are used in your unit.

Q.   What is CTS and how does it differ from the Corporate Card?
A.   The Central Travel System (CTS) is available to departments to charge all airfare. The Corporate Card Program is a charge card program with US Bank VISA for reimbursable travel expenses. Corporate Visa Cards are held by the employee and are their responsibility. CTS accounts are for the entire department. More information on CTS and Corporate Cards is available on the travel Web site.

Q.   Why are some Purchasing Card transactions taxed by DaFIS? What do I do if a transaction has been taxed twice?
A.   California vendors are required to collect California sales tax. Vendors outside of California may or may not collect California sales tax. If an out-of-state vendor does not collect California sales tax, the tax must still be paid on the purchase. In this case, tax is paid to the State of California, not to the vendor. In order to ensure that taxes are collected for out-of-state vendor purchases, the system automatically adds a tax line.

In some cases, you may have processed a transaction to an out-of-state vendor who has already collected sales tax. If you notice that the transaction has been taxed twice (once by the vendor and once by the system), please fill out the Purchasing Card Duplicate Tax Form.

Tax Accounting will automatically receive a copy of this form via e-mail and will reverse the duplicate tax from your transaction. In addition, Tax Accounting will add the vendor to a table so that a duplicate tax will not be added to future purchases. You will receive confirmation of the correction from Tax Accounting via e-mail.


Q.   How can I find the guidelines/restrictions for spending of an award?
A.   The bookkeeper or Contracts and Grants Administrator in your department should have a copy of the agency's guidelines. You can also contact the agency directly or contact Extramural Funds Accounting for a copy.

Q.   Where can I get answers to questions regarding the purchasing process, including the appropriate document(s) to use and applicable policies?
A.   Visit the Purchasing Web site for general information and the Purchasing FAQ for answers to specific questions.

Q.   When processing a Vendor Invoice against a Purchase Order, when is a Change Order required?
A.   A Change Order needs to be processed by Purchasing if the invoice from the vendor indicates:
  • a total amount that is $100 or greater than the PO amount; or
  • additional quantities/items not specified on the PO and the department wishes to keep them.
To request a Change Order: E-mail the buyer who placed the original order, and indicate what changes need to be made (increased total dollar amount, additional quantities or new items not specified on PO).

If the vendor invoice is less than the PO amount or the vendor ships fewer items than indicated on the PO, a Change Order is not required. As necessary, an additional line item can be added to the DaFIS AP Vendor Invoice document with an Adjust Credit commodity code to subtract the price difference.


Q.   When is a comment required for a report in ERS?
A.   A comment is required when:
  • making a change to the data in the Adjusted Payroll % field
  • reopening a report that has previously been certified
  • checking or unchecking the Report Options Report requires Multiple Certifications and Report allows for Cost Sharing Offset against Other Sponsored Projects
  • unchecking a line item certification (removing the certification) when in Multiple Certification mode
The comment should indicate why the change is being made. Note that once a comment has been added to a report, it cannot be modified. If additional information is necessary at a later time, an additional comment can be added. Simply adding a comment to a report will not increase the version number of the report.

Q.   If a faculty member changes their % of effort on the report when they certify, will staff in the department office be alerted about that change?
A.   Users can tell a certified report requires payroll adjustments because of the status Certified/AdjustReqd. Changing the cost share and certifying a report does not trigger that status. Future plans include building reports to show where changes have occurred.

Q.   If I have view only access is it possible to add or edit a comment on an effort report?
A.   No. Comments can only be added by those ERS users who have edit rights. Users with view only access may read the comments, but they cannot add a comment.

Q.   I'm not set up with the correct access in ERS. I can't do what I need to do. How do I change my access in ERS?
A.   To add permissions in ERS there are two forms available. If you are an ERS Coordinator and need to view effort reports for individuals in your department, complete the View or Edit Access Request Form. If you need to certify effort for someone else and are not the PI listed on the award or account, complete the Certification Permission Request Form. For certification permission, you must explain on the form how you will know the effort of the employees for whom you will certify (i.e. you were their direct supervisor.)

Q.   Does changing the effort on the effort report trigger an automatic payroll adjustment?
A.   No, the payroll transfers must be processed manually at this time.

Q.   One of my projects is not appearing on my effort report. How do I add it?
A.   If a project does not appear on your effort report, you may add it by:

  1. Clicking on Edit Report tab
  2. Clicking on Add Additional Sponsored Project button
  3. Clicking on the search icon and using any of the search criteria to find the project to add to the report

Q.   My PI wants me to make the effort changes on the report so he/she can just review and certify. How can I get permission to edit reports?
A.   Complete the View or Edit Access Request Form. Your completed form must include an explanation of how you will know what the employees actually worked on during the period.

Q.   Some of the students who work for my PI are in another home department. How can my PI get permission to certify their reports?
A.   Your PI should already have permission to certify their reports, as long as the PI is listed as the PI on the OP Fund Number table in DaFIS. If they are not, please contact Extramural Funds Accounting for assistance.

Q.   My PI is a co-Investigator on an award and needs to certify some reports that don't appear on his/her list. What do they need to do?
A.   ERS gives automatic certify permissions to the PI listed on the Award (OP Fund) and Account to which payroll was charged. If your PI is not the PI of record but supervised employees working on the award and is the appropriate certifier, complete the Certification Permission Request Form.

Q.   I changed effort on the effort report. Does that information update the PPS or the Cost Share Tracking systems?
A.   Changes made to effort in ERS do not update PPS or the Cost Share Tracking (CSTS) systems. When changing the effort on the effort report, corresponding changes must be made via payroll transfers or changes to CSTS. If changes are made in CSTS after the effort report is generated the effort report is not updated.

Q.   What types of Description of Service (DOS) codes are excluded from effort reporting?
A.   Any payroll transactions that don't have effort associated with them are excluded when calculating effort. A few examples include: VAC (vacation), SKL (sick), HBZ (hospital compensation by agreement), HON (honorarium), STP (stipend), and TRM (termination). Note that this is not a complete list.

Q.   What types of activities are considered "Other Sponsored Activities?" What are "Non-Sponsored Activities?"
A.   Other Sponsored Activities are projects funded by non-federal sponsors, such as state agencies or private organizations. Non-Sponsored Activities are funded by the university and include university-funded research as well as activities like instruction, departmental research, and administration.

Q.   What is the difference between a "service period" and a "pay period?"
A.   With the annual reporting period that is being phased in, there will be no difference between a "service period" and a "pay period" in ERS.

Q.   What information is available on the Report Details screen in ERS?
A.   The Report Details page displays the payroll transaction detail that supports the effort report. The percent effort for each report line displayed on the effort report is based on transaction information from the payroll system. All information should be reviewed for completeness and accuracy. In addition, be sure to review the following on the report:
  • Unrecognized Earnings - These are payroll transactions that contain an account number, or full accounting unit (FAU), that has not been defined to ERS. When ERS cannot identify an FAU on a payroll transaction, it cannot include the earning in the effort report calculation because the system cannot properly categorize the earning as belonging to a sponsored project or not. Reports that contain unrecognized earnings will generally be placed in an exception status and will have to be resolved by the ERS Help Desk.
  • Excluded Earnings - These are payroll transactions that were not included in the effort calculation. Policy and business rules specify that payroll transactions for vacation, sick leave, stipends and certain other types of payments should not be included in the calculation of effort.

Q.   For federal grants, if there is a reduction in effort of 25% or more, prior approval is to be secured from the sponsor. How does ERS handle these situations where prior approval should have been sought? Will there be an alert to the PI and/or department staff?
A.   ERS does not have any type of automated notification system in situations where the effort differs from what was originally committed, therefore it is very important that modifications to an effort commitment are reviewed and approved by the sponsor first. Remember that effort reporting is an after-the-fact certification of effort supporting a sponsored project and should be compared to what was recorded as the initial commitment of effort to the project at the time of award.

Q.   I'm not receiving the automated e-mail notifications that effort reports are ready for certification. Why not?
A.   E-mail notifications are sent to ERS users who are assigned the coordinator role. First, verify that you are on the ERS Coordinator List. If you are an ERS Coordinator and are not seeing the e-mail notifications, check your e-mail filters, including Junk/Spam folders to ensure that they are not being sent there. The e-mail address used by ERS is the one that is recorded in the campus directory database. To verify your e-mail address or to forward to a different e-mail address, visit the Computing Accounts Services page.

Q.   How does the PI List "know" which reports belong to that PI?
A.   The report retrieves information based on the PI (and co-PI) indicated in the OP Fund Number table. The data in the OP Fund Number is maintained by Extramural Funds Accounting.

