format_list_bulleted Topic Overview


Receivables represent money due to Stanford. There are multiple types of receivables related to the various activities conducted by the university.  Some receivables may be related to sponsored projects, while others may be tied to a type of fee for service arrangement.  

This page provides an overview of how the various types of receivables collected by the university are managed.

Sponsored Projects are externally-funded activities in which a formal written agreement (e.g., a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement) is entered into by Stanford University and by the sponsor. A sponsored project may be thought of as a transaction in which there is a specified statement of work with a related, reciprocal transfer of something of value.

Sponsored Receivables Management (SRM) provides support for cash and receivables management for sponsored projects with the focus of maintaining a steady cash flow for the university. SRM submits the bill to the sponsor and processes payment once it is received. SRM is responsible for collecting any unpaid amounts.

For more information visit the Sponsored Receivables Management section of the Office of Research Administration website.

A service center is an organizational unit that provides a specific service or product, or a group of services or products, to users principally within the Stanford academic and administrative community.

All billings to external users outside of Stanford for direct cost transactions are sent out as invoices issued by the Sponsored Receivables Management (SRM) office in the Office of Research Administration (ORA). The amounts to be billed are entered by service centers via allocation journals which charge the receivable PTA and credit the service center account. SRM then submits the bill to the external user and processes payment once it is received. 

Award Managers and Department Administrators are responsible for following up on collections for service center receivables with Award Type REC_SERVICE_CENTERS. SRM provides aging reports to service centers on a monthly basis. 

Program Income is gross income earned by Stanford that is directly generated by a supported activity of a federal award or earned as a result of the federal award during the award’s period of performance. Sources of program income include, but are not limited to:

  • fees for services performed under the award
  • the use or rental of real or personal property acquired under federal awards
  • the sale of commodities or items fabricated under a federal award
  • principal and interest on loans made with federal award funds

Award Managers and Department Administrators are responsible for following up on collections for program income with Award Type REC_PROGRAM_INCOME. The Sponsored Receivables Management (SRM) office in the Office of Research Administration (ORA) provides aging reports to service centers on a monthly basis. 

Miscellaneous receivables are generally associated with fee-for-service agreements that are associated with community-outreach and/or public benefit activities. These activities include hosting summer camps for children, use of Stanford facilities for non-Stanford events (e.g., an external entity renting Memorial Auditorium for a private event) or the billing of utility services provided by the university to homeowners who live on the campus. There is no specific academic work product that would be produced as a result of one of these agreements. Indirect costs may or may not be required with a Miscellaneous Receivables Agreement. Many of these types of agreements will be facilitated by a Stanford department such as Conference Services or Land, Buildings & Real Estate (LBRE).

A signed Miscellaneous Receivables User Agreement is required when requesting a new Miscellaneous Accounts Receivable PTA in PTA Manager.

In PTA Manager, the award types associated with miscellaneous receivables are:


Miscellaneous receivables are managed by the General Accounting department within Financial Management Services.

Non-sponsored service agreements, similar to miscellaneous receivables, are fee-for-service agreements that are associated with community outreach and/or public benefit activities. Service agreements differ from miscellaneous receivables because the activities associated with a service agreement must be conducted under the direction of a member of the academic council or Medical Center Line (MCL) faculty. Service agreements are limited to two-year durations, and must be signed by a school’s dean’s office representative. Most non-sponsored service agreements will be subject to the non-sponsored receivables indirect cost rate. Non-sponsored Service Agreement Receivables are managed by the General Accounting team within Financial Management Services.

For information regarding PTA setup, charging expenses and invoicing, see How To: Request New Service Agreement PTA.

For policy and guidance to faculty who provide certain services to non-Stanford entities for projects that do not meet the definition of sponsored projects or gifts, refer to Research Policy Handbook (RPH) section 13.7 Service Agreements.

The Mortgages Receivables department within Financial Management Services (FMS) is responsible for oversight of mortgages issued by the university's Faculty Staff Housing Office to eligible faculty, staff and clinician educators. The Mortgages Receivables department issues mortgage interest 1098 forms annually and collaborates with Payroll on deducting monthly mortgage payments from borrower paychecks. Mortgages Receivables is also responsible for the monthly invoicing of ground rent and water bills for select faculty and staff who own homes located on the main Stanford campus. Mortgage eligibility and specific loan terms are determined by the Stanford Faculty Staff Housing office.  

When recording university gifts, a distinction is made between an intention to give and an unconditional promise to give (pledges). Intentions to give are non-binding and not recorded as assets. Unconditional promises to give are considered binding, and therefore, are recorded as assets. If it is clear that a communication from a donor is clearly an unconditional promise to give, then it would be recorded as a receivable and contribution revenue, regardless of whether or not it is legally enforceable.

Learn more about Donor Gifts and Recording Gifts.

Last Updated: Aug 2, 2023