Policy Notes: Use of PTAs

Policy notes contained on this page pertain to the PTA Request Process. For each type of PTA, policy notes include information about authorized use, approved funding source(s), other requirements and PTA close restrictions.

On this page:

Primary Policy Sources: Administrative Guide Policy 3.1.3 Expenditure Accounts (PTAs)

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Auxiliary PTAs

  • Authorized Use:  To record accounting for Auxiliary Enterprises that support the University's teaching and research mission (i.e., Housing and Dining Services, Stanford University Press, and Department of Athletics)
  • Approved Funding Source(s):  Income generated by the auxiliary activity
  • Other Requirements:  None
  • PTA Close Restrictions:  Can be closed at any time during the fiscal year
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Capital Asset Project PTAs

  • Authorized Use:  To capture expenditures related to facilities projects
  • Approved Funding Source(s):  Multiple sources of funding are allowed (e.g., gifts, departmental funds, University restricted funds, University facility reserves, debt, and Stanford Infrastructure Program funds)
  • Other Requirements:  A copy of the Facilities Form I, approved by the Department of Land and Building, must be submitted with the Capital Assets Projects PTA Setup Form.
  • PTA Close Restrictions:  Can be closed after the Capital Accounting Department reconciles any outstanding commitments.
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Cost Sharing PTAs

  • Authorized Use:  To record a portion of the accounting transactions for a sponsored project that the University has agreed to share
  • Approved Funding Source(s):  Generally funds come from gifts, endowment income, unrestricted or designated funds; funds from other federal awards may not be used as the source of cost sharing except as authorized by statute
  • Other Requirements:  Requires that a person with signature authority over the cost-sharing fund submits the Cost Sharing PTA Request Form with a copy of the cost-sharing budget
  • PTA Close Restrictions:  Closed at the same time as the related Grant or Contract PTA
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Designated Funds and Related PTAs

  • Authorized Use:  To record unrestricted funds that the University (rather than a donor or sponsoring agency) has decided to use for a specific purpose
  • Approved Funding Source(s):  General funds transferred to a department for a specific purpose (i.e., department research support), or designated department generated income (i.e., professional services or conferences)
  • Other Requirements:  None
  • PTA Close Restrictions:  Can be closed to expenses at any time during the fiscal year
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Expense Clearing PTAs

  • Authorized Use:  Used as a holding account to accumulate specific costs when the final distribution of an expense transaction is unknown at the time the expenses are incurred (i.e., Organization Suspense Accounts)
  • Approved Funding Source(s):  Each department must identify and provide a source of funds used to guarantee any un-cleared expenses at the end of the fiscal year; funds from sponsored projects may not be used as the guarantee.
  • Other Requirements:  None
  • PTA Close Restrictions:  Organization Suspense Accounts remain open as a clearing account
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Gift PTAs

  • Authorized Use:  To record expenditures that execute the purpose of a gift
  • Approved Funding Source(s):  Single or multiple gifts that have a common purpose and any related income generated by the gift itself or its associated endowment
  • Other Requirements:  None
  • PTA Close Restrictions:  May be closed at any time during the fiscal year; endowment gift funds and their related endowment income funds are very seldom closed
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Grant and Contract PTAs

  • Authorized Use:  To record accounting transactions for a sponsored project
  • Approved Funding Source(s):  The agency sponsoring the research, instruction, or other University activity
  • Other Requirements:  Requires a special "Early PTA Account" setup to incur costs prior to receiving the award documentation. If a department determines that costs related to a sponsored project were charged to a department PTA, the costs may be transferred to the correct sponsored project PTA per Administrative Guide Policy 3.2.2.
  • PTA Close Restrictions:  Can only be closed after the sponsor notifies Stanford of its acceptance and sign-off of all technical, financial, invention, and property reports as required by the terms and conditions of the award
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Operating Budget PTAs

  • Authorized Use:  To record accounting transactions for the University's core academic programs and support services
  • Approved Funding Source(s):  Can only receive money from University restricted funds and appropriate department designated funds, gift funds, and endowment income funds
  • Other Requirements:  Requires signature authority over the group PTA to submit new PTA requests
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Service Center PTAs

  • Authorized Use:  To record accounting transactions for service centers providing a specific service, group of services, or products to users within the University (i.e., Information Technology Services (ITS) and Facilities Operations)
  • Approved Funding Source(s):  The costs of Service Center services or products are charged directly to all users based on the actual level of activity using a non-discriminatory rate schedule. The rate schedule is calculated to recover no more or no less than the estimated aggregate cost of the service or product over a fiscal year.
  • Other Requirements:  Proposals for new service centers must have the approval of the Department Chair and School Dean, or their equivalent for non-academic areas. Information required to open a Service Center PTA includes:
    • Service center purpose
    • Anticipated usage
    • List of anticipated internal and external users
    • Estimated initial budget
    • List of capital assets required for operation
    • Valid guarantee PTA account (i.e., operating budget, Dean's executive fund, or unrestricted gift PTA designated by the School Dean or Department Head)
  • PTA Close Restrictions:  Service Center PTAs can be closed upon request after any remaining balances have been cleared.
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