Q.   How often is ERS updated? When will my updates appear in ERS?
A.   ERS will be updated monthly with new information from DaFIS and PPS, generally within a few days after the final PPS compute of the month, which normally occurs in the first week or 10 days of the month. During the monthly update, new effort reports will be added and existing effort reports will be changed as necessary to reflect the new pay transactions.

When users add comments, change effort, and/or certify reports in ERS, those changes are immediate. Any user looking at reports in ERS will see the changes as soon as they have been saved.


Q.   Is it possible to transfer ERS data into a spreadsheet?
A.   Yes! When viewing a report in ERS, click on the Export button in the header bar. A prompt will then appear, asking if you would like to open or save the file in Microsoft Excel.

Q.   Is it possible to e-mail an effort report?
A.   Yes! There may be times when you want to e-mail an effort report to another individual. When viewing a report in ERS, click on the Send button in the header bar. A prompt will appear, asking for the e-mail address(es) to which you would like to send the report. The e-mail will send the report as a .htm attachment, and the return e-mail address will be that of the person logged in to ERS. For security reasons, it's not possible to send specific payroll report details via e-mail. Also, the employee ID number will not be included on the e-mailed report.

Conversely, when viewing a report in ERS, click the Export button in order to download the report to a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet can either be saved to your computer or sent as an e-mail attachment.


Q.   Is it possible to share a saved ERS search with another user?
A.   Yes! This option can be useful when one ERS Coordinator covers for another on vacation or otherwise out of the office. On the Manage Saved Searches screen you may share a search with another user. To the left of the name of the report that you wish to share, click on the icon with the arrow. A new e-mail message will then open on your screen. The e-mail will include the link that the recipient can use to access and save your search. Enter a valid e-mail address in the To field and send.

The person who sent the search remains the owner. If the owner makes changes to the search, others who have been granted access to the search will automatically see these changes.

If you decide to make changes to a search that was shared with you, you will be given a private copy and will no longer be associated with the original shared search. Likewise, if you delete a search that was shared with you, other copies of the search will not be modified or deleted.


Q.   Since ERS changes the status of an effort report when there has been a payroll change that requires re-certification, will there be a change in status if there is a change in cost share commitment?
A.   ERS evaluates effort reports each time new pay transactions (i.e., cost transfers, late pay transactions) are received that affect the report, and reopens the report as needed. At this time, there is no reevaluation when new cost sharing information is created in the Cost Share Tracking system (CSTS). Further, if cost sharing percentages are changed on the effort report, there is no notification to update CSTS. A report is being developed which will provide administrators with the ability to review discrepancies between the cost share effort certified in ERS and the cost share tracking entry established in the CSTS.

Q.   How does ERS determine which employees will receive an effort report?
A.   Employees receiving pay from federal or federal flow-through funds or who have established cost share tracking entries are included in the ERS and will be required to certify their effort on those funds.

Q.   What happens if I enter cost share data in the Cost Share Tracking system (CSTS) after the effort report for the period has already been generated? Will the cost share information update the effort report?
A.   No. At this time, the cost sharing information is only applied to the effort report at the time the report is generated. Cost share added in CSTS after the report generation must be added to the report manually.

Q.   What happens when a payroll transfer is processed after an effort report has been certified?
A.   If the effort report was certified with changes, the status of the report shows Certified/AdjustReqd. When a payroll transfer is processed and sent to ERS, the system looks at the certified effort percentages to see if the new payroll information matches. If it does, the report status changes to Certified and no further action is needed. If the effort report is already on Certified status and the payroll transfer causes a difference between the certified effort and the payroll percentages, the report will change to Reissued status, and either the payroll must be adjusted again to match the certified effort, or the effort must be changed and the report recertified (not recommended).

Q.   What are the situations where an individual report must be generated?
A.   Some situations may require the generation of an individual effort report. These situations include:
  • Employee termination
  • No report was generated because there were no payroll charges or cost share for federal funds, but there should have been
If report generation has already occurred for a period, only employees who did not receive a report can be generated. For future periods, a report may be generated for any individual employee, and will include all pay up to the date of generation (if that pay has already transferred from PPS to ERS). This should only be done when an employee terminates, because additional pay transactions will reopen the report.

Q.   What is the difference between a "Non-Academic" and a "Non-Academic Self-Certifier?"
A.   There is no difference at this time. When using ERS, there are two drop-down options for "Non Academic" on the Reporting Periods menu on the Effort Report List window. In order to see all Non Academic entries, select the All radio button, or select each of the Non Academic entries separately. In the future, the entries will be different and the field labels will be modified to clarify the difference.

Q.   PI Smith charged 30% of her salary to Project A for the entire effort reporting period. At the time of certification, she believes she only worked 28% of her time on the project. What should she do?
A.   It is not always possible to determine time spent on any project with absolute certainty.

Office of Management & Budget (OMB) Circular A21 recognizes this fact and states: "A precise assessment of factors that contribute to costs is not always feasible, nor is it expected. Reliance, therefore, is placed on estimates in which a degree of tolerance is appropriate."

The current practice in the University of California is to certify effort within +/- 5 percentage points.

For example, if the effort report shows 30% effort for a project, either directly charged or cost shared, and the actual effort determined is 28%, the report can be certified because it is within the tolerance range.


Q.   Why is there effort in both the Orig % and Adjusted % columns on my effort report?
A.   ERS populates both the Orig % and Adjusted % fields on the effort report. If the user changes the effort in the Adjusted % column and certifies the report, the report status becomes Certified/AdjustReqd. When the payroll transfer is processed the Orig % is recalculated to reflect the change, then the new Orig % is compared to the Adjusted %. If the percentages match, the report status is changed to Certified. If not, the report is Reissued.

Q.   What does the cost share percentage on the effort report represent?
A.   The cost share percentage shown on the effort report is taken directly from the Cost Share Tracking system without regard to the period of the cost share entry or the period of the report. It is probable that the cost share percentage will need adjusting on the effort report.

For example, PI Li has a cost share commitment of 5% from August 2005 to July 2006. The effort reporting period is July 2006 to December 2006. The effort report in ERS will show 5% cost share for the entire period of July to December. PI Li worked 5% of her time on the project during July only, so she must adjust the percentage on the report to 1% as shown below :

1 month worked / 6 months on the report * 5% = .0083 or 1%.


Q.   My effort commitment on my federal project is for two and a half summer months. How can my July-December 2006 effort report show 36%?
A.   For a full year, the calculation looks like this:
  • 2.5 summer months + 9 month appointment = 11.5 months worked
  • 2.5 months on project / 11.5 months worked = 22% for the year
For half a year with both summer months paid in the period, the calculation looks like this:
  • 2.5 summer months + 4.5 month appointment = 7 months worked
  • 2.5 months on project / 7 months worked = 36% for the 6 months

Q.   Is negative percentage of effort allowed on the effort report?
A.   Negative effort is not allowed. Negative effort can be created when a payroll error occurs. The effort report must be corrected and certified based on actual effort expended. In addition, a payroll adjustment entry must be prepared to correct the error.

Q.   What is the minimum level of effort required for an externally sponsored project?
A.   A commitment of effort by key personnel must be indicated on all externally sponsored projects except for specific types of awards that do not require an effort component on the project (i.e., equipment or construction grants).

For projects with a total award of less than $25,000, a minimum of 1% commitment is required. For projects with total award of more than $25,000, a minimum of 2% commitment is required. These are minimum levels of committed effort -- a higher minimum percentage of effort may be required by the sponsor. If this effort is not charged to the sponsor, it must be captured as cost sharing.


Q.   If an award is funded at an amount less than what was proposed, do I still need to meet the levels of effort commitment proposed in the original proposal submission?
A.   Yes. However, if the awarded amount has been reduced there may be a reduction of scope which would change the original proposed effort on the project. In these situations it may be reasonable to negotiate a lower level of effort than what was originally proposed. The Sponsored Programs Office in the Office of Research can assist in necessary negotiations with the sponsor to appropriately amend the proposed level of effort originally committed to the project.

Q.   Will it be necessary or advisable for departments to print out and retain copies of effort reports for faculty?
A.   There is no need to print out the reports because the ERS tracks all the certifications electronically and PIs can access the information at any time. ERS will be the official database of record, so there is no need to keep paper copies. Certifications are required to be captured in the system rather than on paper. If you do choose to print a report, click the Print Report button. For best printing results, insure that your browser is set to print in landscape mode, and enable the option to "print background images and colors."

Q.   What happens when effort changes during the project period?
A.   Payroll distributions in the payroll system are used initially as a method for distributing salary charges based on an estimate of the effort that will be expended in support of various activities in which the individual is engaged. If significant changes in effort occur, it is expected that the payroll distributions will be updated in a timely manner to reasonably reflect the actual effort expended in support of the sponsored project. Department administrators are responsible for making updates to the payroll distributions.

