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Frequently Asked Questions

System Access

Pre Review (and Cost Transfers)

Certifying

Post Review

System Access

1.  What browser should I use?

ERS is supposed to work with any browser.  If you have a problem, please contact the Central Administrator at ERSHelp@tulane.edu.

2.  How do I get to the login screen?

The URL for the login screen is HTTPS://ERS.TCS.TULANE.EDU .

3.  How do I find out my UserID and Password?

Your UserID is usually the same as your Tulane email address, without the @tulane.edu.  Your password is the one you use to login to Tulane Webmail.  If you have forgotten your password, please contact the help desk at 862-8888 to obtain a new one.

4.  How do I contact the Central Administrator?

Email ERSHelp@tulane.edu.

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Pre Review

1.  How do I determine which certifiers I need to pre review?

The Departmental Coordinator (DC) makes the assignments of certifiers to pre  reviewers prior to the effort reporting period.

2.  When do I know that the pre review process can begin?

An email notification is sent to the pre reviewer when ERS is available to begin the effort certification process.

3.  What if I am unfamiliar with a certifier assigned to me?

Discuss with your DC if this person was assigned incorrectly.  If not, you may need to discuss the effort report with the certifier before finishing pre review in order to ensure that the distribution is correct.

4. I have a person in my domain listed twice.  Why is that and how do I handle it?

ERS uses the employee ID field to eliminate duplications.  This means that a person with payroll on 2 different employee ID numbers will show up twice.  You will have to pre review both forms and they will have to certify both forms.  Use the notes field to explain.

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5. I have someone on my list who has left Tulane.  Who should certify them?

If the PI is still here, then they should do it.  Otherwise, the department head will need to take that responsibility.

6. I am missing someone I believe should be on my list.  What should I do?

Email ershelp@tulane.edu or call the Central Administrator to find out whose list the person is on.  Everything is assigned according to the home ORG in Cyborg, so even if the person is paid from a grant in your department, they will be listed only in their home ORG. 

7.  How can I see the payroll detail in pre-review?

Click on the dollar amount listed in the “Payroll” column for the  account in question and you will see the payroll detail for the reporting period.  If you then click on the Detail by Month button, you will see a clear breakdown of the payroll for each month.

8.  How can I see the description of an account or project?

Click on the account to see a description.  This will also show you the PI and the org, which will help you find who you need to contact if it is a grant that does not belong to your department.  Once you have the org, you can click on the list of Contacts by Org on the ERS help website http://tulaneeffortreporting.tulane.edu/ERSlinks.html.

9.  I have a form for someone who also has effort that belongs to other departments.  How should this be pre reviewed and certified?

This is a complicated issue and good communication is the key.  As soon as anyone completes a pre-review on a form, the certifier will automatically receive a "ready to certify" email, so the best procedure will be as follows:

The home department should contact the other department and ask them to perform a "read only" pre review, one of the selections in the Pre Review menu.  As long as there is a project associated with their department, ERS should allow them access to view the form but will not allow them to make any changes.  When they have viewed the form, any information regarding changes should be communicated to the home department, who can make any required changes and then finish the pre review, noting the other department's participation in the Notes field.  This way the certifier will not be receiving multiple "ready to certify" emails from ERS. 

10.  How do I find out the home department and who to contact in that department for someone in another department who has effort on one of my grants? 

Select Pre Review from the left menu bar, select View Read Only Effort Forms, select reporting period, select check all and continue.  This will give you a list of anyone outside your department that has effort on one of your grants.  The contact list by ORG is on the help website http://tulaneeffortreporting.tulane.edu on the quick helpful links page. 

11.  I have a student who is also working in another department who is 100% on a grant in my department.  However, the form shows a lower percentage than that because of the second position.  How do I get around this problem?

Use the notes field for any situation like this.

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12. When would I do a cost transfer in ERS?

You would need to do a cost transfer in ERS if it is for a period that has been loaded and intiated in ERS.  You will be given a cut-off date for retros; after that date, you will be required to do the cost transfer yourself in ERS.

13.  What do I do if an account is missing from the form?

Click on the “Add Account” tab at the top of the screen. You will be able to enter selection criteria in order to search for the account that you want to add to the effort form.   You can then do a cost transfer to that account.

