Time and Effort


​​​​What is time and effort reporting?
All employees charged to federal grants must maintain time and effort reporting. It does not matter if it is IDEA funding, or Title funding, CATE Perkins and Title II, - any employee funded with federal grants must document the time they spend working on the grant’s objectives to demonstrate that the amount budgeted and claimed is accurate. ​​

Cost Objective
A cost objective is a "function, organizational subdivison, contract, grant, or other activity for which cost data are needed and for which costs are incurred."

Where is this requirement established? ​
Time and effort reporting requirements are part of the allowable costs as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budgets (OMB). OMB circulars are applied to all federal grants, contracts and cooperative agreements. OMB Circular A-87 provides detailed rules on the use of federal funds. The circular is entitled “Cost Principles for State, Local, and Indian Tribal Governments.” 

Single Cost Objective – Semi-Annual Certification: An individual who has a “single cost objective” has a position that is dedicated to a singular purpose. For instance, a special education teacher is considered to have a single cost objective because the teacher works only with special education. An individual who has a single cost objective would complete semi-annual certifications. A semi-annual certification is a sign-off twice a year (usually every six months) by the employee or a supervisor with first-hand knowledge of the employee’s work. ​

Title I- Sample 
IDEA-Sample (Spring) (Fall)

Mutlple Cost Objective- Personal Activity Report (Fixed Schedules): If the employee is paid from two or more funding sources but has a fixed schedule for his/her Title I activities. (Schedule of the employee is required.) A federally funded employee is considered to be working on multiple cost objectives when the employee works on:

  • ​More than one federal award (e.g., IDEA, Title I)
  • A federal award and a nonfederal award
  • An indirect cost activity and a direct cost activity

Title I-Sample (Spring) (Fall)
IDEA-Sample (Spring) (Fall)
CATE-Sample (Spring) (Fall​)

Personal Activity Report- (without fixed schedules): Employee paid with federal funds on an irregular schedule must keep a time and effort log and time sheet which must be signed every month.
Title I- Sample