Q.   If an employee is paid on grants outside of my organization, who should certify the effort?
A.   The PI is ultimately responsible for ensuring that all effort reports are certified on their projects. Normally, an effort report can be certified either by the individual or by a supervisor or someone with first-hand knowledge of the work performed. Occasionally, an effort report may require multiple certifications if the individual works on multiple projects, has multiple supervisors, and is not aware of which projects their effort is benefiting. In that case, multiple certifications may be required and can be activated using the multiple certification functionality in ERS. Click the checkbox at the bottom of the effort report which indicates Report requires multiple certifications, enter a comment, and save the report. When this functionality is activated, individual line certification will be available for certification.

Notify the other department by forwarding a copy of the report to them using the Send button. Work with the other department to determine the employee's effort percentage on all projects, as it isn't possible to know what percent of time was spent in one department without knowing the total time spent. Each department should certify only their own projects. The home department should have the employee's information that shows the additional funding department.

The PI in the other department automatically has the ability to view and certify the report. However, it may be necessary to allow other employees in that department to view the report. If so, contact your department ERS Security Administrator to give permissions for viewing the report.


Q.   When would an additional sponsored project need to be added to an effort report?
A.   Occasionally, an employee may have no salary charged to a project, but needs to report cost sharing because they have been expending effort on that project. Retroactive payroll charges would need to be processed.

Q.   If someone voluntarily works on a sponsored project and the individual was not included in the proposal, is it necessary to certify the effort?
A.   No. Office of Management & Budget (OMB) issued a clarification in January, 2001 which specified that voluntary uncommitted cost sharing should be treated differently than the committed effort and should not be included in the organized research base for computing the Facilities & Administration (F&A) rate.

Q.   Can an MSO certify effort reports?
A.   An MSO can certify the effort report if he/she has first-hand knowledge of the work performed and the ability to make a reasonable estimate of the effort expended on each sponsored project.

Q.   When must changes be made to an effort report?
A.   Changes must be made to the effort report if the difference between the effort reports percentage and the actual effort expended is greater than 5%. If changes are made, an explanation must be entered in the Comments area and a Payroll Expense Transfer must be completed in the Payroll Personnel System (PPS).

Q.   What are the possible consequences of not certifying a report in an accurate and timely manner?
A.   The consequences of not certifying a report in an accurate and timely manner include:
  • Suspension or termination of awards
  • Disallowances and repayments
  • Additional oversight by the federal agency
  • Administrative sanctions
  • Civil/criminal violations
  • Suspension and/or debarment
  • Submission of corrective action plans
  • Loss of future funding
  • Negative publicity (for individuals and the campus)
  • Erosion of public trust and confidence

Q.   What are the implications of making a change in the effort percentages on the effort report?
A.   A change in paid effort requires a corresponding payroll transfer or cost share entry. With an annual effort reporting cycle, by the time the effort report is generated the 120 days allowed for processing cost transfers will already be past. As such, it is critical that ledgers are reviewed in a timely manner.

Q.   How does a PI know which reports need certification?
A.   ERS Coordinators will notify PIs that effort reports are ready for certification. In addition, each report in ERS has its own status code which identifies whether or not the report needs to be certified.

Q.   Why do I have a report that's Not Required? (PI) Do I have to do anything?
A.   Effort reports are generated each reporting period for all PIs, regardless of charges to federal or Federal Flow Through (FFT) funds. Since a PI should have at least one project, and almost all projects require some PI effort, ERS generates a report for every PI. If the PI does have effort on a federal or FFT award, he/she can easily add the project to the report and enter the percentage of payroll and/or cost share, then certify the report. If the PI does not have effort on any federal or FFT awards, he/she can leave the report with the status NotRequired and it will not be considered outstanding.

Q.   Should a PI certify for everyone on his/her My Projects list?
A.   No, PIs and Professional Staff should certify their own effort only. A PI should not certify for another PI.

Q.   If a Principal Investigator or other employee leaves the university, who should certify the effort reports?
A.   When possible, a PI should certify his/her own effort at termination. An individual effort report can be generated on demand. If it is not possible to get the PI's certification, a person with first-hand knowledge or a suitable means of verifying the effort should certify. The certifier must be someone up the faculty chain of command, and should use the available documentation (e.g. progress reports, logs, task checklists) as the suitable means of verifying the effort. For a PI, an appropriate certifier would generally be the Department Chair or Dean.

For other employees, if they have first-hand knowledge of their activities, they should certify their own reports at termination. If the employee does not have first-hand knowledge or is not available to make the certification, a lab supervisor or other manager who has knowledge of the employees' time should certify the effort reports. If there is no person with first-hand knowledge, then someone up the employee's chain of command should use the available documentation (e.g. timesheets, logs, task checklists) as the suitable means of verifying the effort. For staff, an appropriate certifier would generally be the Lab Supervisor or MSO. An MSO or other administrator should not certify for lab staff unless they directly certify the employee.

It's likely that the certifier will need special permissions set up in ERS to certify the reports. See the permissions forms on the ERS Web page to request this access.


Q.   What needs to be done if a PI inadvertently certifies for another PI or faculty member?
A.   If a PI has already certified an entire report for another faculty member, there are two possible solutions. If the effort certification is correct, the faculty member should add a comment to their effort report stating concurrence with the certified percentages. Comments may be added after certification by using the Comments tab.

If the effort certification is incorrect, the faculty member should re-open their effort report using the Reopen Effort Report button, make the appropriate changes and re-certify the report. In some cases, the PI will have certified only the project line for his/her project. The faculty member can use the Certify button to certify the entire report, which will prompt him/her to remove the line certification.


Q.   How can an effort report total 100% when the employee has a less than full-time appointment with the university?
A.   Effort is not based on a 40-hour work week; it is based on the total time spent on university activities, no matter how many hours are worked.

The following example of an employee who has a 50% appointment at the institution and who is working 25% on a sponsored project and 25% on other non-sponsored activities demonstrates the concept of 100% total effort:

Employee A - paid 50% time for the period:

% of Time / % of Appt = % of Effort

  • 25% / 50% = 50% sponsored project
  • 25% / 50% = 50% non sponsored project
  • = 100% Total Effort
In the next example, the employee has a 100% full-time appointment at the institution and works 50% time on a sponsored project and 50% time on other non-sponsored activities. This employee's effort also totals 100%.

Employee B - paid 100% time for the period

% of Time / % of Appt = % of Effort
  • 50% / 100% = 50% sponsored project
  • 50% / 100% = 50% non sponsored project
  • = 100% Total Effort

Q.   What is the difference between effort commitment and effort reporting?
A.   Visit the What is Effort Commitment? page for information on the differences between effort commitment and effort reporting.

Q.   Is there a help desk for ERS questions and issues? What other help is available?
A.   There is ERS Help Desk assistance available for users who have questions or experience issues while working with the Effort Reporting System. The ERS Help Desk can be contacted by completing the Help Request Form that is available as a link in the header section of the ERS or on the main Effort Reporting Help page. This form captures the necessary information that will assist us in providing answers to your questions.

In addition, there is online help built into the ERS. Click on the ? icon in the header bar to retrieve a help screen which provides information on the specific screen or report type that you are using. Some of the help screens contain links to training modules that provide a more detailed overview of a specific process.


Q.   What are the hours of availability for ERS?
A.   ERS is generally available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is a scheduled maintenance downtime once a month on Sunday morning from 8 am to 12 pm (local Pacific time). There may be other occasional downtime for other maintenance.

Q.   Why are the cost sharing and direct salary charges for the same project listed separately on the effort report?
A.   Payroll charges and cost sharing information come from two separate systems - the Payroll and Personnel System (PPS) and the Cost Share Tracking systems. It is not possible at this time to combine the data onto one line of the report. It is acceptable to show the cost sharing on the same line as the payroll charges for the same fund, or on its own line.

Q.   In what order will the accounts in my plan appear when I run my ledgers for review?
A.   The default sort for accounts is by organization hierarchy first, then by account number. However, you have the option to sort by any two of: Org Hierarchy, Account, Account Manager and PI Name. This is set in the Ledger Account Sort field toward the bottom of the query input screen.

Q.   Why don't I have the Prev Month and Next Month links on the report?
A.   If you access the ledger through the GL Review menu, these links will not be present. However, if you enter the Transaction Listing (2) through the regular menus, or through query jump, the links will be there.

Q.   How do I add a plan manager?
A.   Go to the General Ledger Review menu and click on Add Plan Manager. Enter the employee's user ID and their organization.

Completing this form will create a DaFIS FIS User (USER) document which will go through standard routing for the organization specified.


Q.   How long does it take for a new plan manager to be set up?
A.   When you create a plan manager in the GL Review system, a DaFIS FIS User (USER) document is generated that routes for approval within Transaction Processing (TP). The document will go through any review hierarchy routing established for your organization before routing to the campus Chart Manager for final approval.

