ECC Frequently Asked Questions

Page Updated: Monday, June 24, 2024 2:21:37 PM CDT

Note: This section focuses more on system-related questions. You can also view Payroll Certification FAQs for more general payroll certification questions.

Question 1: What is ECC?

ECC (Employee Compensation Compliance) is the web-based application UW-Madison uses to facilitate biannual payroll certification for federal projects.

Question 2: How do I access ECC?

A user logs in with their UW-Madison NetID. The options to work within ECC are then determined by the role (or roles) the user has been assigned in the system. Each ECC user has one or more roles. For each role, there is a set of rights that control what a user can see and do.

Question 3: Is there a recommended browser I should use?

Yes. Chrome or Firefox are the recommended browsers when using ECC.

Question 4: I've been designated as my department's Compensation Compliance Coordinator. What will my responsibilities in ECC be?

You will be responsible for completing the pre-review for each federal project housed in your assigned department(s). You are also responsible for monitoring the certification period to assist with timely PI certifications.

Question 5: What is the difference between a primary and a non-primary CCC?

There is one primary CCC per department, but there can be additional CCCs assigned. All CCC assignments can be found on the Department Dashboard page under the Department Information tab. The primary CCC is highlighted in yellow.

Department Dashboard example

Both primary and non-primary CCCs can pre-review statements housed in their department. The difference is how they access statements. The primary views statements from their Work List under the Assigned Projects tab. All non-primaries, on the other hand, need to access statements from the Department Dashboard.

The other difference between the two is that the primary CCC receives ECC-generated emails and is also the point of contact when a PI utilizes the "Get Help" button on a statement.

Question 6: I'm a department administrator. We have a new accountant we'd like assigned as CCC for our department. How do I get them set up in ECC?

Once your new hire has taken the CCC training, email your dean's office with the assignment changes you would like. They will review your request. If approved, they will contact the ECC Central Administrator who will make the requested changes in the system.

Question 7: I would like to be a CCC for a specific project, but it's not housed in my department. Is this possible?

Yes. This is called a CCC Override. Overrides allow you to assign a CCC to a specific project. For example, there might be a project housed in CALS, but a CCC in SMPH is better suited to complete the pre-review. The CCC in CALS can assign this project to a CCC in SMPH by way of the override. Overrides are assigned in the Department Dashboard by clicking the + icon next to the CCC listed for the project.

Department Dashboard - CCC Override

The override becomes like a primary CCC for that project. They will receive system-generated emails related to that project. They will be able to view that project under their Assigned Projects. And finally, they will be the point of contact for PIs utilizing the "Get Help" button on that statement.

An override should never be put into place without approval from the CCC receiving the new project, especially if that person is in a different department or division. Both parties should agree the override is appropriate.

Question 8: There is a Co-PI on a NIH project that is better suited to certify than the PI listed. How can I get this changed in ECC?

There can only be one PI assigned to a project at the time of award setup. ECC reads this PI and assigns the statement to that person for certification. It is possible there is another person with suitable means of verifying that the salary charged to the project is reasonable in relation to the work performed. This person is called a Project Designee or Certification Delegate.

The designee will need to take the mandatory ECC for Certifiers training and the delegation needs to be set up in ECC. You can request a designee by completing the Certification Delegation Request Form. A justification for the designation is needed and both the PI and designee need to sign the form. This ensures that both parties understand the authority being given to the designee and that it is appropriate.

Return the completed form to your ECC Central Administrator for delegation set up in ECC.

Question 9: The PI assigned to a statement is no longer with the university. Who should certify?

Reach out to the ECC Central Administrator ( to discuss options for a designee.

Question 10: Will my PIs be notified when they have a statement to certify?

When the PI Certification Period opens, each PI will receive an automated email. The email will have a list of all statements ready for certification. In addition, it will have a link to ECC that will direct them to their Home Page. Statements that have been pre-reviewed will be listed under the "Statements Awaiting Certification" tab.

If a statement is pre-viewed AFTER the PI Certification Period is already open, the PI will receive the automated email the following morning. The ability to certify is NOT immediate in these cases. If your PI needs immediate access to certify a statement in a case like this, reach out to the ECC Central Administrator. A status override can be done but this is not the preferred method.

Question 11: Do PIs also get reminder emails from ECC?

Yes. PIs receive three reminder emails if they still have certification tasks to complete. The first reminder email is sent with about one month left in the certification period. The second is sent with about two weeks left in the certification period. The final automated reminder email is sent the day before the deadline.

Question 12: Where does data in ECC come from?

ECC is not a system that creates or re-creates information. It receives data from source systems and displays it. Entry of data is not done in ECC, but instead is done in those source systems. It can be helpful to think of ECC as a data dashboard.

Each week, ECC receives data from HRS and SFS. HRS provides appointment and payroll data. SFS provides information like project titles and PIs. ECC receives this information and aggregates it into project-based payroll statements.

If there are any changes you would like made to the information that is displaying in ECC, you will need to work in those source systems to revise the information. Changes like salary transfers and cost share updates will then be a part of the weekly information that is sent to ECC.

Question 13: The salary transfer I did posted in WISER. Why isn't it reflected in ECC yet?

It is important to remember that data is only loaded to ECC on a weekly basis. Because of this, there could be almost a week delay between when you see a transaction post in WISER and when you will see it reflected in ECC. Data loads to ECC every Saturday night.

Question 14: There is a large variance between what is in WISER versus ECC for an employee listed on a statement. Why?

Variances are often due to the following:

  • Off-cycle payments with earn dates that don’t align with the pay period in which the payment was made.
  • Account codes visible in WISER but which are excluded from certification. The most common exclusions are stipends and lump sum payments. The full list can be found here.

If you notice a variance during pre-review, reach out to the ECC Central Administrator. They can help decide if the variance is explainable and justified.

Question 15: Why is my project statement on hold in ECC?

The central Effort administrator often puts a project statement on hold in ECC to prevent certification prior to an in-progress salary cost transfer posting to ECC. To view the reason, go to the project statement in ECC. Scroll down to “Activity Log” then click the triangle to expand that section. The reason for the hold will be indicated in the Activity Log.

Question 16: Why does my project statement show $0 for the personnel?

A project statement is created when salary is charged to that project. If salary is then removed, the ECC statement remains and shows $0. $0 statements do not need to be pre-reviewed or certified. The central Effort Administrator will proactively find these statements and change the status to “No certification required” before the PI Certification window opens. You can also contact to request a $0 statement be marked “No Certification required.”

Question 17: Where can I go if I have more questions?

For questions regarding ECC, or payroll certification, please contact