xReporter accounting reports ....

John Shott shott at stanford.edu
Sun Jul 26 17:08:25 PDT 2009

SNF Lab Members:

A couple of folks have pointed out that the "My accounting" report is 
broken.  It should be functional once again.  However, there are some 
changes to our accounting strategy that should not make any difference 
in the amount that you are paying, but should provide you with some 
better information.  Let me explain:

For a number of years, we have used database stored procedures to 
calculate your lab charges.  They have the downside that they are not 
terribly easy to find problems, not easy to modify, and not particularly 
easy to see exactly what algorithm is used to calculate the charges.  To 
address these issues, Bill Murray has developed a system called XCRML 
(for eXtensible Cost Recovery Markup Language) that, in particular, 
allows the flexible specification of the algorithm that is used to 
determine charges.  Of course, if the numbers are the same, why am I 
telling you this?  There are a couple of things that you may notice and 
may be of interest to you.

1. In the past, if you exceeded 160 hours of equipment usage in the 
month, you would see a separate line item for both the "normal" 
eq_activity charges and a separate line item for the equipment usage 
beyond the 160 hour limit that was described as the "eq_surcharge".  
 From this point forward, you will see only a single eq_activity line 
that represents both the "normal" and post-160-hour charges for 
equipment usage.

2. We are now able to provide better accounting details that can provide 
the effective cost of each and every equipment usage during the month.  
Furthermore, this scales the cost of each equipment usage properly to 
properly allocate the impact of the monthly cap to each individual 
equipment activity.

So, under the Accounting section of the xReporter section, you used to 
see one report named "My Accounting".  That report is still there and 
will provide the charges for a given month based on the old, stored 
procedure calculations.  If you wish, you can use that report to confirm 
that the charges determined by that calculation are the same as you will 
be charged by the new XCRML-based calculations.

You will also see two new reports: one named "My XCRML Accounting" and 
one named "My XCRML Accounting Detail".  The "My XCRML Accounting" 
should look very similar to the old "My Accounting" report in that it 
will give you subtotals for equipment charges (type = 'eq_activity'), 
training charges, staff activity charges, inventory charges and 
subscription charges.  The "My XCRML Accounting Detail" report will give 
you the full details, including every activity during the month and the 
amount that you will be charged for that month.

We hope that this additional detail will be of use to you by allowing 
you to see the effective charge (including capping) of each individual 

Please let is know if you have any questions or problems running these 
new reports.



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