Plan manager permissions become active the morning after the USER document receives final approval.


Q.   How soon after I add a plan reviewer can they begin reviewing and annotating the ledger?
A.   Plan reviewers can begin reviewing immediately after being added to a plan.

Q.   Can anyone be a ledger reviewer?
A.   Any DaFIS user can be set up as a reviewer. The plan manager for their organization has to add them on the Create/Edit Review Plan screen.

Q.   What is the difference between a reviewer and a primary reviewer?
A.   Reviewers and primary reviewers can both perform the monthly review of the ledger, and annotate the transactions as valid, invalid, or needing correction.

The difference is that the primary reviewer has the added responsibility of clicking the Finalize Review link to indicate the review is completed.


Q.   How do I designate a primary reviewer for a plan?
A.   Go to Create/Edit Review Plan, select the plan you want, and click Edit. This will take you to the Plan Setup screen where you can identify the primary reviewer.

Q.   Once I create a plan, when will I see it on my Start Ledger Review screen?
A.   You can see your plans listed in the Start Ledger Review screen after the current open fiscal period closes. For example, if you create a plan during the October fiscal period, your plan will show up in November after the October period closes.

The Start Ledger Review menu only lists review plans that existed at the time the prior fiscal period closed.


Q.   Can I still annotate my ledger if my new plan isn't showing in the Start Ledger Review menu yet?
A.   Yes. You can annotate your ledgers for a month that has not yet closed by running a regular Transaction Listing (2) report with the Enable Annotations box marked (just above the Transaction Listing Options box on the query page).

Q.   My plan no longer has accounts. Why do I still have to finalize it?
A.   The system was designed to require all plans to be finalized. If you've moved accounts from one plan to another, delete the original plan by using the Create/Edit Review Plans link, click the plan, then click the Delete button.

Q.   Where do I go to annotate my ledgers?
A.   If the period you want to review is closed, you have three options:
  1. Use the Review Ledgers option in the GL Review System.
  2. Use the Unreviewed Transactions option in the GL Review System.
  3. Use DaFIS Decision Support (DS) Transaction Listing (2), provided you click the Enable Annotations button on the input page.

If the period you want to review is open, your only option is to use DS report 2.


Q.   When I drill down on a document during ledger review, how do I return to the Ledger Review screen with the annotations?
A.   The drill-down process opens a new window, so you should be able to access the original Ledger Review page by clicking the prior window.

Q.   Yesterday I was using the green highlighting to keep my place. When I open the same ledgers today, why is the green highlighting gone?
A.   The green highlighting is only available for individual sessions and is not retained once you leave that session.

Q.   My review plan has several accounts. When I run the report for the plan, is there a search capability to quickly find a particular account for reviewing?
A.   Twenty accounts are returned at a time. You can go directly to a specific account by clicking on any of the accounts listed in the Jump to Account field at the top of the page.

Another way is to enter that account into the Account field on the query input screen.

A third way is to create review plans with fewer accounts in each plan.


Q.   What does the error message "Background process is not defined / popup has no properties / syntax error" mean?
A.   This error happens if the page is stopped from loading completely. Some of the code that the annotator needs is at the very bottom of the page. If the page does not finish loading or if a link is clicked before loading is complete, this error may occur. To fix, reload the page.

Q.   How can I tell if new accounts have been added to my review plans?
A.   There are two ways to check this:
  • On the GL Review menu, click Accounts Not Assigned to Review Plans and run the report for your organization. If the account appears, it has not been added to your plan.
  • On the GL Review menu, click Create/Edit Review Plans, then open an existing plan or start the process of creating a new one. In the All Accounts box, if the account is greyed out and is followed by a plan name in parentheses, it has already been added to a plan.

Q.   If a DaFIS document is changed after it leaves a department (e.g., Accounts Payable modifies a Vendor Invoice document) will it auto-annotate?
A.   No. In order for auto-annotation to occur, two users in your organization need to approve the document after the changes occur. For example, if Accounts Payable (AP) modified a vendor invoice, your department would not have a chance to approve the changes because AP is the final approver.

Q.   Can I turn on document summarization and still see the auto-annotations?
A.   Yes, and when you summarize by document, you may see additional auto-annotations. This is because the DaFIS Vendor Invoice (VI) and Departmental Purchase Order (DPO) / Purchase Order (PO) lien reversals are lumped into one line when you summarize by document. Liens are not required to be annotated, and consequently show up as auto-annotated.

Q.   How can I tell the difference between an item that was auto-annotated and one that the reviewer annotated?
A.   When a document has been auto-annotated, there is an "A" in the box next to the thumbs-up and thumbs-down icons. When a document has been manually annotated, there is a checkmark, "X", or "?" in the box next to the thumbs-up and thumbs-down icons.

Q.   If an account delegate rather than an account manager approves a document, will the document auto-annotate?
A.   Auto-annotation rules are based on the approvers' organizations in relation to the account's organization, not on the role (e.g., delegate versus manager).

Out of the document initiator, account delegate, and any other approver, if at least two of them are in the same organizational hierarchy as the account, the document is subject to auto-annotation.


Q.   What makes a transaction valid?
A.   A transaction is valid if it is accurate, appropriate, and in compliance.

The transaction is accurate when the amount being charged/credited is correct and the items for which you are being charged/credited were received/returned.

The transaction is appropriate when the transaction is 1) needed and 2) allowable per the fund source.

The transaction is in compliance when it is within all policies and procedures of the University of California and, if applicable, the funding agency.


Q.   Are approvers allowed to annotate?
A.   An approver can mark a transaction as valid provided they are not the final departmental approver for that particular transaction.

An approver can mark any transaction as invalid, regardless of whether they are the final departmental approver.


Q.   If my document is paid against multiple accounts, some of which are in another department or organization, can I annotate the document?
A.   Yes, but only for your organization's accounts.

Q.   What happens if I annotate a summarized document but some of the line items belong to another organization?
A.   Only the line items of the summarized line that pertains to your department's accounts will be annotated.

Q.   I annotated all of the items required for ledger review. How can I be sure the annotations were accepted?
A.   Run the Unreviewed Transactions Report for the same time period. Do NOT checkmark the Show All Transactions? or the Uncorrected Transactions Only? box. If all required documents have been annotated the report will return nothing.

Q.   How can I see notes created during annotation?
A.   You can view the notes using the following methods:
  • Checkmark the Show Notes box on the input page for DaFIS Decision Support Transaction Listing (2). On the subsequent screen, you should see notes that already exist (i.e., from prior annotations). If you add new notes, refresh the screen to see them.
  • Leave the Show Notes box unchecked, and on the subsequent screen, click on the Notes icon to view a specific note.

Q.   I had several transactions last month that I need to correct. Can I get a report that shows just those transactions?
A.   Yes. On the Unreviewed Transactions Report checkmark the Uncorrected Transactions Only? box.

Q.   I have transactions that I am prohibited from approving due to separation of duties. Is there an easy way for a different reviewer to see only these items?
A.   Yes. The Unreviewed Transactions Report displays all transactions that still need to be annotated, provided the reviewer does NOT checkmark the Show All Transactions? or the Uncorrected Transactions Only? box.

Q.   Our business officer wants to see which reviewer annotated a particular transaction. What report provides that information?
A.   Use DaFIS Decision Support Transaction Listing (2); be sure to checkmark the Enable Annotations and the Show Notes boxes. If you know the account number, you can restrict the search to just that account by completing the Account field.

The subsequent screen shows the reviewer, action taken, and notes for each transaction.


Q.   Can document initiators annotate?
A.   Document initiators can annotate provided:
  • Two users in the same hierarchy as the account (the initiator could be one of them) approved the transaction.
  • If the initiator is one of the two approvers, the initiator cannot be the final approver (i.e., someone has to approve the transaction after the initiator does).

Q.   How can I view plans that have already been finalized?
A.   On the Ledger Review menu, use the View Past Certifications report.

Q.   I updated my plan to include Auto-Annotation, but when I run the report none of the transactions are annotated. Why not?
A.   There are three possible causes:
  1. Auto-Annotation only affects transactions that are approved after the nightly update on the day you selected this option. In other words, if you updated the plan on Tuesday, annotations will appear for qualifying transactions approved on Wednesday or later.
  2. The account, document initiator, and approver are not in the same organizational hierarchy.
  3. Significant changes were made to the document during routing. After changes are made, another person needs to approve the document.

Q.   I created and reviewed my plans, but they are not available to select for finalization. Why not?
A.   You have probably created your plans after the monthly close process has occurred. You will not be able to finalize the plan for any fiscal period prior to the one in which it was created.

Wait until the monthly close process is run for the current fiscal period (i.e., early next month). At that time you will be able to finalize your review for the current fiscal period (i.e., month just closed).


