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SPAR Glossary

90 Day Rule

OMB Circular A-110 requires that adjustments be completed within 90 days following the time the cost was incurred. This is a rolling window. The 90 day period begins on the last day of the month the charge was incurred and ends 90 days after.

Account Number

32 digit PRISM account number including the 4 digit subcode), http://www.cfo.pitt.edu/ga/asas.html, plus the one- character Cost Share Code (reflects cost sharing type)

Account Number (No Subcode)

28 digit PRISM account number (omitting the 4 digit subcode), http://www.cfo.pitt.edu/ga/asas.html, plus the one- character Cost Share Code (reflects cost sharing type)

Action Type

Defines process for particular Payroll transaction: Run (regular automated payroll) or QuickPay Run (manual check)

Actual %

Represents the effort devoted to an activity expressed as a percentage of the individual's total University effort without regard to budgetary concerns. 

Actual % Effort

The actual effort expended in a particular activity in relation to that individual's overall University effort.  The total percentage of actual effort on each SPAR must equal 100% for each month.  Total effort does not equate to any set number of hours such as 40 hours per week, or 52 weeks per year, or to an FTE status.

Adjustments

Box that designates a retroactive salary adjustment is included in the distribution

Amount

Dollar amount distributed  for the identified period, including any retroactive adjustments/salary reallocations

CAP Account

An indicator that the sponsored project listed on this SPAR line is subject to the DHHS salary cap and a mandatory cost sharing requirement.

CAP Eligible Employee

Identified by the SPAR system as an employee whose annualized salary, adjusted to 1 Full Time Equivalent, exceeds the Department of Health and Human Services salary cap.  Employees meeting these criteria will have a check in the Cap Eligible box in the SPAR Info section of the SPAR screen and be required to cost share a portion of their effort expended on DHHS sponsored projects.

Cap Overridden

A SPAR that was CAP eligible based on the latest salary for the employee within the SPAR period, however, it was determined by Central Administration that the salary CAP does not apply for the particular SPAR period.  CAP Eligible checkbox will be unchecked.

Certification

An electronic signature on an Effort Statement that affirms effort distribution.  The signature must be that of a PI or responsible institutional official having direct, first-hand knowledge of the work performed, certifying that the charges to the grant are reasonable based on the work performed.  If a SPAR has one federal sponsored project, the entire SPAR is certifiable.

Certification Complete

Box indicating that the  SPAR has been certified.

Cost Allocation Flexfield

The SPAR application data entry box for entering the 32-digit PRISM account number and cost share code.  Each segment is verified as it is entered and the cursor automatically advances to the next segment box as entry is completed.

Cost Share Code

One-character letter designation identifying the type of cost sharing, appended to the end of the PRISM account number: M –  mandatory; V – voluntary, committed; K –  mandatory career development award; O – other not identified above, i.e., subsumed K award activity, voluntary uncommitted; N - not applicable, used on all non-entity 05 accounts and all sponsored projects with no cost sharing

Cost Share Recipient Line

The institutional or K-award account that absorbs the project costs not funded by the sponsor.  Institutional accounts would be in entity 02 or 04.

Cost Sharing

Refers to costs associated with a sponsored project that are not funded by the sponsor.  These costs must be funded by institutional accounts, or in some cases, a career development or K-award.

CS%

Represents the pecentage of an individual's salary that will be cost shared from the related sponsored project account to the cost share recipient account.

Dist %

Represents the percentage of an individual’s salary charged to the listed account number based on the percentage of actual effort and any related cost sharing.  This is a system calculated field and is not accessible for manual update.

Detail

Reflects detailed transaction information specific to the distribution amount for initial distribution and all retroactive adjustments/salary reallocations.  Information provided includes the source of entry, originator and date of transaction.

Distributed %

The percentage of one's salary charged to an account, based on the actual effort and related cost sharing.  The total percentage of distributed effort for each month within the SPAR period must equal 100%.  Distributed effort determines salary distribution to the accounts listed on the SPAR.  For a cost share recipient line in the Effort Reporting and Distribution section, Distributed % will be equal to the Actual % plus the sum of CS% of all related joint lines in the Cost Sharing for Effort Reporting section. For a sponsored project account line, in the Effort Reporting and Distribution Section, Distributed % will be equal to the Actual % less CS% of the related joint lines in the COst Sharing for Effort Reporting section.

ecrt System

The Web based system integrated with the SPAR application to facilitate the electronic certification of effort in compliance with OMB Circular A-21.  The University's first electronic certifications will be performed in January, 2013 for the September - December 2012 SPAR period.

Effort Coordinator

A department or grant administrator appointed to coorinate effort certification for all sponsored projects in their area of responsibility. They will act as the point person for answering PI questions about effort and for ensuring that the certification process is completed in a timely manner in accordance with the University's effort policy.

