Implementing an improved alternative to effort reporting

The UW–Madison will be implementing changes to campus’ effort certification process and policies. Starting with the next certification period, which begins August 1st, 2022, UW-Madison will move away from traditional effort reporting to a project-based payroll certification approach.

What will be changing?

  1. Moving to payroll certification instead of traditional “effort” reporting.
    • Payroll information will be aggregated on a project basis instead of by individuals.
    • Principal Investigators (or appropriate designees) will certify that payroll expenses of all employees paid on their project are reasonable based on the work performed.
    • Certification focus becomes compensation, not on a percentage of time.
  2. Certification will be limited to only federal projects.
    • Pay on non-federal projects will be available for review but won’t require formal certification.

Here is a short (4 minute) video that details the changes:

Why are we making these changes?

Changes to federal regulations now allow universities to leverage flexibilities to make the certification process easier and less burdensome to the PI and administrators. Our analysis has yielded that the future payroll certification approach will:

  • Reduce the number of required bi-annual certifications from ~10,000 to ~6,000
  • Reduce the number of researchers/PIs needing to complete certifications from ~4,500 to ~1,500

In the coming weeks and months, the project team will be developing and providing in-depth training to the UW research community. This message is intended only as a notification that more information will be coming as August 1st, 2022, approaches.

These changes are being implemented as part of the ATP’s Research Administration Modernization Project which is a joint collaboration between the VCFA and VCRGE to bolster the research administration infrastructure.

If you have any questions, please contact us at: