Definition 2017-03-13T10:52:49+00:00

Acronyms and Terminology used in ER Assist Software

While we do our best to make our software easy to use for even a first time user, understanding industry acronyms and terms can sometimes be tough.   This glossary may help you navigate the exact meaning of terms and acronyms found throughout the ER Assist software.  For additional help on any of these topics, reference the software support page.

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  • a

  • AA
    Applicant Agents are designated by their organization (applicant within the FEMA PA program) to serve as the point of contact (agent) as well as certifying signatories on grant documents. Use the disaster settings feature to update the applicant agent so that the correct person receives system emails and the correct name appears on system generated documents.  
  • Activities
    Sub-Module available to Time Admins to turn Activities on/off (visible/not visible) to web/mobile users.  Activities may be Operational or Administrative.   Administrative Activities may be Direct or Indirect.
  • Activity
    A field within the time tracking module. As part of the who/what/when of time, materials or equipment tracking, the Activity Field asks "what were you doing?".
  • Admin
    Admin refers to a software user with advanced permissions or access.  Admins may add other users, lock time entries, generate invoices, and use the reports module.
  • App
    App is an abbreviated form of the word "application."  An application is a software program that's designed to perform a specific function directly for the user or, in some cases, for another application program.  ER Assist has both web apps (web-based software applications) and mobile apps (tablet/smart phone-based software applications).
  • Applicant Agent
    Applicant Agents are designated by their organization (applicant within the FEMA PA program) to serve as the point of contact (agent) as well as certifying signatories on grant documents. Use the disaster settings feature to update the applicant agent so that the correct person receives system emails and the correct name appears on system generated documents.  
  • b

  • Billable/Non-Billable
    When tracking time, the billable/non-billable flags tells the system whether to add costs to a specific time entry or a specific type of activity.  Billable/Non-billable is mainly used by contractors in their work for a client, however, governmental agencies use this flag in mutual aid invoices. The Billable/Non-Billable distinction is  sometimes mistakenly confused by employess as paid/volunteer labor.   Employees are paid for the time/equipment/materials logged in the time module regardless of the billable/nonbillable status between their employers and clients (unless another(...)
  • Billing Disabled
      Billing Disabled is a feature of the Time Module which locks users out of certain days.   To prevent her team from accidentally entering time on Labor Day, the Time Admin clicked the Billing Disabled Button on the Time Admin Calendar to prevent entries from being entered for that day.  
  • Blue Sky
    Blue Sky refers to a time period that is not related to a disaster, which is referred to as Grey Sky work.  The time period not related to a disaster may also be referred to as Steady State. Costs and time within the ER Assist software are tracked by disaster/project/site.  Costs not associated to a disaster are labeled Blue Sky.
  • c

  • Calculators
    Calculators is a software module that includes common conversions like Cubic Yards (CY) to Ton (TN).
  • Cat A
  • Cat B
  • Cat C
  • Cat E
  • Cat F
  • Cat G
  • Cat Z
  • Category A
  • Category B
  • Category C
  • Category E
  • Category F
  • Category G
  • Category Z
  • Client
    Client is an ER Assist software term that refers to the governmental agencies, consultants, on volunteer groups using the software. Grantees, Sub-Grantees,  Contractors, and VOADs are types of clients.  As ER Assist updates the user interface, software users will encounter this term less often. Contract Client aka Client is term within the ER Assist contract module to signify the contract holder.  Contractors work on behalf of clients.
  • Client Timesheet
    Client Timesheet is a timesheet that contains contractor time for a single client.  It is not the same as the employee payroll timesheet, wich may contain multiple clients or overhead time as well.   The submitted invoice was supported by client timesheets, so the client did not see the consultant's sick days, marketing time, or training time.  
  • Company/Contractor
    Within the ER Assist software Companies/Contractors is usually a for-profit entity that provides services or materials to governmental entities, non-profits or other for-profit entities.  Companies/Contractors do not receive FEMA grants.   Companies/contractors may use ER Assist software independently of FEMA grant work (e.g. time tracking), or they may use the software to further their governmental entity client's grant process. Contractor is a term within the ER Assist Contracts module which refers to the entity doing work on behalf of a client.  
  • Contractor Import
    Contractor Import  Tool is a software tool available to help desk personnel only.   It allows mass import of contractor names. Sally was entering data into the project costs module.   She wanted all of the vendors to appear in a drop down instead of entering each vendor name separately.  She sent the help desk a list of contractor names to import.  
  • Contracts
    Contracts is a software module within ER Assist.   It stores contract and task order information and shares this information with other modules, including the invoice module.
  • CoOp Purchasing Groups
    CoOp Purchasing Groups is an ER Assist software module that tracks cooperative purchasing groups, their contract offerings, and their member agencies. CoOp Purchasing Groups aka Cooperative Purchasing Groups help member agencies reduce the administrative burden of and comply with purchasing requirements.
  • Critical Facilities
    Critical Facilities is an ER Assist software module that documents critical facilities.  The Critical Facilities module feeds into other modules, including the Debris Plan module (routes to critical facilities may need to be cleared first) and the Damage Assessment module (documenting damage to critical facilities is a key component of disaster declaration request). Critical Facilities are defined a bit differently throughout various emergency management, resiliency, and floodplain management, however, generally critical facilities include hospitals, fire stations, police stations,(...)
  • d