Effort Reporting

The process by which the University documents the effort expended on sponsored projects, consistent with OMB Circular A-21 requirements for confirming salary and fringe benefits charges to sponsored projects.  Effort for sponsored project activity is recorded in proportion to the individual’s other activities such as teaching, administration, public service, etc., with each activity expressed as a percentage of the individual’s total University activities.  The sum of an individual’s effort percentages must be 100%.  Salary charges are distributed according to these effort percentages.  Periodic certification of effort percentages is required.

Element Name

Identifies the type of pay being distributed (e.g. regular salary, adjustment salary, retro salary, etc.)

Employee (Emp) Number

Unique number assigned to each individual paid by the University’s Payroll system

End Date

The date on which the SPAR distribution should cease.  The End Date must be the last day of any month within the SPAR period and follow this format: DD-MMM-YYYY.  The percentage of effort must be adjusted for any partial month distribution. 

End Period

Refers to the Month and Year that signify the end of a SPAR period in the following format: MMM-YY.  Beginning in September 2012, the SPAR periods will coincide with academic periods as follows: 
September 1 – December 31
January 1 – April 30
May 1 – August 31

Full Name

Last, first, middle name of employee

Functional Buttons in the Status Detail Section

Buttons to the right of the Effort Reporting and Distribution Section that allow you to toggle easily through the existing versions of the selected SPAR.  They consist of:
First SPAR (beginning of period of performance)
Next SPAR
Previous SPAR
Last SPAR (end of period of performance)

Institutional Base Salary (IBS)

An individual's contract salary plus administrative supplements.  This amount is reflected on the employee's ER.  Teaching, Overload and other supplements are not included in this amount.

Joint Line

Any of the lines included in the Cost Sharing for Effort Reporting section of the SPAR screen. These lines are used to create cost share relationships between the regular sponsored project line and the cost share recipient line and to document the cost sharing percentage.

Line Number

Number corresponding to each line in the on-line SPAR screen.  Naming configuration is a whole number (X) for each regular line in the Effort Reporting and Distribution section, and a whole number followed by two decimal places (X.XX) for each joint line in the Cost Sharing for Effort Reporting section. 

Payroll Name

Identifies Payroll process that created the salary distribution.

Payroll Name: Pitt Biweekly

Payroll distribution for biweekly paid employees – not distributed via the SPAR system

Payroll Name: Pitt Monthly

Payroll distribution for monthly paid employees (excludes Pitt UPP2 below) distributed via SPAR.

Payroll Name: Student Hourly

Payroll distribution for monthly paid student employees who are paid a salary, distributed via SPAR.

Payroll Name: UPP2

Payroll distribution for faculty with Category A Pitt/UPP appointments - external affiliation of UPP2 paid by Pitt as the Common Paymaster and distributed via the SPAR .

Payroll Name From/Payroll Name To

Month and Year of payroll distribution activity available from July 2002 to most recent pay period plus the Payroll Name identifier (Pitt Biweekly, Pitt Monthly, Pitt Student Hourly, Pitt UPP2).

Pay Year Type

Represents the length of appointment over the number of months paid 8/8: eight month appointment, September – April, paid over the 8 month period 8/12: eight month appointment, September – April, paid over 12 months 9/9: nine month appointment, September – May, paid over the 9 month period 9/12: nine month appointment, September – May, paid over 12 months 10/10: ten month appointment, September – June, paid over the 10 month period 10/12: ten month appointment, September –June, paid over 12 months 12/12: twelve month appointment, July – June

Period of Performance

The date ranges for effort reporting reflected on each SPAR. Beginning in September 2012, the SPAR periods/Periods of Performance will coincide with academic periods as follows:
September 1 – December 31
January 1 – April 30
May 1 – August 31

Period Start and Period End

The months that set the parameters for the SPAR period.

PLD

Payroll Labor Distribution

Previous Actual %

Represents the Actual% value on the previous version (suffix) of the SPAR.

Previous Dist % / CS %

Represents the Dist%/CS% on the previous version (suffix) of the SPAR.

Principle Investigator (PI)

The individual designated by the sponsoring agency to be responsible and accountable for the proper conduct and direction of the project or activity.  A principle investigator for sponsored programs is typically a tenured or tenured stream faculty but can also included other members of the academic community such s research associates or non-tenure stream research/clinical faculty.

QuickPay Run

System action code indicating a payroll check issued by manual process.

