Button to scroll to the top of the page.
  • Service Centers are regulated by the Office of Accounting's Costing section. To view the OA's information on Service Centers, please visit the Handbook of Business Procedures, Part 10.2 Service Center Policy Summary.
  • The primary purpose for establishing a Service Center is to allow for the recovery of costs incurred for goods and services required to support sponsored research programs or academic needs.
  • Service Centers must meet the following criteria:
    • Operate on a break-even basis
    • Act as an ongoing activity, not a one-time distribution of expenses
    • Comply with both University accounting policies and federal guidelines
  • Service Center can provide services to external customers with approval of the Provost's Office. However, the University is not allowed to subsidize external customers. External rates are based on total operating costs and the rate must include the 26.5% institutional surcharge used to cover institutional facilities and administrative expenses.
  • A guarantee account must be designated for the payment of unrecovered expenses or uncollected revenues. This account cannot be a sponsored project 26-account.
  • Balances are reviewed annually by Costing and Analysis to determine if the Service Center is operating within the allowable effective balance threshold.
  • Rates are updated on a biennial basis and must be approved by Costing and Analysis.


  • To establish a Service Center:
    1. The unit administrator must submit a proposal to the Department chair for approval.
    2. The approved proposal should then be routed to the Dean's Office or sent by email to financials@cns.utexas.edu.
    3. The Associate Dean for Research and Facilities and the CNS CUBO Representative will each sign the proposal after it has been reviewed for accuracy.
    4. The proposal will be emailed to Costing and Analysis for final approval and processing.
  • Annual review:
    1. After the close of the fiscal year, Costing and Analysis works with the Budget Office to obtain Service Center balances.
    2. Costing and Analysis will contact the Dean's Office regarding Service Centers that have balances outside of the acceptable limits.
    3. The Dean's Office will contact the unit administrator to provide justification for the deficit or surplus balance.
    4. The Dean's Office will then review and forward the justification to Costing and Analysis by the deadline provided.
    5. Any follow up required by Costing and Analysis will be handled by the unit administrator through the Dean's Office.
  • Rate changes (including biennial rate updates):
    1. Two forms are provided by Costing and Analysis:
      1. Single Rate Request Package (Excel document)
      2. Multiple Rate Request Package (Excel document)
    2. The form must be reviewed and signed by the Service Center manager and the Department chair.
    3. The signed form should then be routed to the Dean's Office or sent by email to financials@cns.utexas.edu.
    4. The Associate Dean for Research and Facilities will approve and sign the request after it has been reviewed.
    5. The CNS CUBO Representative will then approve and sign the form after it has been reviewed.
    6. The approved request will be sent by email to oa.sc@austin.utexas.edu for final approval and processing.

CNS Dean's Office Contact: financials@cns.utexas.edu 

Service Center information from Office of Accounting.

Service Center Manual from Office of Accounting. (PDF document)

 Last Modified: 15 November 2022