  • DAC
    Direct Administrative Costs
  • Dailies
    FA Dailies is an ER Assist software sub-component that imports and links tforce account dailies to projects as well as payroll timesheets.   Dailies is a common term to refer to the daily report of work.
  • Damage Assessments
    Damage Assessments is an ER Assist software module.   Damage Assessments may be IDA (Initial Damage Assessments), PDA (Preliminary Damage Assessments), or Joint  PDA (FEMA-State-Local Preliminary Damage Assessments).
  • Dashboard
    A Dashboard offers a place to see top level data, documentation and navigation shortcuts to more detailed information. To see the most recent damage numbers, click on the dashboard and click refresh, to see more detailed information click on the link to the grid.  
  • DD
    Damage Description
  • Debris Plan
    Debris Plan is an ER Assist software module that guides FEMA Public Assistance Applicants through the steps to prepare for future disaster debris.  Applicants with approved debris plans are eligible for increased assistance from the federal government.    
  • Debris Sites
    Debris Sites is a Software Module currently only available to ER Assist help desk employees.  It is a listing of over 10,000 debris sites used in past disasters or available for use in future disasters.  It contains over 50 data points such as environmental certificates, security, and availability of raised inspection tower.
  • Direct/Indirect
    Direct/Indirect is a designation used within the FEMA Public Assistance (PA) program to designate whether administrative work is tied directly to one specific project grant or is spent on the grant program as a whole.  Administrative work tied to one specific project is eligible for Direct Administrative Cost (DAC) funding, which is a subset of the project grant.  The Direct/Indirect designation is used within grant programs other the FEMA PA as well and may have slightly different meanings in each grant program. ER Assist software takes into account direct and indirect costs.  
  • Disaster Equipment
    Disaster Equipment is the equipment used in the response or restoration of a particular disaster.   Disaster Equipment is a term used within ER Assist software to refer to the Disaster Equipment inventory list, which is a subset of the agency or department's entire inventory list.
  • Driving Distance
    Driving Distance, aka Bulk Driving Distance, is a software module within ER Assist that calculates the driving distance (as opposed to direct/"as the crow flies" distance).   The Debris Hauler's contract rates varied based on how far the collection site was from the debris site.   We looked at the tickets, and put all of the collection lat/long and site lat/long in the driving distance module to figure  out driving mileage.   
  • Dropdown
    Dropdown is a software term to refer to a selection of choices that appear in box that drops down within the data entry space.     I didn't exactly what kind of truck it was, but I was able to figure it out from it out from the dropdown of choices.  
  • e

  • Employee Number
    Employee Number is a data field within the ER Assist software system.   It is the ID number assigned to an employee by an employer.  It should not be confused with System ID (or ER Assist ID) for a person.  Employee Numbers should not be Social Security Numbers. When I was entering time worked on the culvert repair project, I was thankful I could pull up personnel by employer ID # since so many of the road crew had similar names.    
  • Entries
    Entries is a term used with ER Assist software to refers generally to line items entered within software modules. Entries appears as a menu choice under the Time module to review time entries.  
  • Equipment
    Equipment is a software module within ER Assist software for equipment inventory compliant with FEMA grant needs.   Equipment is a broad term that includes vehicles, heavy machinery, tools and other items.   We imported the vehicle information from another system into the ER Assist equipment module so we could begin the cost tracking and grant development process.   
  • f

