Effort reporting is the mechanism used to confirm that salaries and wages charged to each sponsored agreement are reasonable in relation to the actual work performed. Certification of an effort report must reasonably reflect the activity for which the employee is compensated by the institution. Cost sharing commitments must also be confirmed, either through the effort report, or through some other reporting mechanism.
Federal regulations (e.g., Circular A-21) require that institutions receiving federal awards maintain systems and procedures documenting the distribution of activity, and associated payroll charges, to each individual sponsored agreement.
Any person paid (or with a commitment) on a federally sponsored award must certify that the salary paid (or the commitment) is reasonable in relation to the effort (activity) devoted to the award. While it is preferred that the individual faculty or staff member report his/her own effort, if necessary a "responsible person with/using suitable means of verification that the work was performed" may report for the individual.