If It Looks Like Effort and Walks Like Effort…

Salaries drawn from grant accounts can cause some of the biggest headaches known to the world of grants management if the reflected percentages are flawed.  A note before a discussion of post-award reconciliation: it is WSU-SOM policy that salary on grants must be commensurate with effort; that is, if a person is on a grant at 10% effort, that person must also have 10% of his/her salary charged to the grant.  If this is not possible, cost sharing approval must be obtained through the SOM Research Office.

When verifying salary charges in your accounts, be sure to check that the effort charged to your account matches the effort intended on your grant.  As alluded to in the note above, there are instances where an investigator’s effort may not being paid off the grant; be sure that the percentage matches the effort charged, not necessarily the effort reported as performed.

The following resources will help you when investigating salary on grants:

  • Imaged Documents” in Dashboard: Usually budget documents are scanned and uploaded here.  If you are unfamiliar on how to use Dashboard, check out our previous post.
  • Current Labor Distribution” in Dashboard: This section is listed under “Award Details” along with Imaged Documents.  This will reveal who is being charged to the grant, and at what salary.
  • NBAJOBS” Banner Screen: An employee report in NBAJOBS includes a tab for “Labor Distribution.”  You can see what percentages of salary were charged to which accounts at any given time by adjusting the inquiry date.
  • FMS.HR016A – Labor Distribution Changes” Report in Cognos: Using your Division code (in our case,”H06- School of Medicine”), your Home Orgn code (your department; you can choose from a drop-down menu), and a date range you define yourself, you can see all changes in labor percentage distributions made in your department.  If you are only looking for a single employee, you can enter that employee’s Banner ID.  This is very useful for finding changes in labor of which you may be unaware, or may not have authorized.

If you find an issue that needs to be corrected going forward, you will have to initiate an EPAF and fill out a Change in Labor Distribution form.  These transactions are still done on paper forms.  If your department does not have these forms, they can be ordered from Wayne State University Businesses Services (you will need Form # 4139 – Change in Labor Distribution and Redistribution).


Check Yourself Before You Wreck Your Contract

Many of you likely received the email from Beckman Coulter last week, indicating that their capillary electrophoresis (CE) unit officially became a part of AB SCIEX, effective January 1.  Many departments in WSU-SOM have Beckman Coulter contracts and if yours is one of them, please note that AB SCIEX *is* an approved vendor in WayneBuy; check to see if any purchase orders you have will need to be updated.

The Beckman Coulter/AB SCIEX situation is a good reminder that January is a goo time to check over your active contracts, especially supply ones.  Issues you will want to take note of include:

  1. Deliverables that may due, whether you are the vendor or the contractor: no one likes getting expected goods or services late.
  2. Changes in shipping times or prices: this especially important on contracts with prepaid postage (also note: USPS shipping rates have increased!)
  3. Changes in contract administration or representation: be sure your communication is not going to the dead email of a former employee!
  4. Contract expiration dates: it may be time to renew your contract if you are satisfied with the service, or search/bid out for a replacement if you are not.

Having a set time for contract once-overs is a great way to ensure uninterrupted service, and smooth(er) daily operations.  If you have any questions as to whom to talk to for contract guidance or finalization, RAS is happy to help provide guidance!