Within SAP, a cost object can be either a cost center or a WBS element.
Cost Centers. Cost centers are used to track revenue and expenses for state aided (non-revolving and revolving) and auxiliary funds. Within a department, multiple cost centers may be set up to break down expenses by project or activity.
State aided funds are those which are under the control and discretion of the University to use in achieving its educational purposes. Non-revolving state aided funds represent annually budgeted funds supported primarily by tax appropriations and tuition and fee revenue. Revolving state aided funds represent self-supporting activities where the balances roll forward from year to year such as lab fees and clinic/workshop revenues.
Auxiliary funds are supplementary to the primary educational function of the University and include such activities as the residence halls, food service, intercollegiate athletics, the student union, and the computer store.
Cost centers are 10 digit numbers with the following visual recognition built into the numbering system:
WBS Elements. WBS elements are used to track revenues and expenses for a grant or contract, agency or plant project. A Project can have one or many WBS elements depending on the degree of segregation or breakdown desired.
Grant or contract funds are generally restricted by donors or other outside agencies as to the specific purpose for which they may be expended.
Agency funds include funds held by the University as custodian or fiscal agent for others.
Plant funds are used to purchase, construct or renovate long-life assets such as land, land improvements, buildings and equipment.
WBS elements are 13 digit numbers with the following visual recognition built into the numbering system:
Requesting a New Cost Center or WBS Element. When a department wants to establish a new cost center, the Cost Center Information Sheet must be completed (including required signatures) and forwarded to the Accounting Manager in the Finance Office. The Finance Office will create the new cost center in SAP and notify the Department of the cost center number by email.
When a department wants to establish a new WBS element, a grant or contractual agreement that outlines terms and requirements must be obtained. All such agreements must be signed by the Vice Chancellor for Business & Finance. In addition, the WBS Element Information Sheet and the WBS Element Plan Summary must be completed. The two forms along with a copy of the signed grant agreement are forwarded to the Office of Sponsored Programs. The Director of Sponsored Programs signs the WBS Element Information Sheet and forwards the documentation to the Finance Office. The Finance Office will create the new WBS element in SAP and notify the Department of the WBS element number by email. For further information regarding accounting for restricted grants and contracts, refer to Grants Accounting.