Self-Supporting Recharge Operations - Reserves

University of California Davis Self-Supporting Recharge Operations - Reserves

Self-supporting activities may be eligible to collect reserve funds for replacement and renewal of equipment, improvement, and/or general reserves to support the activities' operations.  Please read through the descriptions and eligibility below for each type of reserve to determine which type of reserve best fits your activities operation.


Reserve for Replacement and Renewal (Depreciation)

Reserve for replacement and renewal are self-supporting activity funds that are set aside for future replacement of existing equipment depreciated within the activities' rate structure.    Reserve for replacement and renewal funds are generated when the depreciation expense of an eligible asset is built into the rates.

Asset Eligibility

Assets meeting all of the following criteria are eligible for depreciation under a self-supporting fund:

  • Meet the requirements in Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM) 340-25, Recharge Activities
  • Were included as part of an approved rate
  • Have an acquisition value of $5,000 or more
  • Were purchased with non-federal funds (If commingled, only the non-federal portion is eligible)
  • Were not included in a Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost pool. If you do not know if the equipment is included in an F&A cost pool, contact Costing Policy & Analysis.

Depreciation is effective from the asset's capitalization date (i.e., the date the item is put into service for the activity). In most cases, the capitalization date is the same as the asset's received date. When you enter the Received Date into the Capital Asset Management System (CAMS), the same date defaults into the Capitalization Date field. Only Equipment Management can change the capitalization date.

Asset Tracking

Depreciable assets for self-supporting activities are tracked separately from non-depreciable assets by recording them in their own unique Asset Custodial Code. Custodial Codes for depreciable assets belonging to self-supporting activities begin with a "D" and have "DEPR" in their name. You can request a self-supporting custody code by completing the Custodial Code Request Form.  If you have access to FIS Decision Support (DS), you can see your activity's depreciation by entering your custody code into the Depreciation Report (KFS) (379) query.

When you purchase a depreciable asset for your self-supporting activity, be sure to assign it to your "D" Custodial Code on your requisition. If you don't do this, depreciation will not occur. 

If you have existing equipment that will now be used for a self-supporting activity, transfer it to your D custody code in CAMS. General Accounting will also ask you for documentation that the equipment has been approved in your rate. If the equipment hasn't been approved yet, documentation of the proposed rate change may suffice.

When assets are added to custody codes specific to self-supporting depreciating assets (i.e., the custody codes begin with a D), operating and depreciation accounts should be communicated to General Accounting via the  

Calculating Depreciation Cost

Depreciation is determined using this formula:

Depreciation Total = Asset Value - Salvage Value - Federal Amount * Utilization %.

(Note: Rarely does an activity include salvage value but if it does it can be up to 10% of the asset value).

The depreciation total is then divided by the asset's useful life, as determined by the Useful Life Schedule. For example, an item with a depreciation total of $12,000 and a useful life of 10 years will depreciate $1,200 per year.

General Accounting typically depreciates assets monthly using Object Consolidation SB75 – Depr (specifically object code 7238 – Depreciation). In addition, your equipment reserve account ledgers would be credited as assets depreciate each month.

By exception, it may be possible to follow a useful life schedule other than that provided by UCOP. Provide Costing Policy & Analysis with the property numbers and your basis for requesting an exception (e.g., institutional experience) before purchasing the asset. If an exception is granted, inform General Accounting.

Purchasing Replacement Equipment

When buying an item to replace a fully depreciated asset, create a Requisition (REQS) document in KFS. On the REQS, use your Reserve for Renewal and Replacement account (i.e., belongs to fund 76xxx). In addition, use your department's custody code for your depreciable assets (it should begin with a D and have DEPR in the name).

If the item being replaced cost more than the reserve amount collected to replace it, an additional fund source should be provided on the requisition for the difference.  Appropriate funds sources for the additional cost include general reserves and other department discretionary funding.

The item being replaced can continue to be used by the activity but will not continue to be depreciated. 

If the new depreciation amount results in an increase in the rate, the rate immediately should be updated immediately. 

Asset End of Use or End of Depreciable Life

When an asset has fully depreciated, there are three options:

  • If it is still being used for the activity, it remains on the depreciable assets custody code; no further depreciation occurs.
  • If it is no longer being used for the activity, but can still be used by your department, transfer it to a custody code for non-depreciating assets, via an Asset Transfer Global (ATG) document in KFS.
  • If it is no longer needed for the activity and your department no longer has a use for it, follow the AggieSurplus instructions for equipment disposal.

What happens when an asset is no longer needed for the activity?

If your asset is still depreciating and is no longer being used for your self-supporting activity, inform General Accounting so that depreciation of the asset can be stopped. Please note that once the depreciation process stops, it won't be restarted for the asset. For example, we don't "turn off" depreciation for one month and resume it the next.

If the asset can still be used by your department, transfer it to a custody code for non-depreciating assets, via an Asset Transfer Global (ATG) document in KFS; otherwise, follow the AggieSurplus instructions for equipment disposal.


Reserve for Improvement (RFI)

Reserve for Improvement (RFI) funds are self-supporting activity funds that are set aside for future use. They can be used to fund capital projects, repay working capital loans, purchase additional equipment, buy upgraded or enhanced equipment, and pay for major maintenance and repairs (not annual). They can also be used to cover a deficit in your operating account.

RFI can be included in the rate as long as the amount of recharges to federal (including federal flow-thru) funds is less than 15% of your total customer revenue. It's important to note that this only applies to recharges. In other words, if you recharge an NIH grant, RFI is disallowed; however, if you invoice NIH (meaning NIH is an external customer), RFI is allowed.  For more information about RFI please click here.


General Reserve

General reserve funds are self-supporting activity funds that are set aside for future use. They can be used to fund costs related to the recharge activity such as unexpected expenses, operational deficits, etc.  General reserve funds do not have the same restrictions as operational funds or other reserve funds.  General reserve funds are derived from excess departmental NUD and/or markup and are not included in the rate as a specific cost.   Only those activities not operating in a deficit are eligible to move the excess departmental NUD and/or markup to the reserve account.  


General Reserve Distribution

Departments must notify, at least annually, to process the reserve distribution by referencing the fund number, reserve account number and calculated amount of excess departmental NUD and/or markup to be moved.