Recharge centers are Washington University operating units that provide products and services for a fee, primarily to other WashU departments. Recharge centers recover their costs through charges to benefiting users. In some cases, these services/products may also be offered to external (non-WashU) customers.

Examples of services/products offered include, but are not limited to: novel technologies; equipment; sample and data collections; informatics; analysis tools; consultation, evaluation, specialized technical training, and expertise. The provision of these services/products is the primary function of the recharge center.  Accomplishment of that function requires certain administrative duties that are outlined below.

Recharge Center Types
Roles & Responsibilities
Annual Review
Maintaining Accounting Records
Setting Up a Recharge Center

Recharge Center Types

Recharge Center (RC)

University operating units that provide goods and services, and have total annual revenue (internal and external) of less than $2 million. The establishment of a recharge center should be coordinated with the Cost Analysis Office.  

  • Include direct costs in rates
  • Include equipment depreciation (optional)

Specialized Service Facility (SSF)

University operating units that provide highly complex services, primarily to other university departments, and have total annual revenue (internal and external) of more than $2 million. The establishment of such a facility requires coordination with school, institutional administrative offices, and the Cost Analysis Office

  • Specialized service or product
  • Include direct cost in rates
  • Include equipment depreciation
  • Include building depreciation, interest, and Operations & Maintenance (O&M)

Roles & Responsibilities

Center Personnel

  • Comply with RC/SSF policies and procedures
  • Develop and administer annual budget
  • Prepare schedule of rates and maintain supporting documentation
  • Submit rate schedule and supporting documentation to the Cost Analysis Department on an annual basis  
  • Generate and distribute invoices for service activity provided to users
  • Maintain sufficient and accurate documentation for RC/SSF activities
  • Communicate and provide RC/SSF information to division/department/school management, as necessary
  • Support data requests, audit requests, and other reviews that may occur
  • Provide advice and consultation to RC and SSF Managers about compliance with University policies
  • Support data requests, audit requests, and other reviews that may occur

Division/Department/School Personnel

  • Provide oversight and support to RC and SSF Managers
  • Facilitate communications to WashU faculty and staff about RC/SSF rates and billing issues
  • Manage accounts, program income and other financial responsibilities


Washington University Policies

Federal Policies

The government monitors, by routine audits, the University’s compliance with federal regulations regarding recharge centers. The WashU Recharge Center Policy helps assure that WashU consistently applies sound cost accounting practices and complies with the regulations. To minimize the consequences of non-compliance with regulations, it is important that recharge centers comply with all policies.

Identifying the Cost Elements Related to Service/Product

Annual Review

Cost Analysis will provide financial statements no later than October 31st for the previous FY.

  • Centers should provide an explanation of any surplus
  • Centers should provide the following before the end of the FY for the subsequent FY: Asset and Depreciation List, Rate Schedule, Rate Calculations
  • Cost Analysis requires applicable centers to submit Asset Listings to claim Depreciation Expenses

Workday Reports

  • RPT6778 – Recharge Center Financial Statement
  • RPT6780 – Specialized Service Facility Financial Statement    
  • RPT6163 – Unallocable Spend Categories list

Maintaining Accounting Records

See Research Data/Record Retention Requirements for information on the records requirements for different funding sources.

See the WashU Records Management Policy for university record retention and disposal policies.

Setting Up a Recharge Center

ISP Entity Creation Process


Consult IDC and SPA groups

  • Requires completion of Recharge Center Checklist
  • Initiate discussion to determine if it is a generic ISP, Recharge Center, or Program Income
  • Formal approval from SPA, IDC, and Workday FIN Core Team must be obtained prior to creation of worktags.


Fill out FDM Change Form

  • Make sure to include ISP, Program Income, or Recharge Center in description

See the Workday Create Request: New ISP Tutorial for step-by-step directions.

Workday FIN Core Team

Cost Center Setup

  • Mutually exclusive Business Unit and Cost Center will be created for Recharge Center and Program Income
  • Update cost center subtype to appropriate value
  • Will also need to know the default revenue categories

Customer Accounts

ISP Setup

  • ISP Admin can now be assigned
  • Will use unique Cost Center and default revenue categories determined in previous step
  • Will use unique business unit and subtype if necessary
Acronym Key

FDM: Foundation Data Model
IDC: InDirect Cost
ISP: Internal Service Provider
SPA: Sponsored Projects Accounting
Workday FIN Core Team: Workday Finance Core Team