14.  I have entered a cost transfer and saved the form.  Is the cost transfer complete?

A cost transfer is not complete until you hit proceed and enter the information by pay period.

15.  Why do I have to enter the cost transfer information on the pre review screen and again on the detail screen?

When you enter the information on the pre review screen, you are doing it for the entire 6 month period.  The detail screen is by pay period, which is required in order for the cost transfer to feed the correct information into our retro system, and then into TAMS.  If the cost transfer is not completely finished, it will not show up for the Central Administrator to approve.

16.  How does the cost transfer information get fed into the account in TAMS?

Once the cost transfer has been approved by the Office of Research, it will be fed from ERS to the TAMS retro system, and from there to the GL and Grants accounting systems.

17. How will I know if a cost transfer I did in pre-review has been approved by the Office of Research?

On the pre review screen, the cost transfer will show a Y in the Exported column, meaning it has been approved and exported to the retro system.

18.  Is there an easy way to delete a cost transfer that has not yet been exported?

Contact the Central Administrator at ERSHelp@tulane.edu and ask that the cost transfer be rejected.

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19.  How do we handle 9/12 faculty and summer salary in the pre review process?

Because we are certifying for a 6 month period, the summer salary will be shown as a percentage of the whole 6 months' effort.  It will be helpful to the certifier if the pre reviewer makes a note during pre review indicating that there is summer salary and that it was for 100% of the effort for whatever month(s) it was earned.  We have set up the natural accounts for summer salary to indicate which month is being paid.

20.  When changing assignments, I notice that the person I need to make the pre reviewer or certifier is not yet in the system because they did not work in the period we are certifying.  How do I get them added to the available list?

Contact the ERS Central Administrator or email ershelp@tulane.edu.

21.  When changing assignments, I notice that the list of employees in assignments is shorter than the list that I can choose from to be a certifier.  Why are some people missing from the first list?

Because the assignments list shows only those with effort to be certified, but the list to choose from to be certifiers is everyone in your department.

22.  I just received a contract and don't yet have a project number.  How can I pre review without this?

You can't pre review an effort form without all the necessary projects on it.  Please contact G&C Accounting and request an expedited project number.  We will be updating the chart of accounts in ERS nightly during certification, so the account should be available to add to the form in a few days.

23. I have some certifiers whose distribution changes month by month which makes it difficult to enter cost transfers as percentages.  What's the easiest way to handle these cost transfers?

If the payroll distribution changes month by month, you may want to elect to enter cost transfers as dollars rather than percentages, since you are dealing with a multiple month period and it might be less confusing. Let ERS translate the dollars into effort percentages for you.

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24. I changed the pre reviewer for one of my employees to another department and now he is not in my department to pre review.  How do I get him back?

Once the other department has finished with the form, you simply change the assignment back.  Only a SubDC or DC for the department can change assignments.

25. I have been assigned as the pre reviewer for a person outside of my domain.  I want to assign them to someone else in my department.  How do I do that?

Contact the SubDC or DC or the home department and request the change.

65. I have assigned a different sub-DC as the pre reviewer, but I want to be able to view the form after it has been certified.  How can I do that?

If you remain the post reviewer, you can view the form.

27.  I realized after I hit "proceed" to complete the pre review that I made an error or need to do a cost transfer.  Can I correct the form?

You can re-enter a pre reviewed form by selecting Pre Review on the left hand menu, choosing "Pre Review All" and selecting the period and department.  All the names should come up with a link to the form, including those that have already been pre reviewed.

You can also send an email to ershelp@tulane.edu and ask the Central Administrator to drop the form.  This will put it back into a non-pre reviewed state.  It will also undo any cost transfers that have been done on the form.

28. I have completed pre review, and saved the form, but the certifier did not receive an email.  Why is that?

You must hit Proceed for the pre review to be complete.  Saving the form does not complete pre review.  You know pre review is complete when you are told that the certifier will receive an email notification.

29. I have completed pre review, and hit proceed and ERS tells me an email has been sent to the certifier.  Why did the certifier not receive an email immediately?

Notification emails are sent out each weekday morning at 5 am.  If your certifier has not received an email by the next day, ask them to check in their Junk e-mail box.  If there is nothing there, contact the Central Administrator at ershelp@tulane.edu; their email address may be incorrect in the system.

30. I have completed pre review, and want to view the form again.  How do I do that?

If you go back into a form that has been pre reviewed but not certified, ERS assumes you want to pre review again, so it drops any cost transfers that you have done. You will need to complete pre review again and the certifier will receive another email.

If you want to view an effort form that has been pre reviewed but not certified, go to Reporting > Effort Results > Effort Form Pre reviewed > Select Period > Check all

This gives you a list and when you click on the name you see the effort form.

If you want to view a form that HAS been certified, you can just go into post review.

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Certifying

1. Who is a certifier?

The statement signed by the certifier reads as follows:

I certify that this report reasonably reflects the activities for which I, or an employee for whom I have a suitable means of verifying that the work was performed, was compensated from Tulane University for the period covered by this report.

There can only be one certifier. Generally speaking, that means each individual should certify him or herself.  Faculty members are required to certify themselves.  Students will be certified by the PI for whom they performed the work. If a sponsored account belongs to another PI, you can assign that sub-DC as the pre reviewer, ask them to use the notes field to indicate that the other PI finds the effort report acceptable, and then reassign yourself as pre reviewer.  Alternatively, you can use email to accomplish this.

Department administrators should never certify for faculty.  This is a legal document and you can be held responsible and fined if the funding source concludes there has been fraud.

2. When is my effort report available for certification?

Your effort report is available once the pre reviewer has completed his/her review of the report.

3. How will I know it is available for certification?

You will receive an email from the pre-reviewer.

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4. How do I get into ERS to certify?

Your UserID is usually the same as your Tulane email address, without the @tulane.edu.  Your password is the one you use to login to Tulane Webmail.  If you have forgotten your password, please contact the help desk at 862-8888 to obtain a new one.

5. I've logged on but my form is listed under Effort Forms not Available to Certify and I can't click on anything to get to the form.

Your form has not be pre reviewed yet or the pre reviewer did not hit the Proceed button after checking the form.  Ask your administrator to make sure the form gets properly pre reviewed.

6. How can I determine if the effort form was changed in pre review?

An asterisk will appear next to the percentage in the Payroll % column indicating  a change.

7. Can I review the changes made by the pre reviewer?

Yes, by clicking on the Pre Review Details tab.

8.  I opened my effort report and I do not agree with the percentages shown.  Can I change them?

Yes, however determine if the pre reviewer made changes and if so, notify the pre  reviewer by clicking on Notify at the bottom of the effort report screen.  If not,  proceed with your changes and the post reviewer will execute those changes.

9.  How can I see the description of an account or project that is on my effort form?

Click on the account to see a description.

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10.  How can I see payroll detail for the effort form?

Click on the % sign to see payroll detail.

11.  I realized after I certified the form that I made an error.  Can I correct the form?

If you believe you've made an error in certifying the effort form, you can open the form, go to the bottom of the page and click where it says " If you would like to make changes on this certified effort form, please click here. "

12.  How do I know who to contact regarding a cost transfer done to my effort form?

If you click on the Pre Review Details button, it will show you the name of the pre-reviewer.

13.  How do we handle 9/12 faculty and summer salary in the certification process?

Because we are certifying for a 6 month period, the summer salary will be shown as a percentage of the whole 6 months' effort. The pre reviewer should have made a note during pre review indicating that there is summer salary and that it was for 100% of the effort for whatever month(s) it was earned.

14.  There is an account missing from my form.  Can I add it?

No, but your pre reviewer can.  If you click on the "Notify" button at the bottom of the page, it will send an email to your pre reviewer.  Then just leave the form (do not certify) and come back to it when you are notified that the account has been added.

15.  Who certifies terminated employees?

The PI should certify them if available. They can also be certified by the Department Chair if he/she has sufficient knowledge of the work performed.  A paper form may be printed and signed by terminated faculty or staff if necessary, with the Chair or Administrator carrying out the electronic certification with a note indicating the paper form on file.  If a paper form is produced, a copy should be sent to G&C Accounting for their files.

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Post Review

1.  Do all effort reports require post review?

Only effort forms modified by the certifier require post review.

2.  In reviewing the certifier’s changes to the effort report, I believe they may have made an error.  What should I do?

Contact the certifier immediately; do not do the required cost transfers until you have established the correct distribution.

3.  If the certifier has made a change that is correct, what do I need to do?

You need to follow the same cost transfer procedures as in pre review, above.

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