What is the Effort Reporting System (ERS)?


The University of California Office of the President, in partnership with the five largest UC campuses (UCLA, UC Berkeley, UCSF, UCSD, and UC Davis), has developed a new web-based Effort Reporting System (ERS) that replaces the existing paper-based Personnel Activity Report (PAR) system.


Three system-wide work groups were involved in the project (a Management Steering Group, a Requirements Group, and a Technical Advisory Group) that included representatives with a wide range of perspectives representing the Controller’s offices, budget and planning, research administration, extramural fund management, information technology, and research-intensive academic departments. Each participating campus formed a local Campus Work Group that met on a regular basis to provide input into the process. ERS automates, streamlines and simplifies the effort reporting and certification process and provides comprehensive information on all effort expended on federally sponsored projects.


Since salary expense represents the largest direct cost component on sponsored projects and effort reporting processes are currently under scrutiny by the Office of Inspector General, this system reduces the compliance risks inherent in the current process and protects the campuses from sizeable audit disallowances and the loss of federal funding, which could be consequences of having an ineffective effort reporting system. It displays effort report detail that is clear and understandable to the user; captures certification electronically so that the system can monitor completion and provide an audit trail; provides a simple method of correcting and re-certifying reports, and notifies individuals and departments of reporting deadline requirements. Effort reports must be certified within 120 days from the end of the Service Period. Certifiers will be notified well in advance of time for certification.


Department administrators in conjunction with department DSAs should designate who should have access to the various roles in ERS. Access to ERS is grantable by DSAs through the Distributed Access Control Security System (DACSS).


As the Department Security Administrator you are responsible for granting access to those users who will be able to View, Review/Edit, Certify, and View Payroll Detail for others. You will also be assigning the ERS Coordinator role.


There are two main system-generated authorizations that do not require individual set up in DACSS:

  • Employees are automatically authorized to view, edit and certify their own Effort reports and to view their associated payroll detail information
  • Principal Investigators are automatically authorized to view, edit and certify Effort Reports and view the payroll detail for employees paid on any of their projects.


In order to access the system, the user must have a UCLA Logon ID. To set up a UCLA Logon ID, please go to the following URL: https://accounts.iam.ucla.edu/.


Off campus users will require a UCLA Logon ID to establish a UCLA Virtual Private Networking (VPN) connection, which can be obtained at the following URL: http://www.bol.ucla.edu/services/vpn.


If you have technical questions regarding VPN set-up, please contact the BOL Helpdesk at (310)267-HELP (4357) or send an email to consult@ucla.edu.


If you have questions or need help with ERS, please contact the ERS Helpdesk at ershelp@research.ucla.edu.

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