  • FA Daily
    FA Daily is a section within ER Assist software where Daily Work Records are entered and are later associated with FA Timesheets.  Force AccountDaily Work records are usually the source document of a grant which shows work on specific site or project has taken place. I scanned the daily worksheet for the team and entered it into the FA Daily section of the software.  
  • FA Timesheets
    FA Timesheets, short for Force Account Timesheets, is a submodule within ER Assist software.  FA Timesheets are the payroll timesheets and include all time for a time period/pay period including time other than that spent on grant or disaster work.  Force Account timesheets are linked to the daily work records and become backup documentation for a grant request. Once the grant consultant received the requested road repair crew payroll timesheets, he entered the data and uploaded the scanned documents into the FA Timesheets module.
  • FEMA Form 90-91
    FEMA Form 90-91 is the infrastructure disaster restoration grant application.  Its appearance will vary depending on whether it is the copy that is physcially signed (by applicant (aka subgrantee), State, and FEMA personnel), or if it is the export from FEMA's data system.   You will find the FEMA Form 90-91 to the Public Assistance files manager.   
  • File Browser
    File Browser is a module within ER Assist software system that allows all files to to be seen regardless of to what module or project the files were originally uploaded or associated to.
  • FIPS
    Each applicant within the FEMA Public Assistance program is tracked through its FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) number.    If an applicant has not previously been an applicant within the FEMA PA program, a FIPS number will be assigned. FIPS numbers are prepopulated for applicants and appear on the grant forms generated by ER Assist grant software.  
  • First Day of Workweek
    First Day of Workweek is a software field within ER Assist software Time Module.  The field is used in calculating overtime. When a workweek runs Monday through Sunday, the first day of the workweek is Monday.  
  • Force Account
    Force Account is term used by the FEMA Public Assistance Grant program to refer to people, equipment, or materials belonging to the entity applying for the grant.   When developing the emergency protective measures grant we entered the police force's personnel time used in flood response in the force account labor section.
  • Fringe Rates
    Fringe Rates are fields within ER Assist software, associated with the personnel/time module.  The Regular Time Fringe Rate (RT Fringe) and Overtime Fringe Rate (OT Fringe) are  added to the payroll rate  as part of the reimbursement costs for Force Account Costs.
  • g

  • Geo Layer
    Geo Layer is a field within the Infrastructure module.  It is auto populated from sync data and is a required component for Hydrology and Hydrography (H and H) studies as well as some environmental documentation.
  • h

  • Health and Safety Contact List
    The Health and Safety Contact List is an ER Assist software sub-module that lists commonly needed phone numbers.  It prints out as a component of plans as well.     Within the software, this call list can be accessed/printed for contractors and force account alike.   The cleanup crews were given safety call sheets which included urgent care and utility office numbers.  
  • HUC
    Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) The Hydrologic Unit Code represents the hydrologic divisions of the United States.  The code varies in length depending on the number of levels included (levels include: regions, sub-regions, accounting units, and cataloging units). In the ER Assist software Infrastructure Module Structure Geo-Information section, the layers go from HUC 2 to HUC 12. Use the HUC 12 for the required H and H study data parameters for HazMit proposals.
  • Hydrologic Unit Code
    Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) The Hydrologic Unit Code represents the hydrologic divisions of the United States.  The code varies in length depending on the number of levels included (levels include: regions, sub-regions, accounting units, and cataloging units). In the ER Assist software Infrastructure Module Structure Geo-Information section, the layers go from HUC 2 to HUC 12. Use the HUC 12 for the required H and H study data parameters for HazMit proposals.
  • i

