The general best practice for a core facility is to ensure that:
i) The costs of providing a service are allowable, allocable, consistently applied and reasonable; ii) The rates established to recover these costs are documented and systematically evaluated against actual cost and revised on a regular basis to reflect actual costs; iii) These rates are charged to all users on a consistent basis, regardless of funding source(s) and employing a principle of “one service, one rate”.
a. Can a core facility accumulate profit?
No. Any operating surplus must be applied overall to reduce the rates charged to all users. In general, core facilities are expected to operate in a revenue neutral manner, recovering only their cost of providing service.
b. How often do cores bill for usage?
Billing should occur at regular intervals to assure timely and accurate accounting and cost recovery. The ZMF generally bills on a quarterly basis, but other cycles can be implemented as appropriate.