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1. Service Center Charges and Costs

The treatment of service center costs by CMA for purposes of indirect cost submissions is summarized below. It is provided as a framework as to how service center operations affect the calculation of F&A (indirect) cost rates at Stanford.

  • All service center charges become a part of the purchasing account's (the user's) Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) base for Facilities & Administrative (F&A) [also known as indirect cost (IDC)] calculation purposes, except for Specialized Service Facility (SSF) centers. For example, a service center charge to a Instruction PTA becomes a part of the Instruction and Departmental Research (I&DR) MTDC base, or the Departmental Administration (DA) cost pool. A service center charge to a Sponsored PTA becomes a part of the Organized Research MTDC base. Thus, service center charges draw their share of F&A as a part of the cost objective to which their service was rendered.
  • A Specialized Service Facility's, the VSC, charges are excluded from MTDC, because its charges already include F&A (indirect) cost allocations.
  • Service center net balances at year-end (the amount carried forward into their next year's rates) are ignored in the F&A Cost Study and Proposal processes.
  • A General Funds' subsidy of an administrative service center's greater than 5% loss is included in the other Institutional Activity (OIA) MTDC base in that year's F&A Cost Study.
  • Operating subsidies of academic service centers are transferred to the OIA base.  
  • All service center equipment, including equipment used by the service center but not depreciated to the service center (subsidized), is removed from the equipment F&A pool (as identified in Sunflower).
  • Indirect costs included in administrative service center billings to external users are offset against indirect cost pool expenses in the Cost Study.
  • Academic external billings are recorded in either designated accounts or sponsored accounts. Designated accounts are included in the OIA MTDC base. Sponsored accounts are included in the appropriate MTDC base, based on the account function code.
  • The Government is credited in the F&A Cost Study for unallowable costs included in service center rates charged by academic and administrative service centers to non-sponsored PTAs.
  • The Government portion of any accumulated deficit or surplus remaining at the end of a service center's Long Term Agreement period is adjusted in the F&A Cost Study. This amount is determined from the annual LTA service center reports. (Or the service center's balance may be rolled forward, if within compliance or if the LTA is extended or renegotiated.)

2. Coding of Service Center Space

Coding of service center space should follow the guidelines in the Space Inventory Manual for the current fiscal year.

Depending upon who its main users are, academic service center space will usually be coded to Instruction, Departmental Research, Organized Research, or occasionally, Departmental Administration. In order to determine the appropriate Space Inventory function code and its percentage of use, service centers must perform the following steps:

  1. Identify the room(s) where the service center activity occurs.
  2. Calculate the total square footage (ASF) occupied by the service center.
  3.  If the total from step 2 is less than 2,000 ASF, you may code the room(s) identified in step 1 100% Departmental Administrative [A(100)].
  4. If the total from step 2 is greater than 2,000 ASF, an analysis of the service center’s revenues must be performed. The percentage of revenues by activity, e.g., Instruction, Organized Research, Non-Stanford entity, of the total revenue will determine the percentage of use by Function Code for the space occupied.

Administrative service center space is coded to either G&A or O&M, depending upon the service center's organizational affiliation. There is a separate category of space coding for Specialized Service Facility service centers. Service center managers should contact the CMA Space Analyst for assistance regarding the coding of service center space.