Q.   A Purchasing Card charge hits a default account and default object code PCRD, showing up in the ledger as a DaFIS Direct Charge (DC). The department moves the charge to a different account. Does the DC get marked as invalid?
A.   No, assuming that it was a legitimate purchase. When the GL Reviewer is considering the validity of the DC, they are confirming that the purchase was properly authorized and appropriate for the Purchasing Card (e.g., not travel or entertainment).

Even though the charge was ultimately moved to another account, the mechanics of the Purchasing Card require that ALL transactions for that card first post to a default account. The reviewer should mark the transaction as valid after confirming its appropriateness and compliance.

The next step is to then use the FPD to transfer the expense to the destination account for which the purchase was actually made. The approval of the FPD is the confirmation of a legitimate expense transfer.


Q.   On a Purchasing Card transaction, if the department changes the object code from the default of PCRD to something more specific, does the DaFIS Direct Charge (DC) get marked as invalid?
A.   No, assuming that this was a legitimate purchase. PCRD is the default object for every purchase made using the Purchasing Card. Changing the object code does not make the default transaction invalid.

The GL reviewer is saying that the transaction is valid as of that step in the process. The GL reviewer should be able to confirm that the transaction was authorized by the appropriate person, it was an appropriate purchase for the Purchasing Card, and that the items were actually received.


Q.   How will benefits be charged to my Account with the composite rates?
A.   The composite benefit rates represent the percentage that will be applied to the employee salary. This amount will be charged to the account for fringe benefit costs regardless of the actual costs to the university.

Q.   Must we use the new composite rates or can we use actual rates if we have them?
A.   Once Composite Fringe Benefit Rates are implemented, we cannot mix between charging actual costs and composite benefit rates.

Q.   If I am charged a composite rate that is different from my actual costs, who will be responsible for the difference?
A.   Departments will not be responsible for any shortages from the benefit rate to the actual costs of your employees. The composite rates applied to gross salaries replace the actual benefit costs to your ledgers. The actual costs to the University will still be accumulated, but they will not appear in the ledger.

At year-end, Accounting & Financial Services will reconcile actual benefit costs incurred by the University with the amount charged using the composite benefit rates. Any over- or under-recovery will be adjusted in future year rates, similar to a recharge activity.

This averaging concept for fringe benefits is permitted per OMB Circular A-21 which allows fringe benefits to be charged by allocating a pool of fringe benefit costs on the basis of institution-wide salaries and wages of the employees receiving the benefits.


Q.   Why are there different rates for Campus compared to ANR?
A.   There is a difference between ANR and UC Davis because the two organizations are accounted for and reported differently for financial purposes.

It was necessary to create separate rates for ANR because ANR's reconciliation of actual costs to the composite benefit rates is completed for Chart L whereas UC Davis uses Chart 3 & S. The difference in composite rates for similar employee groups can be attributed to a much smaller ANR population among which to spread the actual fringe benefit cost and the different makeup of employees at ANR.


Q.   How do I project composite benefits costs beyond the provided schedules?
A.   A standard escalation of 3% should be used for budgeting beyond the provided schedules.

The projected rates for FY 2013-14 and beyond are for budgeting purposes only. They are subject to change based on the adjustments from previous years' actual costs.


Q.   How are the salary bands for health benefits factored into the fringe benefit rates?
A.   One of the advantages of moving to composite benefit rates is that a department will no longer need to account or budget for benefits that are unique to each employee. This should make grant budgeting easier to manage because PIs need only manage the costs that will be charged through the fringe benefit rate. They do not need to be concerned with the wide variation of benefits for employees doing the same job.

Q.   How will the university cover the actual benefits cost if the composite rate is lower than the actual benefit cost for a particular employee?
A.   At year end, Accounting & Financial Services will reconcile actual benefit costs incurred by the University with the amount charged using the composite benefit rates. Any over- or under-recovery will be adjusted in future year rates, similar to a recharge activity.

Q.   Why do the composite rates not distinguish between academic year and summer appointment faculty?
A.   Composite fringe benefit rates are applied based on the salary amount and rate group the employee falls into regardless of when the employee is appointed.

Federal regulations require fringe benefits to be charged by aggregating fringe benefit costs on the basis of institution-wide salaries and wages of the employees receiving the benefits. The Composite Fringe Benefit rate is an average of all the benefits applicable to employees within rate groups based on attributes of the employees who fall into that group.


Q.   How can you charge benefits to DOS codes that have not historically been charged for all benefits?
A.   The federal regulations allow fringe benefits to be charged by allocating a pool of composite benefit costs on the basis of institution-wide salaries and wages of the employees receiving the benefits.

To move to a composite benefit rate:

  • the entire pool of fringe benefits for a group of employees is divided by:
  • the total salaries of the employee group to develop the fringe benefit rate.
This rate must then be applied against the total institutional base salary of the individuals.

Q.   What if a person is eligible for full benefits but is not appointed at 100% time?
A.   The benefit cost for an employee is the applicable rate multiplied by gross salary. If the appointment percentage is lower, the salary is lower and, thus, the benefit cost will be lower, even if the employee receives full benefits. This is considerably simpler to calculate and also reduces benefit expenses for part-time employees as compared to the old method of calculating benefit costs.

Q.   How do I account for leave with the composite benefit rate?
A.   The Leave Assessment process is changing with the implementation of the Kuali Financial System Labor Distribution module scheduled to go live in July 2011. The change in the current process is also driven by a change in a financial statement requirement.

In addition to the Base Employee Benefit rate, salary expenses will be assessed a leave rate for employees eligible to earn leave. The leave rate is based on the leave accrual code of the employee.

This assessment will be Leave Assessment Salaries and will post to SB28 (Leave) using object code 8930. Leave Assessment Salaries will then be assessed for benefits using the composite benefit rate of the employee and will post to SUB6 (Benefits), under its own object code. When an employee takes vacation, the department will receive a credit back for the appropriate salaries (in SB28, using object code 8931) and the composite benefit rate (in SUB6, using object code 8932) as it does now.


Q.   In determining the Healthcomp Faculty salary amount for the two different composite benefit rates, what is considered the base salary?
A.   This would be the entire salary except for the Z component (HBZ DOS Code).

For the Healthcomp Faculty:

  • with X+Y salary components over $200K, they would be in group A
  • with a total X+Y less than $200K, they would be in group B

Q.   How do we account for projects that cross fiscal years and the rates change?
A.   The fringe benefit rate that will be charged to your accounts will be adjusted each fiscal year, so the first payroll feed in July will have the new rates charged to them.

If you are budgeting for a project that crosses fiscal years, then you will need to adjust the fringe benefit rates for the employees accordingly.

Because many researchers have multi-year awards and proposals which were approved with different fringe benefit rates than the composite rates, the campus is creating a funding pool to cover shortfalls created by the transition to composite rates. This funding pool will not mitigate the impacts of increased health insurance costs, increased contributions to UC Retirement System or other cost increases that are beyond the University's control.


Q.   Who do I contact if I have questions not answered in the FAQ or on the Composite Benefit website?
A.   If you can't locate the information you are looking for on the Composite Benefit website, please contact Michael Legrand in the Costing Policy Analysis office at (530)752-4621 or mrlegrand@ucdavis.edu.

Q.   What happens when grants are submitted through one department, but employees' appointments are not in that department?
A.   There is no difference in the composite benefit rates for employees regardless of which department they work in. Composite fringe benefit rates are applied based on the salary amount and type of employee regardless of where the employee is appointed.

Q.   What rate is used when an employee waives our medical benefits?
A.   The composite fringe benefit rates are applied to all employees who are eligible for benefits regardless of whether or not they accept the benefit and regardless of which benefits options they elect.

Q.   Where do I get information on the actual calculations? Who can assist me with this?
A.   The calculation is actually very simple: applicable composite rate x (times) gross salary

The Kuali Financial System includes a Labor Distribution Module which will automatically charge the appropriate composite benefit rate based on the PPS attributes of the employee, whether they are eligible for the UC Retirement system (code U or B) and the title code. You can locate the retirement code for your employees in PPS, on the IGEN or IRET screens.

The Labor Distribution Module is new to UC Davis and provides functionality that is not available in DaFIS. It will be implemented in July 2011.

For guidance on how to use the rates in a proposed budget, contact the Office of Sponsored Programs.

For information about the rates themselves, refer to the Composite Benefit Rate section of the Accounting and Financial Services website, .

You may also contact Mike Legrand, Director of Costing Policy and Analysis, (530) 752-4621 or mrlegrand@ucdavis.edu.


