T E A R S = The Employee Activity Reporting System

General Information:

  • TEARS Overview
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    Federal OMB Circular A-21 (Cost Principles for Educational Institutions), section J(10) states that we must have a method to document all effort, whether treated as direct or F&A, for sponsored agreements. It also states that we must certify this effort after-the-fact.At NC State University we use the “Plan-Confirmation” method. This means that:
    • Personnel assignments should reflect anticipated work distribution.
    • Assignments (and reallocation of funds) should be updated timely to reflect changes.
    • Cost sharing should be entered at the beginning of an award and updated as needed.
    • Effort report will be certified at the end of the fiscal year.

    Federal regulations require that employees engaged in sponsored activities periodically review and certify their effort if they have the following:

    • Direct labor charges to sponsored projects: Employees who work on sponsored projects and whose salary is funded by the sponsor.
    • Cost sharing on sponsored projects: Employees who work on sponsored projects but whose salary is funded by an entity other than the sponsor (may be another sponsor, the University, or a gift or foundation account).
    • Federal Appropriations

    NOTE: Employees paid on a bi-weekly basis are exempt from effort reporting requirements because the timesheet that is completed and signed at the end of each two-week period serves as certification of effort. If there is a change in distribution, the time sheet should reflect the change and be re-signed by the individual.

    Survey Periods

    • Survey Periods 7/1 – 6/30. This coincides with the University Fiscal Year.
    • Summer effort reports are only generated for 9-Month EPA employees who receive Summer Salary (Supplemental Pay) for work on sponsored projects during the summer months. This should be identifiable by the 601 and 602 earnings codes. The survey period is 5/16 – 8/15.

    REMEMBER: The percentages of effort certified should reasonably approximate how an employee actually worked during a given period.

  • Effort Reporting Section of SPA* Guide (*Section 8 of Sponsored Project Admininistration Guide)

TEARS System Instructions:

  • System Access Instructions
    • If you are an employee receiving an Effort Report you will automatically be granted access to certify your effort report as an option under Employee Self Service in the MyPack Portal. To access the MyPack Portal and the TEARS System, you must have Internet access and a Unity ID and password. If you have forgotten your Unity ID and/or password, or need other assistance with your network security, you may contact the ETSS Solutions Center at 515-4357 or by email: etss_help@ncsu.edu.Access to Dean, Department Head, and Administrative/TEARS Coordinator security roles must be submitted through the Security Access Request System (SARS).
  • FISCAL YEAR Effort Report Certification Instructions | PDF | Word |
  • SUMMER Effort Report Certification Instructions | PDF | Word |
  • Department Head Effort Report Certification Instructions | PDF | Word |
  • User’s Manual (TEARS Coordinators)
    | PDF | Word |


TEARS Coordinators:

Earning Codes:

  • Subject/Not Subject to TEARS | PDF (HR Link)

Quick Reference Guides: