Collection of Costs

All costs related to a service center must be charged directly to the service center chartstring. This includes:

  • Salaries and benefits of employees of the service center in proportion to their effort expended on service center activities
  • Supplies
  • Purchased services (maintenance contracts, telephone service, etc.)
  • Personnel training costs
  • Software
  • Minor equipment (<$5,000)
  • Equipment depreciation (see the following section)

It is important that all costs are identified to the service center operation, even if the revenue generated by the service center will not be enough to cover the total cost of providing the service. This may mean that the service center chartstring has a deficit balance. See the section on Review Procedures for procedures on how deficits are funded.

Costs that are not related to the operation of the service center cannot be charged to the service center chartstring. In other words, service center billings cannot be used to fund expenses not related to the service center.

Unallowable Costs

Since the cost associated with a service center are passed through to grants and contracts through the service center billings, all costs incurred by the service center must be allowable according to Section J of OMB Circular A-21. OMB Circular A-21 can be found at

Administrative Costs

Administrative costs associated with the service center should be charged directly to the service center chartstring. This would include such things as telephone costs, salary costs of administrative personnel, postage, copies, and office supplies. These costs must be related to the administration of the service center (billing, preparing rate schedules, etc.).

Specialized Service Facilities

Specialized service facilities (>$1,000,000 in internal billings) must recover the cost of the facilities they occupy through their rates. Therefore, specialized service facilities will be charged an amount per square foot depending upon the building they occupy. Cost Analysis and Studies will calculate this charge and charge the specialized service facility on a quarterly basis. Service centers (<$1,000,000 in internal billings) will not receive a facilities charge.