  • Infrastructure
    Infrastructure is a software module within ER Assist that tracks public infrastructure such as bridges, culverts, roads, and buildings.   The culvert inventory was updated in the infrastructure module.  
  • Insurance
    The insurance module within ER Assist tracks insurance policies in effect.   The module links with other modules such as the equipment and infrastructure module.
  • Invalid
    Invalid is a term used by the Time Module of ER Assist software to designate that something is missing from the time entry, or if the entry has overlapping entries.   The invoice could not be made until the invalid entries were rectified.
  • Invoice
    Invoice is a sub-module of the ER Assist Time module used to generate an invoice for contractor or mutual aid time or equipment usage.
  • Invoices
    Invoices is a sub-module of the ER Assist Project Costs module. The accounting specialist entered the invoice numbers and amounts into the invoice module.   
  • m

  • Media Outlets
    Media Outlets is a module within ER Assist that stores media contacts such as radio stations, tv stations, newspapers, and social media.   The Debris Plan module allows users to pull in media points of contacts to debris plan from the media outlet module.
  • My Time
    My Time shows a users time entries in the Time Module of the ER Assist software system.   When my group supervisor told me to make sure all of my time for the week had been recorded in the system, I clicked on "My time" and under the "manual entry" button I saw a calendar of time totals for each day of the month, so I quickly knew I had all 40 hours entered.
  • o

  • O
    Operational Activities are those activities within the ER Assist time module which are tracked to the non-administrative portion of the grant.  
  • Operational Activities
    Operational Activities are those activities within the ER Assist time module which are tracked to the non-administrative portion of the grant.  
  • Overtime Policy
    Overtime Policy is a section within the Time Module that allows time admins to select from standard overtime policies or create a custom policy.  
  • p

  • Pay Period Duration
    Pay Period Duration is the number of days in a payroll pay period. 7 and 14 are common pay period durations.  
  • Photo Compare
    Photo Compare is a feature in ER Assist software files module that searches for repeated photos. Run the sites photo compare feature if you want to make sure the same photo isn't  accidentally used on multiple sites.
  • Photo Page Builder
    Photo Page Builder is a tool within the sites files and the damage assessment files module of ER Assist software.   It adds selected photos into a FEMA PA Grant style photo page.
  • PO
    Purchase Orders is a subset of the Project Costs module where purchase order data and scanned documentation is loaded.

    The accounting clerk entered the purchase orders into the system.  Later they were associated with invoices entered into the system.  When the grant was exported, the purchase order data and the purchase order PDF were exported.  

    To find out more about Purchase Orders check out the self-service Solutions area.

  • PoP
    Proof of Payment is a component of the Project Costs module which stores payment information and documentation such as canceled checks, ACH payments, and in some cases credit card or pro card (p-card)  payments.

    The accounting clerk imported all of the proof of payments for the quarter.  Later the grant manager associated grant related invoices to their respective proof of payments.   On grant data and documentation export, the associated documents exported automatically.  

    Want to learn more?   Check out theProof of Payment in the Solutions area of our helpdesk.
  • Project Worksheet
    A Project Worksheet is the FEMA Public Assistance term for a singular grant, or grant application.

    When you log into the Public Assistance module, you'll see all of your agency's Project Worksheets.  

  • Proof of Payment
    Proof of Payment is a component of the Project Costs module which stores payment information and documentation such as canceled checks, ACH payments, and in some cases credit card or pro card (p-card)  payments.

    The accounting clerk imported all of the proof of payments for the quarter.  Later the grant manager associated grant related invoices to their respective proof of payments.   On grant data and documentation export, the associated documents exported automatically.  

    Want to learn more?   Check out theProof of Payment in the Solutions area of our helpdesk.
  • Purchase Orders
    Purchase Orders is a subset of the Project Costs module where purchase order data and scanned documentation is loaded.

    The accounting clerk entered the purchase orders into the system.  Later they were associated with invoices entered into the system.  When the grant was exported, the purchase order data and the purchase order PDF were exported.  

    To find out more about Purchase Orders check out the self-service Solutions area.

  • PW
    A Project Worksheet is the FEMA Public Assistance term for a singular grant, or grant application.

    When you log into the Public Assistance module, you'll see all of your agency's Project Worksheets.  

  • s

  • SMC
    State Management Cost
  • t

  • Targeted Businesses
    The Targeted Businesses module compiles all of the certified minority businesses from all states and certifying agencies.

    The city's debris plan included a list of MBEs to send future debris related Request for Proposals (RFPs). The debris plan module pulled debris related MBEs from the pre-populated Targeted Businesses Module into the plan.