eCertification System: Briefing for Administrators

Administrator Briefing

This briefing is for Administrators with Task Manager Authority who will use the new eCertification system quarterly to document their monthly review of sponsored project expenditures. This briefing is required prior to using this system for the first time.

The Administrator's Responsibilities are Detailed in Stanford Policy

These responsibilities are detailed in The Research Policy Handbook (RPH 3.2.5 Fiscal Responsibilities of PIs).

Sponsored project and cost sharing account 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. These expenditures are the basis for cost reimbursements to Stanford. Although PIs may delegate the monthly review of expenditures for accuracy, they may not delegate certification.

Sponsored project and cost sharing account expenditures should be reviewed monthly by a knowledgeable individual i.e., the PI or designee typically the research administrator (the Task Manager).

  • This review is documented quarterly by the research administrator in the eCertification System and is expected to be completed before the quarterly certification by the PI.
  • Any questionable charges must be brought promptly to the PI's attention, and, if needed, corrected by an appropriate transfer.
  • Transfers should be initiated as soon as possible after a need has been identified. Procedures governing transfers of expense are defined in RPH, 15.8 Cost Transfer Policy for Sponsored Projects.

The review and certification process must be completed within approximately 75 days after the end of each academic quarter.

eCertification Is a New System for a Familiar Process

Until now, PIs have documented their quarterly review and certification of project and cost sharing expenditures by signing a printed report after their research administrator documented their monthly review of project expenditures on that report. This system replaces the printed report so PIs can complete quarterly review and certification online.

Research administrators are expected to complete and document their monthly 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.  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

The Data in the eCertification System

The data 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 but work on a PI’s project must review and certify their own 100% salary distribution using the printed report.

By certifying the principal investigator confirms: to the best of my knowledge that the salary and wages charged to this project are appropriate in relation to work performed on this project or that the charges are appropriate under the policies of the awarding agency relating to chargeable salaries for those who cannot do work due to the COVID-19 related restrictions. 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.

We encourage you to use the Quarter to Date functionality of eCertification System to review your project expenditures more frequently than quarterly. After you have completed your review and have clicked the “Review” button, if no additional expenditures post to the PTA, your review is complete for the quarter.

How to use the eCertification System

  • A system tour to help you navigate is available, there are Learn More! tabs on the bottom left corner of each page.
  • Use Firefox or Chrome as your browser. Do not use IE.
  • Use your SUnet 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 in the eCertification system will be retained by central university staff.

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