format_list_bulleted Topic Overview

Auxiliaries and Service Centers

Auxiliaries are self-funded entities that support the university's teaching and research mission. Revenue is generated from the services provided to faculty, students, staff and the Stanford community in their personal capacity.
Service centers are organizational units of the university that provide a specific service, group of services, or products to users principally within the university. Their source of revenue is direct charges to users for their services and/or products based on a nondiscriminatory rate. Service center revenue must be no more and no less than the estimated aggregate cost of the service or product over a fiscal year (an over- or under- recovery that is within 5% of total expenses is allowed for nonacademic service centers, and within 15% for academic service centers). Refer to the Service Center Manual on the DoResearch website for more information.

For information about the concept of a fund and all fund types, refer to Topic Overview: Fund Types.

All spending of funds is guided by a common set of principles found at Proper Use of Funds. Additional considerations for Service Centers and Auxiliaries are described on this page.

Auxiliaries include Residential & Dining Enterprises and the Department of Athletics.
Many service centers are within a school or department, usually serving specific client groups or needs, most often instruction and research. Most service centers are of this type, and are run on a fiscal year breakeven basis. These centers provide services ranging from shops and labs, to specialized computer facilities, to departmental radiology centers.

Meeting the requirements of matching revenue to expense in a fiscal period may require timely action to recognize revenue or make adjustments in order to account for activity which has occurred but has not posted in the period. Refer to Policy: Revenue Recognition - Auxiliaries and Service Centers as well as How to: Create an Accounts Payable (AP) Accrual Journal and How to: Create an Accounts Receivable (AR) Accrual Journal for more information.

To support reporting requirements for Auxiliaries & Service Centers, there are several OBI reports available:

For information about OBI, Refer to OBI Financial Reporting.

Last Updated: Aug 17, 2020