Q.   How will the new rate structure affect existing awards?
A.   We understand that many researchers have multi-year awards and proposals which were approved with different fringe benefit rates than the composite rates. The campus is considering the creation of a funding pool to cover shortfalls created by the transition to composite rates to mitigate the impact to sponsored projects. This funding pool will not mitigate the impacts of increased health insurance costs or increased contributions to UC Retirement System. Regrettably, all project budgets will be negatively affected by actual cost increases, which are beyond the University's control.

If you have a sponsored project with an approved budget which will be significantly impacted by the change to Composite Fringe Benefit rates for reasons other than indicated above, you can submit your request to composite-rates@ucdavis.edu for review by the campus committee. The request will need to include the following information for the committee review:

  • Narrative describing how the change to Composite Fringe Benefit rates will impact the ability to perform the scope of the project
  • Award number and FIS Account number
  • Copy of the approved budget
  • Staffing list of all individuals paid from the award and the impact to the award based on the change from charging actual fringe benefit costs to the Composite Fringe Benefit rate.

Q.   The composite rates seem high. Why?
A.   The new rates are based on actual benefit expenses for 2009-10. The increases in the rate in the subsequent years are the result of restarting retirement contributions and increases in health benefits costs, which went into effect in 2010-11. The increase in the rate is not related to the adoption of composite rates, but a reflection of increased actual costs.

Q.   The composite rates seem low. For example, our lab staff includes academic titles of Post-doc, Project Scientist and Jr. Specialist. Based on December 2010 payroll, their actual benefit rates ranged from 13% to 69% depending on each employee individual benefit options. If we use a 30% fixed benefit rate for an employee who is actually at 69%, there would be a huge shortage in the benefits category vs. the actual costs. How would a PI handle this?
A.   One of the advantages of moving to a composite benefit rate is that a department will no longer need to account or budget for benefit rates that are unique to each employee. This should make grant budgeting easier to manage because PIs need only manage the costs that will be charged through the fringe benefit rate. They do not need to be concerned with the wide variation of benefits for employees doing the same job.

All actual costs to the University will still be accounted for, but departments will not see them in their ledgers. Departments will not be responsible for any shortages resulting from the composite benefit rate as compared to actual costs. The rate vs. actual costs will be reconciled at year-end, and any over- or under-recovery will be adjusted in future year rates, similar to a recharge activity.


Q.   While trying to approve a transaction on an account, I got the message "Image element not found: 'A_8E82D8F73ED4349CA00FA448EC3C5CB7_IMG' Can you tell me what that means and what I need to do so it can be approved and I can print and certify the ledgers?
A.   This is a known problem with the GL Review System and a service request has been entered to address and resolve this issue. It has to do with transaction descriptions that contain an apostrophe or double quotes. The good news is that the system will still correctly read the action you take on the ledger, even if you do get the error.

Q.   What employees are eligible to use the Time Reporting System?
A.   The Time Reporting System is currently available to Represented and Non-Represented Monthly and Bi-Weekly employees. See the list of employees eligible to use the system.

Q.   Where can I learn about the Time Reporting System?
A.   Visit the Time Reporting System informational website.

Q.   I am approved to work a 9/80 alternate work schedule. Will I be able to record my work hours in the Time Reporting System?
A.   Yes, approved 9/80 and 4/40 alternate work schedules can be recorded in the Time Reporting System by the Department Time Administrator (DTA) for eligible non-exempt employees. Exempt employees do not enter an alternate work schedule in TRS since they cannot claim overtime hours. The alternate work schedule functionality in TRS is primarily used for the calculation of overtime hours for non-exempt employees. (Exempt employees can add a note in the Comments section identifying their alternate work schedule, but are not required to do so.)

If you are a non-exempt employee with an alternate work schedule, the information on your alternate work schedule will appear below your timesheet. If you work an alternate work schedule, and do not see it noted on your timesheet, please contact your supervisor for assistance. The supervisor can then contact the DTA and ask them to add your alternate work schedule to the Time Reporting System.

The DTA should go to the Manage Employee tab, locate the employee record, click on the Work Schedule button, and select the appropriate alternate work schedule.


Q.   Can I use the Time Reporting System to report vacation and sick time?
A.   Yes. You can report leave time in TRS. Leave time includes sick, vacation, comp time off, Leave without Pay (LWOP), jury duty and voting time off.

Q.   Where can I get step-by-step instructions on using the Time Reporting System?
A.   Please see the Help Resources section of the informational website. There are guides for employees, supervisors, and Department Time Administrators (DTAs).

Q.   What are the benefits to using the Time Reporting System?
A.   The many benefits of the Time Reporting System are listed on the informational website.

Q.   I am a non-exempt employee eligible for overtime compensation. How do I enter overtime on my timesheet in the Time Reporting System?
A.   Non-exempt employees are required to enter ALL time WORKED and ALL LEAVE time in the Time Reporting System. This is in accordance with the Fair Standards Labor Act (FLSA). The Time Reporting System will automatically calculate any overtime based on the work hours entered.

Q.   Who do I contact if I have a question regarding the Time Reporting System?
A.   As an employee, if there is a discrepancy with the way your personal information is appearing in the Time Reporting System, please contact your Department Time Administrator for assistance. If they are unable to resolve the issue, they may contact the TRS Help Desk at trshelp@ucdavis.edu for assistance.

Q.   What are the hours of availability for the Time Reporting System?
A.   Hours are listed on the informational website.

Q.   What do I need to do in the Time Reporting System if I am ending one job assignment at UC Davis and starting a new job assignment at UC Davis?
A.   Make sure you complete a timesheet for your current job assignment BEFORE it ends. Once your job assignment ends, it will no longer appear in the Time Reporting System.

Once you begin your new job assignment, the new job assignment will appear in the Time Reporting System, but the previous one will no longer appear.


Q.   I am an employee with multiple job assignments in the payroll system. How do I record my time in the Time Reporting System?
A.   If you have multiple job assignments, you will be required to complete a timesheet for each one. We recommend that you contact each of your supervisors and determine how your work and leave time should be entered for each assignment. Each supervisor will be required to approve the timesheet that is related to their assignment.

Q.   I am an employee with multiple job assignments with the same description (same title code). Is there a way that these assigments can be differentiated in the Time Reporting System?
A.   Contact your Department Time Administrator (DTA) for assistance.

A DTA can add a job nickname to the appointment title code. This is helpful if an employee has multiple assignments with the same title code. Adding a job nickname may assist the employee and the supervisor in easily identifying and reporting time to the proper job assignment.

The DTA can add a job assignment nickname by going to the Manage Employee tab and finding the employee under the Search Employee Profile. Under Assignments, select the Update Time Identifier icon. A pop-up window will appear. To add a job nickname, enter a job identifier name in the Timesheet Identifier field. Save the update.


Q.   I am a Department Time Administrator (DTA) who is trying to submit a timesheet with more than 5 Description of Service (DOS) codes. I keep getting a PPS error message. What should I do?
A.   The Time Reporting System only allows submission of timesheets with up to 5 DOS codes. If you are trying to submit a timesheet citing more than 5 DOS codes you will need to submit the timesheet data manually in the Online Payroll Time Reporting System (OPTRS) using the EDLR screen.

Q.   How can I use the Repeat Work Hours functionality in the Time Reporting System?
A.   You may be a non-exempt employee (eligible to claim overtime) who works the same shift everyday and would like to copy these hours across a selected date range. Repeat Hours is a copy function that allows you to record repeated time for a selected date range. For example, you may need to report two consecutive weeks (80 hours) of work for the pay period.

To use the Repeated Hours function, make sure you have the timesheet opened:

  1. Click Add on the first date in the date range you want to repeat.

  2. Select Repeated Hours from the drop down list.

  3. A pop up screen will appear:

    1. Click on Add and select from the drop down list the type of hours to be reported (work hours, vacation, sick, etc.).

    2. Click inside of the From Date box to generate a calendar for the pay period. Select the first date in the date range.

    3. Click inside of the To Date box to generate a calendar for the pay period. Select the end date in the date range.

    4. Skip the Hour field.

    5. A pop up screen will appear requesting the following information:

      • Time In: Time you arrived at work
      • Lunch Out: Time you initiated a lunch break, if taken
      • Lunch In: Time you returned to work from lunch break, if taken
      • Time Out: Time the shift ended

  4. Click Add to Time Sheet.

  5. Save the timesheet.

TRS will populate the total hours per day for the selected date range to the timesheet.


Q.   The primary and/or backup supervisor information in the Time Reporting System is incorrect. What do I do?
A.   If you are an employee, please contact your supervisor for assistance.

If you are a supervisor, please contact your Department Time Administrator (DTA) and let them know what the correct supervisor information should be.

If you are a DTA, do the following:

  1. Go to the Manage Employee tab
  2. Locate the employee.
  3. On the General Information screen, click on the Assignments button on the left side of the screen to view and modify/add supervisor information for the employee.

