Billing Procedures

Service center billings should be based on actual usage of the service center at the approved rates. All users of a service center must be billed at the same approved rates. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Unfunded researchers
  • Graduate students working on their thesis
  • Students working on coursework
  • Users in the home department of the service center
  • Users in other University departments/schools
  • Users external to the University
  • Users associated with the service center (service center director, staff)

Billings for goods and services provided to UMB projects that are externally funded should be charged to those sponsored projects. All other billings to internal University users should be to a non-sponsored chartstring. External users may have surcharges and/or taxes added on to their billings. See section below on billing external users.


Internal billings must occur after the goods and services are provided. Pre-billing internal users is not allowed. All billings should be performed timely (at least once a month). Untimely billings may result in attempts to charge sponsored agreements that have ended, making recovery of the service center charge impossible. If this occurs because the billing was not performed the month after the service was performed, then the home department of the service center must absorb this charge.

Internal vs. External Customers

Service centers are established to provide goods and services to primarily internal customers. However, service centers may sell to external customers if resources are available and when those goods or services are directly and substantially related to the mission of the University. For purposes of this policy, internal and external customers are defined as follows:

Internal Customer: Any customer who pays with an eUMB chartstring.


External Customer: Any customer not using an eUMB chartstring for payment. This includes other University of Maryland campuses, on-campus affiliates (e.g., University of Maryland Medical System, University Physicians, Veterans Affairs), students, and non-University residents of the BioPark.

Collecting Internal Billing Information

At the time the customer requests goods or services from the service center, the service center should have a mechanism in place to obtain billing information. For internal customers, this should include the full eUMB chartstring (Fund, Project ID, Department, Program, and PCBU) and an authorizing signature. 

The BIORESCO core has a service available to all service centers on campus. This service will post your rate schedule on the web and allow users to order your service (collecting the appropriate charging information) from a web interface. This billing data will then be interfaced monthly with eUMB.  To view the website, go to http://medschool.umaryland.edu/core/bioresco.asp. For information on using this service, please contact Carol McKissick at 410-706-0322.

Maintaining Supporting Documentation

As the goods and services are provided, a log should be kept by the personnel supplying the goods or providing the service. These logs will be used to complete the billings, estimate volumes for future rate calculations, and provide documentation for the billings.

These logs should be retained by the service center for a period of at least three years. If the service center is under audit from an external source, this period will be extended until the audit is complete.

Retention of the data generated as a result of the services performed by the service center is the responsibility of the user of the service center.

Performing Billing Entries in eUMB - Internal Customers

Internal billings are performed using a journal entry. (A User Productivity Kit (UPK) is available on the campus portal to demonstrate how to perform a journal entry.) These billings should be performed according to the Internal Billing Policy. See the Internal Billing Policy at http://www.fincsvc.umaryland.edu/policies.cfm. This journal entry should be performed at least monthly for all goods and services provided in the previous month. This journal entry should be based on the usage logs and previously collected billing information.

For service centers, this journal entry should credit the service center chartstring in account 0998 - "Internal Services" and should debit the customer chartstring in either account 3751 - "Services - Internal" if a service has been provided or account 3999 - "Supplies/other - Internal" if a good has been provided. 

Specialized service facilities will have specific expense account codes established for their billings. Therefore, specialized service facilities billings should credit account 0998 - "Internal Services" in the specialized service facilities chartstring and debit the customer chartstring in the expense account code established for their operation. UMB procards should not be accepted as payment from internal customers.

Sales to External Parties

Sales to external parties have the inherent risk of nonpayment as well as the risk of tax liability. Therefore, service centers need approval from their Dean's Office to sell to external parties. 

Sales to non-federal, external users can be charged at rates in excess of the approved rate schedule. It is never appropriate to charge an external user at a rate less than the approved rate. It is up to each service center to determine the surcharge, if any, it wishes to assess to its non-federal, external customers. Surcharges should be applied consistently to all external customers so that the amount of total surcharges recovered can be easily determined. The revenue generated from this surcharge may be used to:

  • Offset the costs of billing external customers (credit card fees, billing costs, bad debts)
  • Offset the costs charged to internal users
  • Reserve for future equipment purchases, or
  • Build an operating reserve for the service center

If the surcharge is to be used to fund equipment purchases, these surcharges should be transferred to the equipment chartstring. This transfer should be accomplished through a journal entry using account 0507 on both the debit and the credit side of the journal entry. Surcharges used for other purposes should remain in the service center chartstring.

To minimize the risk of bad debt, the service cente rshould obtain one of the following before performing the service or delivering the goods:

  • A purchase order issued by the purchasing company
  • A credit card number (UMB One Card), or
  • Advance payment in the form of cash or check

NOTE: Internal users should never be billed in advance or charged a surcharge.

Recording Cash and Credit Card Payments

Cash or checks received for payment should be deposited as soon as possible through the University's Cashier's Office. 

A service center that will have significant credit card receipts should work with the Bursar in the Student Accounts Office in Financial Services, extension 6-2929, to obtain their own credit card processing equipment. If the credit card volume will not be significant, Student Accounts may be able to direct you to a related operation in your school that has credit card processing equipment that could be used.

All deposits should be coded to the service center's chartstring in account 0507 -Services - Non-University Users.

Billing External Customers

External sales not collected in advance or paid by credit card should be billed using the University's Central Billing System. This includes billings to other state agencies. See the Central Billing System policy at http://www.fincsvc.umaryland.edu/images/CentralBilling.pdf.   This system automates the tracking of outstanding invoices, keeps an aging of the accounts receivable, and sends dunning letters as necessary. Customers will remit payment to a lock box and the payments will be applied automatically. Questions regarding this system should be directed to the Manager of Quality Assurance, 6-6554.

Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) Issues

UMB is a tax-exempt organization. If a tax-exempt organization regularly carries on a trade or business that is not substantially related to its exempt purpose, the organization is subject to tax on its income from that unrelated trade or business. If there is no profit on the activity, the University is still subject to unrelated business income tax reporting even though there may be no tax expense. 

Therefore, a service center must notify the Associate Director of Financial Services prior to engaging in external sales. Financial Services will determine if the services being provided are related to our tax-exempt purposes of teaching, research, and/or patient care. Requests for approval should be sent to the Associate Director of Financial Services, 6-2509.

Sales Tax Issues

The sale of goods to external parties also could trigger the need to collect state sales tax. If a service center is providing goods as opposed to services, the service center should work with Financial Services prior to selling to external parties.

External Service Center Sales vs. Sponsored Agreement

Normal service center sales to external parties do not require a contract approved by the Office of Research and Development (ORD). Normal service center sales include performance of routine services or services that are customized based on customer requests. However, if the work being performed includes any of the following activities or issues, a formal sponsored agreement, approved by ORD, should be negotiated:

  • UMB faculty and/or staff is involved in the design of the tests being performed
  • UMB faculty and/or staff will provide an analysis of the results*
  • If UMB wants to retain ownership of the data
  • If the work involves  classified information
  • If UMB wants to retain publication rights
  • If there are potential intellectual property issues

*The exception to this requirement is when elementary, basic analyses are conducted for quality-control purposes to ensure accuracy and usability of the raw data produced by a service center and is part of the basic services provided. This type of analysis does not involve detailed analyses nor draw conclusions from the generated raw data. For example, in the case of DNA sequencing raw data are analyzed to ensure accuracy. The same is true when microarray data are analyzed for quality control measures.