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Salary Distribution FAQ

Salary Distribution FAQ

Salary Distribution FAQ

What key information should I make sure I ALWAYS include on the salary distribution sheet?
Employee Name, Employee ID, Payroll Object Code, Salary Plan, Appointment Salary, Amount per pay period, Account Number (budget and fund) and Cost Center.

When do I need to complete (or update) an SDS?
The beginning of each fiscal year
After a general salary increase
New hires/Appointments
Change in funding distribution/percent of effort
New grants or contracts
When a faculty member takes sabbatical (object code 109)

Who should sign the SDS?
The Budget Administrator and/or the Principal Investigator and the appropriate Research Administrator if effort is being charged to a College of Education administered grant.

When I make a change to the SDS, do I need to note the change in the note area?
Yes Please! It is always good practice to keep documentation of any changes with the SDS. We retain our salary distribution sheets for two years so that we can go back and reference them as questions arise, especially during effort confirmation. Having the notes on the salary dist. sheet makes it much easier for us to recall any changes in an audit situation.

How do I know when I need to distribute an employee's effort on a grant?
The Office of Educational Research prepares summary sheets for each grant awarded to the College of Education which are distributed via email to the principal investigator and their administrative and budget staff. An approved budget and budget justification are included and should be referenced to determine what salaries should be charged to that particular grant.

When charging a percent of a faculty member's salary to a restricted fund (grant or contract), do I need to make sure to note the grant's close date if it ends before June 30th of the current fiscal year?
Yes please! When we enter an employee's effort distribution, we do it for the entire fiscal year, when possible. This allows us to encumber the salary on the appropriate grant budgets in advance of the actual payment. When entering an employee's effort, there are a lot of fields to complete in Pay and Effort. If we try to enter an employee's effort for an entire fiscal year to a grant when it ends earlier than June 30, the system ends the encumbrance process after we've entered all of the data and we have to start all over again. Before we start over, we have to use another screen to identify the actual end date for the grant and get in touch with department staff to decide how best to encumber the employee's salary for the months not covered by the grant. There could be many answers to this question. If you let us know these things via the notepad, we can work out the encumbrances early on and flag the employee's SDS so that we are able to properly account for effort after the current grant ends.

How will I be notified when a College of Education employee is working on a grant outside of the College of Education?
The administering department will typically send the College of Education Research or Finance Office an email indicating they have an award which involves one of our employee's effort, and include the name of the grant, percent of effort, dates, and other pertinent information needed to complete a salary distribution. That email would be forwarded from the Research or Finance Office to the administrative or budget staff where the employee works for them to process.

If an employee's effort is being charged to a grant or contract that is administered outside the College of Education, do I need to have the PI sign or send an email approving the distribution on the SDS before sending it to the Finance Office for approval?
Yes, the PI should always sign off on the SDS. You can contact the department of the PI and send the SDS to their office for signature before sending it to the Financial Office. If you are not able to get a signature, attaching documentation (such as an email confirmation) from the other college will suffice in place of a signature as long as concurrence from that PI is evident.

Does it matter if I enter my distributions based on percent of effort or on salary amounts?
The SDS form (located on the COE Finance Office website) is set-up to calculate the salary distributed based on the percent of effort entered. The percent of effort can be found on the budget or determined by dividing the monthly salary amount to be charged to that fund by the total monthly salary earned. You may choose to enter the amount rather than the percent of effort. In order to do this you will need to override the formulas in the "amount" section and enter new formulas in the percent of effort cells.

Should I use the percent of effort shown on the budget, even if that makes the salary amount higher than what was budgeted?
No. Since budgets are an estimate at proposal time, adjustments may be necessary. For example, proposal budgets are prepared using a 2.5% Cost-of-Living (COL) yearly increase. If the COL increase is more than that, then the effort percent would need to be adjusted so that the salary charged does not go over the total budgeted amount.

What if the actual effort is more or less than the proposed budget?
If the PI tells you the actual effort spent on a project is different than what was proposed, the effort percentage should be changed accordingly. Document this change by attaching to the SDS an email from the PI. Keep in mind, increasing the effort percentage may cause the account to be overspent unless other funds are decreased. If this is the case, check your Project Summary Sheet for any restrictions about moving funds from one object code to another.

Is it ok to change a salary distribution to debit a federal grant a few months after the effort took place?
We prefer not to do this, but realize that for a variety of reasons, we may need to make a change to an employee's effort and it may occur more than thirty days after the effort was posted in our Pay and Effort System. When effort is changed more than thirty days after it was posted (payroll ran) it is categorized as a pay transfer, which can be a "red flag" during an audit. Pay transfers require special documentation referred to as the "30 day memo" The PI must provide a valid justification for making a change to an employee's effort on the federal grant via a memo. We route this memo for approval by the FO and the Assistant Controller when we process the pay transfer in IBIS. The 30 day memo is mandatory in order to make the transfer. A sample "30 day memo" is available on procedure CR2015 on the GURU website.

Is it ok to transfer an employee's effort from a grant that is ending and does not have enough funds to cover the salary payment to another grant that is different but does have enough funds?
NO!!! If a grant does not have the funds to support an employee's effort, the employee should stop working on the grant and appropriate effort can be distributed to an operating or miscellaneous budget. Effort should never be charged to a grant unless work is being done and the charge is part of the proposed project charges.