eCertification System: Briefing for PIs
This briefing is for faculty, principal investigators (PIs), and individuals with a PI waiver who will use the eCertification system quarterly to review and certify sponsored project and cost sharing expenditures. This briefing is required prior to using this system for the first time.
The Principal Investigator's Responsibilities are Detailed in Stanford Policy
Sponsored project and cost sharing expenditures must be reviewed and certified by the PI quarterly in the eCertification system to confirm that they are reasonable, allowable and provide benefit (allocable) to the project. This certification is the responsibility of the project PI (or Co-PI). A PI may delegate the monthly review of expenditures for accuracy, but may not delegate certification. These responsibilities are detailed in The Research Policy Handbook (RPH 3.2.5 Fiscal Responsibilities of PIs).
The review and certification process must be completed within approximately 75 days after the end of each academic quarter.
Research administrators are expected to complete and document their review of project expenditures before the PI reviews and certifies. The eCertification system records this review for PIs to see.
The following award types will be marked as Review Not Tracked/Certification Not Required. Stanford policy requires all PTAs, including non-sponsored PTAs, to be reviewed monthly. However, the policy does not require an administrator to document their review in the eCertification system for the following projects.
- Joint Personnel Agreement (JPA)
- Intergovernmental Personnel Act Agreements (IPA)
- Personnel Services Agreement (PSA)
- Fellowship awards
- Financial Aid Office Sponsored funded Student-Aid
- University Research
- Cost-Sharing Overdrafts
- Non-Salary threshold +/- $100
- Project with no transactions
How to Certify Expenses in the eCertification System
- Use Firefox or Chrome as your browser. Do not use Internet Explorer (IE).
- Use your SU Net ID and password to log in
- Data is role specific. Roles: faculty, principal investigator, individuals with a principal investigator waiver, research administrator, school overseer. Review and certification status is available to PIs. Review status is available to their research administrators.
- Progress is automatically saved and can be completed in multiple sessions.
- Review and certification of project expenses is retained in the eCertification system.
- The default view is data for the active Certification Quarter. You can change the period to view quarter-to-date data or previous certification quarters from the left hand navigation menu.
- From your eCertification Home screen click the View Accounts and Certify button to open the Account List page. where you can select an Account (Project-Task-Award) to review and certify.
- From your Account List page select an Account (Project-Task-Award).
- From the given Account Details page review the expenditures incurred for the given quarter. Expenses can be further drilled into for additional information by clicking on any dollar amount listed in blue.
- Review any comments that have been entered by your research administrator. If desired, type any comments you have and click Log Comment. To view all comments logged for this PTA, click the Comments, Attachments & History tab.
- When ready to certify the PTA for the given quarter, click Mark as Certified. The page will record your certification and will refresh to the next uncertified PTA in your account list. Repeat Steps 3-5 until all of your PTAs are marked as certified.
By certifying the principal investigator confirms: to the best of my knowledge, salary and wages charged to this project are appropriate in relation to work performed on this project. All other costs charged to this project are, to the best of my knowledge, appropriate. Where required, corrections have been or will be made through the accounting system.
The Data in the eCertification System
The data source is the same as for all other Stanford financial systems. It is refreshed every two days until the close of each quarter.
The system displays confidential salary data. Stanford takes seriously its commitment to respect and protect the privacy of its faculty, students, alumni, and staff, as well as to protect the confidentiality of information important to the university's academic and research mission.
To respect and protect privacy faculty can view their own 100% salary distribution. Faculty who do NOT serve as a principal investigator on any sponsored projects and work on other PI’s project(s) must review and self-certify their own 100% salary distribution via the self-certification functionality within eCertification each quarter as per Stanford’s Research Policy Handbook 3.2.
The Office of Research Administration (ORA) - Research Administration Policy and Compliance (RAPC) team will send a dedicated email to Self-Certifiers each quarter to remind them of their responsibility to review and certify their payroll distribution.
Need further eCertification assistance? Have questions, feedback, or are experiencing other issues? Please submit a HelpSU ticket to the eCertification Support Team and an eCertification Support Analyst will contact you shortly.