Every effort should be made to ensure that employees are paid correctly from sponsored funds. While it may be possible to justify adjustments after effort has been certified on an Activity Report, frequent retroactive adjustments indicate a lack of internal control by the PI/PD, the department, and the university. Remember, the effort report has already been certified (confirmed to be true or accurate).
The following types of retroactive adjustments are highly questionable and almost certain to result in audit disallowances and refunds to the sponsor:
- charging a project with anticipation of processing a retroactive adjustment to charge another project when the new award is received;
- retroactive adjustments toward the end of a project period to use remaining project funds.
When a retroactive adjustment is required and is justified, a Revised Personnel Activity Report (Exhibit R) should be completed, signed by the department head or project director, and forwarded, along with a complete justification explaining why the correct amounts were not originally reported, to Accounting.