Troubleshooting Guide

All Users

How do I log in to the eCert system?

Enter the system through any of the following methods:

  • Link in the notification folder within Workday
  • Through your Effort Certification Dashboard

How do I view previous effort certification documents (ECDs)?

All documents from prior periods can be found using the “Find Effort Certification” report within Workday. You may search by:

  • Person (using the employee’s seven-digit USC employee ID, PI Certifying document)
  • Field (such as Grant, Cost Center)
  • Specific time period

Why is the NIH cap not displayed?

When the NIH salary cap offset rounded to the nearest whole number is 0, no salary cap line item will be visible. This line may become visible if the effort on the grant is increased.


I have a payroll accounting Adjustment transfer (PAA Doc) pending. How does that affect my eCert?

When a change is made on an ECD that is greater than or equal to .1 percent, a payroll expense transfer is initiated and routed back to eligible reviewers.  We strongly encourage PI’s to have their documents prepared first by one of their assigned Reviewers to avoid any administrative delays during the PAA document submittal process.

If a payroll accounting adjustment is initiated but not finalized before the effort certification period opens, then the initial payroll expense transfer document will be cancelled in order to generate an eCert eDoc.  If there are any changes to be made to an employee’s effort during the certification process, those changes must be reflected in the final PI Certified eCert document.  Changes in effort by more than .1% in the certified eCert document will automatically trigger a “new” PAA doc to be initiated within the Workday PAA module.

I never received a Kuali notification that an ECD had been routed to me.

When ECDs are created or routed to individuals, that individual will receive a Kuali Action List item. To ensure that you receive these emails, please be sure these notifications are turned on within Kuali.  Please note that the Kuali PET notification will go the person who first took action on the document.  This could be the Preparer of the PI.


My account has been frozen, what do I do?

Grants are frozen upon completion of the Certification period (after 30 days). In order to unfreeze the Grants, all past-due certifications associated with a frozen Grants must be completed.

To determine which ECDs have not been completed for a particular Grant, please use the “Find Effort Certification” report within Workday.

How do I determine who my reviewer(s) is/are?

You can access all eligible individuals on a particular ECD within the Process History tab of the document.

How do I certify effort documents for Split Research Assistants (RAs)?

The eCert system requires that all effort certification documents equal 100 percent. However, in the case of RAs whose time is split among different faculty members, the ECD will be routed to the multiple respective PIs with each document showing their effort document.  Each PI should certify the document.

Can my administrative assistant or department business officer certify on my behalf?

No. Only those with direct technical knowledge of the project and “suitable means of verification” that the work was performed may certify effort on a sponsored project. “Suitable means of verification” means that the person overseeing a project is best qualified to certify the work done on that project. A PI may delegate the responsibility for certifying a research assistant’s work only to another researcher on the project who works with the student.

My effort fluctuates. How does this affect my effort certification?

As long as the percentage of salary charged over the period equals your average effort, no salary changes are required. For instance, if you expend your effort as above but charge 25 percent the first month, 20 percent the second month, and 30 percent the third month, you would certify to 25 percent effort for the quarter.

When I certify effort for research assistants, do I also certify their tuition remission?

Yes, since tuition remission for RAs can be charged in proportion to their payroll allocation, by confirming RAs’ salary and effort on a grant, you will be confirming the charges for tuition remission to the grant as well.



How do I get assigned as a reviewer for a particular certifier?

Reviewers are assigned based on your Workday role security profile. No direct assignment can be made within the Effort Certification module.

I was a reviewer for a PI but now I’m not. What happened?

Please verify your Workday Security Role.

What happens to terminated employees?

RA’s and Staff

The system will automatically identify the individual’s supervisor and route the document for approval.


A supervisor with direct knowledge of the work performed by the terminated faculty must certify the work of that faculty.

A supervisor with direct knowledge of the work performed by the terminated employee must certify the work of that employee. The department reviewer will assign a new certifier.