Self-Supporting Recharge Operations - Training Resources

University of California Davis Self-Supporting Recharge Operations - Training Resources



Self-Supporting Recharge Operation Forums

Event Date & Time Recording/Slides

**Upcoming** March'24 Self-Supporting Recharge Operations Forum (via Zoom)

Topics: Overview of key changes in Aggie Enterprise

March 25th, 2024


Fall - Quarterly Self-Supporting Recharge Operations Forum

(Topics: Depreciation, Annual Compliance, Defining Operational Subsidies)

September 12th, 2023 3pm-4:30pm

Spring - Self-Supporting Recharge Operations Forum 

(Topics:  Rate Workbook Tutorial, Q&A)

April 25, 2023, 9-10:30 am

Winter - Self-Supporting Recharge Operations Forum 

(Topics:  2023-24 Compensation Benefit Rates, Rate Proposal Best Practices and Workbook, Minimum Thresholds)

January 24, 2023, 9-10:30 am


Cores Connect - RCFP Monthly Forum

The Research Cores Facility Program offers a Cores Connect - RCFP Monthly Forum.   These forums are a great resource to Core Directors and Core Laboratory/Finance Managers and focus on operational best practices, strategic investments, and shared campus resources.  You can find additional information on upcoming and past forums by clicking here.


LMS Courses/Power Point Presentations

The following classes on budgetary topics will help you gain a further understanding of budget models and concepts. Please click on the link to SDPS for more information and to register for your course. 

Course Title


Link to LMS

Starting a Recharge Operation This course has been designed for units interested in starting a new recharge operation. It provides guidance for analyzing the viability of a potential recharge operation and steps for calculating expenses and rates.  Register
Intercampus Order/Charge/Interlocation Transfer of Funds Overview of the process for Intercampus/Interdepartmental Order/Charge (IOC) and Interlocation Transfer of Funds (ITF), including review of the request forms. Register
Business and Revenue Contracts Forum Overview of What Business & Revenue Contracts does, as well as the types of agreements they negotiate, process workflows, and online resources that can benefit anyone processing contacts. The forum will also discuss items that departments should verify prior to submitting agreements for Business & Revenue Contracts review and approval. Register


Glossary of Terms

Recharge Operations – Glossary of Terms


Frequently Asked Questions

  • How often should I review my rates?
  • You should review your rates annually to ensure you are within the 15% guideline. 

    As per PPM 340-25, recharge activities must operate on a break-even basis. Therefore, units must make every effort to ensure that a recharge activity does not generate a year-end deficit or surplus in excess of 15% of prior-year expenditures. If the activity is subject to seasonal fluctuations, then a calendar year or other twelve-month period may be used to evaluate the surplus or deficit.

  • What is the 15% guideline and how do you calculate it?
  • As per PPM 340-25, recharge activities must operate on a break-even basis. Therefore, units must make every effort to ensure that a recharge activity does not generate a year-end accumulated deficit or surplus in excess of 15% of prior-year expenditures. If the activity is subject to seasonal fluctuations, then a calendar year or other twelve-month period may be used to evaluate the surplus or deficit.
  • What if my activity exceeds the 15% guideline?
  • As per PPM 340-25, units must recover any surpluses or deficits that are in excess of 15% of the activity’s annual expenditures within three years.  If the plan to recover the surplus or deficit requires a rate change, then refer to the Rate Proposals & Modifications website.
  • What assessments are required to be charged to an external customer?
  • At minimum you must charge the NUD to all external customers.  Refer to the Account Establishment & Attributes website for more information.
  • What rate changes require recharge rate committee review and approval?
  • Any changes outside of the campus budget planning parameters require review and approval from the recharge rate committee. 

    At a minimum, rates must be reviewed annually and approved by your Dean (D)/Vice Provost (VP)/Vice Chancellor (VC) office to adjust for increased NUD, salary and benefits expenses.   Changes in volume, supplies, personnel, depreciation, etc. may require additional review and approval as outlined on the Authorization webpage.

  • When updating the rates to capture current salaries and CBR and the volume is modified, does this require BIA or CP&A approval?
  • Yes, this would qualify as a change to the calculation methodology.  Changes to volume should be based upon current trends or sound rationale as to what is driving the volume change(s) and consequent impact to calculated rate.

  • For only salary and benefits adjustments, only Dean/Vice Chancellor approval needed?
  • Correct.  Updates for salary, benefits & NUD can be made to an existing approved rate package and require only Dean/VC approval.  Please send copy of updated approval to

  • What is the best time to prepare a rate proposal and/or modification of rates?
  • Rates can be prepared/updated at any time. 

    Minimally, rates should be reviewed at least annually and updated at least bi-annually.  Budget planning parameters should be reviewed at the BIA Budget Process website.   Rate proposals that are requesting updates associated only with budget planning parameters (NUD, salary and benefit rates) should be submitted at least 2 months prior to implementation.  All other rate proposals, which require a full review, should be submitted four to six months prior to implementation.  

  • Any approval considerations if recharge operation is primarily external clients and minimal internal?
  • Recharge authorization is outlined on the recharge authorization website.

    No exclusions from policies and procedures, still rate based operations that must have appropriate methodology and ensure full cost recovery.  If the recharge operation has less than $50k to contracts & grants and less than $250k internal recharges then it falls under “Low-risk” activities and only requires Dean/VC Office approval.

    As with all approved recharge rates, copies should be sent to Dean/VC may request BIA/CP&A approval for any workbook regardless of the approval matrix. 

  • Is it possible to have a different rate for internal vs. external clients?
  • Yes.

    Recharge operations should have the same “Base Recharge Rate” calculation for internal and external clients unless subsidized (email if this situation applies to you).  External customers are obligated to pay the base rate plus NUD.  Additional “mark-up” can be added as well to ensure services are charged on par with market conditions. Every effort should be made to charge as much as the market will bear.   

  • For core users who have projected costs built into grants, is the recharge unit required to use those rates?
  • No. Recharge units are obligated to recover full cost of providing services and are not held to award budgets.  That said, Recharge units are expected to give customers at least a 30-day notice of any rate increases.  Additionally, Users are obligated to build in annual rate increases to award budgets consistent with planning parameters and/or guidance provided by Office of Research. Depending upon sponsor policy, users may be able to re-budget to fulfill project needs.    

  • Is it possible to collect advance payments from external clients?
  • Yes.

    Cores that collect advance payments on a regular basis should establish a deferred income account to collect and track advance payments.  Cores without a deferred income account must follow fiscal close guidance of deferred income.     

  • If a core director salary is subsidized and is not included in internal recharge rates, can it be charged externally?
  • Yes.  Recharge rates to external entities should reflect the unsubsidized, full cost of goods/services being provided.  If some costs are funded from other funds sources via a subsidy, it should only benefit internal UC and UCD customers.  UCD resources should not subsidize external customers including other higher ed institutions outside of the UC system.  Please contact the recharge helpdesk ( for support ensuring the external rates are properly calculated for external customers. 

  • What is the best way to handle multi-year maintenance agreements that skew annual compliance because the expenses hit every other year or infrequently?
  • Rates should be constructed with the appropriate average annual costs that include covering any maintenance agreements.  Agreements that hit infrequently should be described on the Recharge Operation Form (line 38) in advance.

    Annual 193 compliance reporting flags due only to timing of maintenance agreement expenses can be classified as timing issue and will not require an action plan, assuming rate package is appropriately documented and ledger details support this conclusion.

    An Auxiliary Voucher may be used to defer or accrue income/expenses if over $10K

    Click here for more information.