Common Mistakes When
Documenting Time and
Attendance
Problem #1: Incorrect percentage of staff
time charged to grant
The Identified Issue
The Project Director or other project
staff divide their time up
between two projects, but do
not reflect this on their time
sheet.
The Best Way to Resolve it
• Each Time & Activity Report must account for the
total activity for which employees are
compensated, and which is required in
fulfillment of their obligations to the
organization.
• Time
& Activity Reports must be prepared at least
monthly and must coincide with one or more
pay periods.
• Time recorded should be in accordance with the
organization's personnel policies.
• Charges for salaries and wages must be supported
by records indicating the total number of hours
worked each day.
• Refer to the applicable OMB circular to determine
the requirements for your organization.
Problem #2: Incorrect percentage of staff
time charged to grant
The Identified Issue
The sponsor is budgeted for 510% of time to be paid for by
the grant, but the time spent
on these activities is not
divided out on their time
sheet.
The Best Way to Resolve it
• Each Time & Activity Report must account
for the total time spent on grant related
activities. Sample time sheets are
provided that show an acceptable way
to break out time.
Problem #3: Staff time sheet reflects
budgeted rather than actual time.
The Identified Issue
Staff time is divided on the time
sheet the same number of hours
each day.
The Best Way to Resolve it
• Time & Activity Reports must reflect afterthe-fact time determination of the actual
activity of each employee.
• Use time sheets similar to the samples
provided and break down the time spent on
each activity based on work actually done,
not based on the budgeted number of
hours.
Problem #4: Staff time sheet not signed by
staff or supervisor (or both).
The Identified Issue
Staff time sheets are not signed by
the staff member and the
supervisor.
The Best Way to Resolve it
• Time & Activity Reports must be signed by
the individual employee, or by a
responsible supervisory official having
firsthand knowledge of the activities
performed by the employee, certifying
that the distribution of activity
represents a reasonable estimate of
the actual work performed during the
periods covered by the reports.
• Use a time sheet, similar to the samples
provided which have a space for the
staff and supervisor's signature.
Problem #5: Staff time sheet does not
reflect non-grant activities of the staff.
The Identified Issue
Staff has not accounted for time
spent on grant writing and
fundraising on their timesheet.
The Best Way to Resolve it
• Track the hours that all federally funded
personnel spend raising funds.
• Ensure that time sheets have a place to
track hours spent fund raising.
• Reconcile time sheets with payroll so that
only allowable hours are charged to
the grant.
• Report only allowable activity (not fund
raising!) on your Consolidated
Financial Reports (CFR).
Fundraising Refresher


Project staff whose salaries and benefits are 100 percent
charged as direct costs to the federal grant may not engage in
“organized fundraising” on behalf of the sponsor
organization.
“Organized fundraising” includes all efforts to obtain funds
to cover capital or operating costs, or to solicit in kind
contributions. The OMB circulars on allowable costs do not
apply to funds that are not included in the grant as either
costs to be reimbursed by grant funds or matching costs
financed by the sponsor.
Fundraising Refresher

A project director who needs to spend 5 percent of his
or her time on fund raising activities would charge 95
percent of his or her time on the budget (either as
federal/state pass-through costs or required non-federal
share).

Another project staff member, who might spend 15
percent of their time writing grant applications, would
allocate 85 percent of his or her time, the other 15
percent would be paid from excess non-federal funds, or
other funds available.
Fundraising Refresher

Examples of organized fundraising include:





Conducting a financial campaign or endowment
drive
Soliciting specific gifts or bequests
Applying for grants
Applying for support from local community
foundations, such as the United Way (any that
renew annually)
Preparing a grant application
Timesheet templates


Additional timesheet examples are being
provided as reference material.
An Excel timesheet template is being
provided.
Questions

Clarifications?

Thank You!
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Documenting Time and Attendance