A Service Center provides goods and services primarily to other University departments for established fees.
The costs of these goods and/or services are charged directly to internal and external users based on established billing rates and actual usage of services.
Note the examples on the right with the following types of services and fees:
Biological Resource Facility – charges for a variety of analytical services
Chemistry Supply Room – charges for sale and use of chemicals
LAR: Lab Animal Research Facility – charges for care of lab animals
Pulstar Reactor Service – bills for use of the Nuclear Reactor
A Service Center is NOT...
Even though the names are similar, a Service Center is not the same as a "University Center" here on our campus. A University Center, which is often referred to as a "Center" on campus, has a different definition and purpose from "Service Centers" described in this section. The University Centers are organized units designed to facilitate interdisciplinary activity in any university mission (instruction, research, outreach).
A University Center may also include one or more Service Centers operating within the University Center. For example, we have a University Center on campus called the "Center for Earth Observation" which encompasses many activities and funding sources such as contracts and grants, foundations, gifts, etc. This Center for Earth Observation also has an established Service Center that charges approved use rates for their lab services. The Service Center is just one of the many activities operating under the umbrella of the University Center.
Review the following list of basic compliance issues that apply to campus Service Centers serving Ledger 5 Projects. (You may also click the Service Center Waiver link in the second note below to access the waiver form.)
In addition to the notes in the chart above, the following are also important requirements:
C&G projects must be charged the lowest rate. No one can be charged a lower rate than the C&G project and absolutely no "free" usage is allowed.
Rates cannot be set to subsidize any unbilled usage in the Service Center. No one can get the services for free and all users must pay their fair share.
Account code 54998 must be used when billing service fees to C&G projects (project IDs that begin with a "5").
Use rates must be revised at least every two years (as well as when necessary as described in the chart above).
An Annual Service Center Certification must be signed by the Director or Dean to ensure that the colleges are aware of their compliance requirements when charging C&G projects.
Required Documentation and Tracking
Service Centers must keep accounting records and usage logs to comply with University and federal requirements. Review the following notes concerning the requirements:
Top Ten Tips
Click to review and save the following two-page Quick Reference Guide for a number of tips and reminders (opens in new tab or window).
Use Rate Request – CG-006 Form
You can find the Use Rate Request CG-006 form (Excel) and detailed instructions on the C&G web site (opens in new tab or window).
You may also review the following example of a completed form. Remember that some of the the figures used in the Use Rate calculation form vary from year to year, so be sure to check for current fringes, building depreciation and building square footage when revising use rates using the online Excel version of the form.
Calculating Direct Costs
Note some specific calculation notes on the example:
Roll your mouse pointer over the highlighted areas to read explanations of how the salary and fringe figures were calculated.
Click the fringe benefit rates link to view the current rate document and save the link for future access.
F&A Costs on the CG-006 Form
The F&A Cost section of the form is displayed below with a link to the instructions (opens in new window or tab).
Why Calculate F&A Costs on the Rate Request Form?
Including F&A costs in the rate structure allows Service Centers to charge a higher rate to customers to cover their administrative/F&A costs.
Self-supportive accounts often save their F&A revenues to pay for future equipment purchases.
Before reviewing the CG006 form calculations, note the following requirements regarding equipment depreciation.
Self supportive service centers (account administered through the Controller's Office) can only use equipment purchased with the following funds:
Service Center Funds
Ledger 6, 7, or overhead receipt funds
Truly donated equipment
Lower half ledger 3 projects can use all funding sources in their equipment depreciation, with the exception of ledger 5.
Depreciation cannot be listed for equipment that is being used as Cost Sharing for a ledger 5 project.
We must subtract the amount of federal funding received to purchase any equipment before calculating any depreciation. (See example that follows.)
All equipment must have a valid Capital Asset Management (CAMS) ID number to be included in the rate form.
Equipment Depreciation Costs on the CG-006 Form
The Equipment Depreciation section of an example is displayed below with a link to the instructions (opens in new window or tab).
Costs Calculations on Page 2 of the CG-006 Form
The Equipment Depreciation section of an example is displayed below. Roll your mouse pointer over the highlighted section below to view an explanation of the calculations.
Building Depreciation Costs on the CG-006 Form
Before reviewing the Building Depreciation section example that follows, note the following basics concerning building depreciation:
The Building Depreciation charge is based on Current Year Building Depreciation cost (net of federal funding) multiplied by the percentage of building square footage occupied by the service center. (Example follows.)
Always check the most current campus buildings square footage (Excel or PDF) and depreciation (Excel or PDF) online charts (excerpts illustrated below) for the latest figures. The spreadsheets are updated annually and may contain some interim updates, so be sure to access the latest online version for current figures.
Room Square Footage must be confirmed from AERES (Architectural, Engineering and Real Estate Database). If you do not have access to AERES, please contact your College Service Center Contact or Shelia Fisher at the Contracts and Grants office to confirm the square footage.
Building Depreciation Example
The Building Depreciation section of an example is displayed below. Roll your mouse pointer over the highlighted section below to view an explanation of the calculations.
Determining Correct Square Footage
When entering the square footage allocated to a particular Service Center Use Rate, you must keep the following requirements in mind:
If the space is used for more than one activity, you must base the square footage on the percent of time spent on the particular service rather than any actual square footage of space used for the service.
Example 1: An 80 square foot space is being used for a number activities that include the following:
40% of time spent on internal college research activities
35% of time spent on teaching activities (required lab work for students)
25% of time spent on providing services to other university departments
The Service Center Use rate square footage would be 20 square feet (25% of 80 square feet).
You cannot allocate more than 100% of the actual square footage of a room that is used in the Service center calculation.
Example 2: A 100 square foot space is being used for 5 Service Center services (with 5 separate rates) and no other activities. Each activity uses virtually all of the space, but you must divide each square foot allocation based on the percentage of time used by each activity so that the total square footage does not exceed 100% of the room. Examples of two types of calculations follow:
20% of time spent on Rate 1 translates to 20 square feet
30% of time spent on Rate 2 translates to 30 square feet
20% of time spent on Rate 3 translates to 20 square feet
15% of time spent on Rate 4 translates to 15 square feet
15% of time spent on Rate 5 translates to 15 square feet
100% total translates to 100 square feet - or-
You could allocate 20 square feet (20% usage) to each rate if the usage was virtually equal among all five services.
Determining Physical Plant, General Administration, & Departmental Administration Costs
The final F&A section of the example is displayed below. Roll your mouse pointer over the highlighted section to view an explanation of the calculations.
Determining Utilization Rate
The final Use rate section of the example is displayed below. Roll your mouse pointer over the highlighted section to view an explanation of the calculations.
When the Office of Contracts and Grants approves Service Center rates for Ledger 5 projects, an approval memo is sent to the requestor and the College Contact is copied.
Click the sample memo on the left to get a closer view of an example of a rate approval notice.
Note the reminders of the fundamentals from the compliance chart at the beginning of this section.
Contact Shelia Fisher if you need assistance with the development of a Service Center Use Rate.
If your College Business Office cannot help on related questions
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