Reason for SPAR

Reason for generation of the initial or new SPAR version.  The most common reasons are identified below.  A complete list can be found in Attachment 1.
LD% Change – Certification Required:  Indicates a SPAR modification was processed to change effort distribution % for an individual who is required to certify
LD% Change – Certification Not Required: Indicates a SPAR modification was processed to change effort distribution % for an individual who is not required to certify
New Certification Period – Certification Required: Indicates a new SPAR was generated at the beginning of a SPAR period for an individual who is required to certify
New Certification Period – Certification Not Required: Indicates a new SPAR was generated at the beginning of a SPAR period for an individual who is not required to certify

Recert Overridden

 Checked if a recertified, query only SPAR was opened for update by the Central Administrators.

Recipient Account

An institutional account (Entity 02 or 04) that absorbs unfunded costs from a sponsored project in the form of cost sharing.

Regular line

Any of the lines included in the Effort Reporting and Distribution section of the SPAR screen.  These lines record actual effort for each activity and are the source for labor distribution to the G/L.

Role

The responsibility assigned to each SPAR application user that determines capabilities within the application (Administrator, Modifier, Viewer).  The user's Security level determines which records the user may access.  The user's role determines what action, if any, they may take with those records.  Refer to the Security instruction guide for details.

Run

System action code indicating a payroll check issued by automated process.

Salary Cap

The maximum annualized Institutional Base Salary allowable on a DHHS sponsored project. The current limit is $179,700.  Refer to the Cost Sharing Template on the Financial Compliance for Research website for assistance in determining required cost sharing. 

SPAR

Salaried Personnel Activity Report.  The University of Pittsburgh's system for recording professional effort and distributing salary charges based on an individual's documentation of work activities expressed as a percentage of total University effort.

SPAR Administrator

Represents the most senior role available at  the Central, RC, Department and Subset levels within the SPAR application. Administrators can modify SPARs within their area of responsibility up to 90 days beyond the end of a SPAR period.  Administrators can establish security roles for organization levels below their own.  Administrators are able to perform all query functions.

SPAR Modification Application

The PRISM based application that replaces the paper based process.  The application records effort reporting and labor distribution information.  Changes to effort allocations in the SPAR application affect salary distributions in PRISM immediately.

SPAR Modifier

A Modifier role can be created at the Central, RC, Department and Subset levels within the SPAR application.  Modifiers may modify SPARs only in the current SPAR Period.  Central and RC Modifiers can establish security roles for the organizational levels beneath their own.  Departmentand Subset level Modifiers cannot establish security roles.   RC level Modifiers are able to perform all query functions.  Department and Subset Modifiers ony have access to the SPAR Modification History query.

SPAR Number (SPAR No.)

Unique, system-generated, six-digit number assigned to each SPAR period for each employee.

SPAR Period / Period of Performance

The date ranges for effort reporting that each SPAR will reflect.  Beginning in September 2012, the SPAR periods will coincide with academic periods as follows:  September 1 - December 31; January 1 - April 30; May 1 - August 31.

SPAR Req Element

Indicates whether the pay element listed is distributed based on the SPAR labor distribution process (will always be Y for this query).

SPAR Suffix Number

Represents the version number of the SPAR.

SPAR Viewer

A Viewer role can be created at the Central, RC, Department and Subset levels within the SPAR application.  Central and RC Viewers can set up security roles for the organizational levels beneath their own.  Viewers are able to perform all query functions.  Viewers have no update capabilities.

Sponsored Project

A project funded by a grant, contract or cooperative agreement under which the University agrees to perform a certain scope of work, according to specified terms and conditions, for specific, budgeted, monetary compensation.  A sponsored agreement is awarded to the University, rather than to a specific principal investigator or University department.  Certain awards require the University to share in the actual cost of the project.  Certain Federal awards  have mandatory cost sharing of salaries above the DHHS salary cap restriction.

Start Date

The date that the effort distribution is to begin.  The Start Date will always be the first day of any month in the SPAR period and follow this format: DD-MMM-YYYY.  The percentage distributed must be adjusted for any partial month distribution. 

Start Period

Refers to the Month and Year that signify the beginning of a SPAR period in the following format: MMM-YY.  Beginning in September 2012, the SPAR periods will coincide with academic periods as follows:  
September 1 – December 31
January 1 – April 30
May 1 – August  31

Status Date

The date a modification was saved to the SPAR.

Subcode

Four-digit account number segment used to record financial transactions to an expenditure category classification.

Subset

A unique, customized listing of employees for whom SPAR access has been granted to an identified Administrator, Modifier or Viewer by an Administrator of the employees' home department.  The Subset Administrator, Modifier or Viewer may or may not be from the employees' home department.

Total

Total dollars distributed to the specific account / cost share code over the specified period

Type

Codes assigned to each line depending on the type of distribution: Reg: Effort devoted to an activity resulting in a possible direct charge to the designated account number. Joint: Effort devoted to a sponsored project funded by an institutional account and not charged to the sponsored project

Wildcard

"%" is the wildcard used for this application when performing a search of SPAR data.