SAP Effort Certification and Report

Feng Enterprise Solutions worked with University of Tennessee to build an integrated  web-based effort certification system in SAP HCM and Payroll system that enables faculty and staff to certify their effort online. Then the certified records submitted through SAP workflow; they are reviewed and approved by department heads. Once those efforts are finally approved, any differentiation required for payroll cost transfer will trigger the update of employee salary distribution master data (infotype 9027) and will be included in next payroll cycle process. This effort certification system is the state of art  and dramatically improved A-21 compliance rate at University of Tennessee.

Issues before SAP effort certification system 

  • Frequent audit findings for low compliance
  • Paper forms filled out once a semester, after the fact
  • Paper forms lost or misplaced
  • Inaccurate data on forms / typos
  • Time delay minimum of 8 months – usually more
  • Additional form for transferring the salaries
  • Late salary adjustments to grants and contracts

System Overview


  • Employees paid on a monthly basis, paid from a grantor contract
  • Certified and approved by individual employee or his/her department head
  • E-mail sent to eligible employees twice monthly until certifications completed
  • Once approved, automatic transfer of salaries retroactively in the payroll system and posted to financial records
  • Security authorizations and approvals based on ‘home’ department of employee
  • Report of all employees who have uncertified effort


Compliance Rates

   Paper system:

  • Audit findings every year from 1999 – 2002
  • Approximately 92% compliance rate

   Electronic system:

  • No audit finding for 2003
  • Approximately 99% compliance rate (99.96%
  • for 2002)

Web Access
Web Access 2
SAP access
SAP access 2
SAP approval
uncertified report