Q.   I am a monthly-paid employee. Do I have to enter my work time?
A.   Monthly-paid employees do not enter their work time. These employees only enter their leave time (vacation, sick, etc.).

Q.   I am an employee that would like to submit a timesheet early in the Time Reporting System, as I will be out of the office during the time it is normally submitted. Is this ok?
A.   Yes. If you need to submit a timesheet early, you can do so in the Time Reporting System. Make sure you account for all days in the reporting period. In other words, if you are going to be out of the office on the 30th and 31st and you are submitting the timesheet on the 29th, make sure you enter the leave time for the 30th and 31st on your timesheet.

Q.   What type of training is available for the Time Reporting System?
A.   Classroom and online training options are available.

Q.   When a new employee is hired, will they be automatically added to the Time Reporting System (TRS)?
A.   The new employee's appointment will automatically load into TRS, using information from the Payroll & Personnel System (PPS) and from the university identity management system.

Please be patient with this process. It will take approximately 3 business days for the process to complete after the new employee record has been created in PPS.

In order for the new employee to use TRS, the Department Time Administrator (DTA) will first need to assign a Primary and Backup Supervisor to the new employee's record using the Manage Employee tab in TRS.


Q.   When ending an employee's appointment in the Payroll and Personnel System (PPS), how does it affect the information in the Time Reporting System?
A.   In general, appointments should NOT be deleted in PPS. In other words, an end date should be entered for the ending appointment. If an appointment is deleted, an employee will NOT be able to enter time for that appointment in the Time Reporting System .

An appointment can be deleted in PPS if it was entered in error, and no payments have been made against that appointment. In some limited circumstances, a previous appointment may be in conflict with the new appointment labor relations code and must be deleted to add the new appointment in PPS.


Q.   How should student employees with work study be entered in the Time Reporting System?
A.   Work study student employees should be entered with two (2) assignments/appointments in the Payroll and Personnel System (PPS):

  • Appointment for work hours for the work study
  • Appointment for any leave time reported (sick, vacation, etc.)
To assist the student employee in knowing which appointment is for the work study and which one is for the leave reporting, a timesheet identifier (nickname) can be added to each appointment. The Department Time Administrator can do this for you.

Q.   How do I ensure that I or my employees do not lose accrued vacation hours?
A.   As a supervisor, you should regularly check the number of vacation hours that your employee(s) have accrued and help them develop a plan to take vacation time so that they do not reach their vacation maximum and stop accruing vacation hours. You can use the 31 report in PPS Decision Support as a reference.

As an employee, you should regularly look at your vacation balance and plan to use vacation time well before reaching your maximum.


Q.   What is the difference between an exempt and a non-exempt employee?
A.   An exempt employee is an employee who cannot claim overtime work hours.

A non-exempt employee is an employee who can claim overtime hours.

In the Time Reporting System, exempt employees do not enter their work hours. They only enter their non-work hours (vacation, sick leave, etc.)

Non-exempt employees enter ALL work and non-work hours. The Time Reporting System will automatically calculate overtime based on the number of work hours entered by the non-exempt employee.


Q.   I have an Alternate Work Schedule set up in the Time Reporting System. Does this impact the Repeated Work Hours functionality?
A.   If you have an alternate work schedule, you may not work on certain days. For example, you may have an alternate work schedule where you do not work on Fridays. However, if using the Repeated Work Hours functionality, the calendar will pre-populate hours in all days Monday through Friday. Before submitting your timesheet, be sure that you manually delete any hours for the days that you did not work.

Q.   How does time reporting differ for Exempt (NOT eligible for overtime) versus Non-Exempt employees?
A.   Exempt employees will only record leave (non-work) usage and can only take leave in full-day (8 hour) increments.

Non-exempt employees are required to account for all hours scheduled to work, including leave usage. Non-exempt staff record time in increments of a quarter hour.


Q.   How does an employee report time off that is part of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?
A.   In the Time Reporting System, there isn't a specific category for FMLA leave. FMLA leave can include Sick Leave, Vacation Leave, or Leave Without Pay (LWOP). You should select the appropriate option on your timesheet.

In the Timesheet Comments section you should add a note indicating the dates on which FMLA was taken. For example, if the vacation you took on 9/22 was for FMLA purposes, you should add a comment indicating "9/22: Vacation time: FMLA."


Q.   Are e-mail notifications sent from the Time Reporting System?
A.   Yes! E-mail reminders are sent to employees who have not submitted their timesheets near the submission deadline. If an employee has already submitted a timesheet, an e-mail reminder is not sent.

E-mail reminders are also sent to supervisors near the approval deadline. If a supervisor has already approved all timesheets, an e-mail reminder is not sent.

Also, see the Email Notifications info page.


Q.   When do the offsets in SUB6 & SB28 for 19900 accounts post each month?
A.   Normally this process runs the evening after the 6th business day of the following month.

Q.   Where can I locate the current leave accrual rates for employees?
A.   Employee Leave Accrual Rates (rates at which an employee earns vacation and sick leave) are available on the Leave Accrual and Time Reporting Codes website.

Q.   As an employee, why is it important that I keep track of my vacation hours accrual?
A.   The University of California provides vacation leave as a benefit to staff for rest and renewal throughout the year.

If you do not regularly use your vacation leave, there is a possibility that you will reach maximum accrual and will not be able to accrue additional hours until you have used some of your vacation leave.

Your timesheet includes your vacation balance. If you are nearing your maximum accrual, you should contact your supervisor and work with them to develop a vacation plan for using some of those vacation hours.

Please refer to the July 2012 Our University Newsletter for more information on the importance of regularly using those accrued vacation hours.


Q.   I heard that monthly employee reporting in TRS is done in arrears. What does this mean, and how does it relate to the vacation and sick leave balances I see in TRS and on my earnings statement?
A.   Arrears is reporting for the period "behind" you.

In TRS, monthly-paid employees report time worked for the previous month. Here's an example: In early August, monthly-paid employees report their time for July, including their vacation and sick leave usage in July. Their September earnings statement will reflect their July vacation and sick leave usage. In other words, the reporting is done in arrears, and the balances that appear in TRS and on the earnings statement are also in arrears.

It is important for monthly employees to remember that the balances on their timesheet and earnings statement are in arrears. Monthly employees approaching their vacation maximum balance should work with their supervisor to develop a plan to use their vacation hours before they reach maximum accrual.

Biweekly employees report their actual work and leave time for the current pay period (not in arrears). Biweekly employee vacation and sick leave accruals calculate every four (4) weeks or quadriweekly cycle.


Q.   Is there anything I have to do when a holiday occurs in a time period?
A.   You should leave the holiday blank (no time entered) unless you worked on the holiday. If you worked on the holiday, you should enter the number of work hours on your timesheet.

If you are eligible for holiday pay, you will receive it automatically on your earnings statement. If you are eligible for overtime or other pay for working a holiday, the Time Reporting System will automatically calculate it.


Q.   What is considered an 'alternate' work schedule?
A.   In the Time Reporting System, an 'alternate' work schedule is either a 4 days a week, 10 hours a day work schedule (also known as a 4/40 schedule), or a 9 days of work, 1 day off every two weeks schedule (also known as a 9/80 schedule).

If you work one of these alternate work schedules, your alternate work schedule will display below each monthly timesheet. If you work one of these alternate work schedules and it does not display on your timesheet, please contact your supervisor for assistance.


Q.   I am an employee participating in the Employee-Initiated Reduction In Time (ERIT) program. What do I need to enter on my timesheet?
A.   If you are participating in the ERIT program, please follow the steps below for your timesheet in TRS:

Exempt employees should enter any ERIT time claimed in the Comments section of their timesheet.

Non-Exempt employees should enter their total number of work hours for each day and enter the number of ERIT hours by selecting ERIT from the drop down menu. This process will ensure that the non-exempt employee receives the full vacation and sick accrual that the ERIT entitles the employee to have.


Q.   If my appointment changes (ending one position and starting a new one), what happens in the Time Reporting System?
A.   BEFORE your previous appointment ends, you should complete and submit your timesheet, your supervisor should approve, and the Departmental Time Administrator should submit the timesheet to the Payroll & Personnel System (PPS). Once your previous appointment ends, you won't be able to enter or modify the timesheet for that previous appointment.

Your departmental payroll processor will enter an end date for the previous appointment in PPS and enter a new appointment. A new timesheet will be automatically created for the new appointment in the Time Reporting System (TRS). Keep in mind that it will take 7 BUSINESS days before you can access the new timesheet from the day the new appointment is created in PPS.


Q.   I am a supervisor and inadvertently approved an employee's timesheet. How can I get the timesheet returned to me?
A.   You should contact your Department Time Administrator (DTA) for assistance. They will be able to return the timesheet if it has not already been submitted to PPS.

Once the timesheet has been returned to you, you should return it to the employee if changes need to be made. If the employee is unavailable to make the needed changes to their timesheet, you may make the changes on their timesheet. The employee will receive an email indicating what changes were made to their timesheet.


Q.   What happens in TRS when an employee separates from the university?
A.   TRS retrieves active employee data from the Payroll & Personnel System (PPS). If an employee record is inactivated in PPS, they will no longer be be able to access and enter timesheets in TRS.

Historical data (past timesheet information) on the separated employee will continue to be available in TRS.


Q.   I need to enter a leave time that is not available as a drop-down menu item in TRS. How do I do this?
A.   You should always check with your supervisor first for guidance.

You can also refer to the leave time policies and procedures that are posted on the UC Davis Human Resources website.

In some cases, you may need to report the leave time using the sick or vacation option, but the resources on the HR website will help you in making the correct determination.


Q.   How does TRS know which type of overtime to apply for an employee?
A.   The UC Davis Time Reporting System (TRS) automatically applies the appropriate overtime (straight or premium) based on the work hours entered by the employee, the employee type and employee classification, per the applicable HR and union agreements. If you have questions on how overtime is calculated, we recommend that you refer to the appropriate employee contract, available on the UC Davis Human Resources website. When reviewing a specific contract, be aware that some of the information within the contract may not apply to ALL employees in that classification. For example, the contract for SX employees includes information on overtime calculation for healthcare and non-healthcare employees. Make sure that you are referring to the correct section of the policy for the employees that you supervise.

Q.   If an employee transitions from one department to another in the middle of an active pay period, which department is responsible for the holiday/sick leave/vacation pay reported in that pay period?
A.   The responsible department is the one for which the employee was officially working when the sick leave/vacation was reported or when the holiday occurred. For example, if Sam has an end date of 4/12 in Dept A and begins work in Dept B on 4/13, any sick leave/vacation or holiday on or after 4/13 is the responsibility of Dept B. The department may need to make adjustments in OPTRS to ensure that the leave and holiday times are reported correctly.

Q.   As a DTA, I see an EDLR option on the screen that allows me to submit employee timesheets to PPS. What is this option for and how does it work?
A.   On the Review/Submit Payroll tab in the Time Reporting System (TRS), for both Bi-Weekly and Monthly Employees, there is a Supervisor Approved section which displays all timesheets ready to be reviewed and submitted to PPS. One of the options that appears for each timesheet is EDLR. EDLR is to be used for Late Time Payment/Pay Reduction (EDLR) adjustment entries made manually (hand entered) in OPTRS and not for transactions that are being submitted directly to PPS from TRS. Keep in mind that clicking the EDLR (Yes-No-Final Pay) option does NOT actually do anything, either in TRS, PPS or in OPTRS, but it does allow you to enter the date that you manually completed the EDLR entry in OPTRS. When selecting the EDLR option, you should also add a comment indicating why the adjustment was made in OPTRS.

Q.   As a Department Time Administrator, I see a Work Schedule option available for each employee. How does this option work and what are the situations in which it should be used?
A.   On the Manage Employee tab, the data entered in the Work Schedule section is used to identify the total number of hours an employee works each day but it does NOT identify a shift (the start and end time) the employee is scheduled. The information on the Work Schedule is used for overtime calculation purposes for biweekly-paid employees. The biweekly employee is required to enter their actual work hours for each work day on their timesheet.

For example, a DTA may enter a 4/40 Work Schedule for an employee who works 10 hours 4 days a week; the Work Schedule only indicates the number of hours that the employee works on the selected days of the week; for example, the 4/40 Work Schedule may indicate that an employee works 10 hours on Monday, 10 hours on Tuesday, 10 hours on Wednesday, and 10 hours on Thursday. It does not indicate the start or end time for the hours worked; in other words, it does not identify the actual work shift and does not know if the hours are eligible for shift differential .

When the employee completes their timesheet, they enter the actual start and end times they worked for each shift; for example, start time at 8am, lunch out at 12pm, return to work at 1pm, and end time at 6pm. If the employee works in excess of 10 hours on the assigned days (or on days not normally worked), TRS would calculate overtime as applicable per the specific labor agreement. TRS also calculates the shift differential based on the actual start and end times entered by the employee on the timesheet, but NOT based on the hours entered on the Work Schedule by the DTA.

At this time, night and weekend differential calculation functionality is not available in TRS and must be manually calculated. Additionally, other work rules for shift differential are also not available including temporary assignments and shift paid over leave. We will keep you posted on when this functionality is available in TRS.


Q.   I am a Department Time Administrator and I want to set up an employee with a 9/80 schedule, but the employee works the 36 hour week PRIOR to the 44 hour week. How can I enter this in the Time Reporting System?
A.   The 44 hour week does not have to be the first week of the pay period. If the user wants the 36 hour week to be the first week of the Biweekly pay period then the 9/80 work schedule needs to begin a week before the pay period. For example:

In the 7/7/13 - 7/20/13 pay period, employee Telly Time works the 36 hour week the first week and the 44 hour week in the second week. The TRS 9/80 schedule would start on 6/30/2013 to ensure the 36 hour week falls into the first week of the pay period.

For the 9/80 to work properly for a pay period, the 9/80 should not start in the middle of a pay period. 9/80 working hours should begin on the first week of the pay period. DTAs should make sure the 9/80 is set up at least a week prior AND make sure there are no timesheets created during the work schedule effective date for an employee.


Q.   How Do I Access Data from a Previous Timesheet in the L&S Online Timesheet System?
A.  

The timesheet information previously entered in the L&S Online Timesheet System is still available, although it is no longer available from the Online Timesheet System. If you need access to data from a previously-created timesheet in the Online Timesheet System, please contact the TRS Help Desk at trshelp@ucdavis.edu. In general, requests for data are restricted to the requestor's timesheet data and/or the supervisor of that employee. Each request must include the following information:

  • Business reason for the request (e.g., Contracts and Grants closeout request, outside agency request, etc.)

  • Relationship of the person making the request (self, supervisor, department payroll processor)

  • Employee name and ID Number

  • Timesheet dates or time frame of timesheets requested (begin and end dates)
The TRS Help Desk will confirm the legitimacy of the request before releasing the information. Requests may be denied if a valid business reason is not provided. The turnaround time for requests is generally 5 to 7 business days, but can be vary based on the complexity of the request and data needed.


Q.   Can an employee delete a timesheet entered in error?
A.   It is not possible to delete a timesheet in TRS. If a timesheet was submitted in error and should not have been, it should be returned to the employee.

  1. Employee should then resubmit the timesheet with 0 (zero) hours entered and add a comment that the timesheet is being resubmitted to clear a timesheet submitted in error.

  2. Supervisor should then approve the timesheet and add a comment indicating that they are approving a timesheet submitted in error in order to clear the timesheet.

  3. The DTA should then select the option EDLR-NO, adding a comment that they are not processing an EDLR but trying to clear the timesheet from TRS with no pay. This will clear the timesheets but not add any time to the current rosters. This will also create an audit trail with the timesheet.

Q.   Can a supervisor create a timesheet on behalf of an employee?
A.   Yes, a Supervisor is able to Create/Submit a timesheet on behalf of an employee. A supervisor should not regularly create a timesheet on behalf of an employee, but this option may be useful if an employee is unable to create and/or submit their own timesheet due to a medical/other situation that does not allow the employee to create/submit their own timesheet.

This option is available for Primary and Backup/Optional Backup supervisors. Under the Manage the Staff tab, there is a new Manage Timesheets sub-tab. Under this new tab, there are two options, "Search Timesheets" and "Create Timesheet."

  1. Click "Create Timesheet"
  2. Enter either the Employee ID number or Employee Name, and Payroll Period Start Date; if more than one result appears, click on the icon for the employee for whom you wish to create a timesheet
  3. Once the timesheet has been created, click on the timesheet icon to open timesheet and then click on Edit Timesheet for Employee button
  4. Once changes have been made, click on the Save Changes for Employee button and then Approve Timesheet, add comments indicating why the timesheet was created on behalf of the employee, and confirm edit
  5. Comments will now appear on timesheet. Employee will receive an email notice advising that a timesheet has been created on their behalf with a link to the timesheet and an acknowledgement button.

NOTE: The Supervisor can create the timesheet even if there is an existing timesheet in the employee's queue (SAVED, RETURNED BY SUPERVISOR, RECALLED BY EMPLOYEE). The existing timesheet will not be erased or replaced.

NOTE: Supervisor cannot create a timesheet for an employee if the employee has already completed a timesheet for the pay period with one of the following statuses: SUBMITTED_TO_SUPERVISOR SUBMITTED_TO_DTA SUBMITTED_TO_PPS SUBMITTED_TO_PPS(EDAT) COMPLETED



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