Home Property Accounting

Welcome to Property Accounting

Property Accounting is responsible for the university’s moveable and fixed capital equipment. Capital equipment – also known as an asset – is identified with an inventory tag and originally had an acquisition value greater than $5,000.

An inventory of capitalized assets is performed and maintained by individual departments with the help of Property Accounting. If your department needs to dispose of equipment that was acquired through the university by purchase, lease, donation or loan, you must get prior approval from Property Accounting.

  • All university departments have the responsibility to ensure an accurate inventory of capital equipment and should identify a property administrator within their team. This individual will be involved with the entire capital equipment process, from procurement to disposal. This person in your department should be someone who is familiar with relevant chart of accounts to make sure all assets are accurately recorded in the financial system and reported in financial statements.

    The property administrator will also play a crucial role in keeping records of purchases. These records include:

    • Purchase order, receipt and invoice information
    • The final location of the equipment
    • The serial number, model number and manufacturer
    • The user(s) and intended use of the equipment
    • The barcode label number
    • If the asset if going to be installed in equipment that is part of a larger system, that property administrator will also need to retain the purchase order number.  

    These records need to be maintained throughout the entire life of the equipment. Property Accounting, as well as internal and external auditors, will periodically request to see them.

    In the role of property administrator, you will also serve as the primary point of contact between your department and Property Accounting. You will occasionally be asked to assist in the inventory of equipment and the resolution of discrepancies if they should arise.

    Additional responsibilities of the property administrator may include the monitoring and location tracking of each piece of equipment assigned to them.

    Property administrators will also need to complete and submit a Retirement/Transfer Form to Property Accounting when:

    • Equipment is moved from its original location to another location within the university
    • Equipment is transferred from the university to an outside entity
    • Equipment is lost, stolen, scrapped, sold or donated


  • Equipment may be acquired through purchase, gift, loan or transfer between departments or campuses within the university, from another institution or from a government surplus program. 

  • An asset is anything owned by the university that has monetary value, usually at its cost or fair market value. 

  • A physical verification of noncapital equipment conducted by the department or unit every two years.

  • Equipment having an acquisition or donated value of $5,000 or more and a useful life in excess of one year.

  • Capitalization means to classify the cost of an item as a long-term asset because the item will be used over a period of time. Therefore, the cost is not charged against the earnings of one fiscal year as part of day-to-day operations. It is charged over several fiscal years.

  • The benefits the university receives from a fixed asset extend over several years. When an asset is regularly used, it experiences the normal wear and tear which incrementally decreases its value over the years. This is referred to as depreciation. 

  • Equipment is tangible property of a durable nature that is useful in carrying on the operations of a business. This does not include land or buildings. Regardless of cost, equipment is considered university property and must be managed according to university policy and state law.  

  • University property that is unusable or no longer required by the university.

  • This is the price that property would sell for on the open market. If equipment is donated to the university, this value may need to be determined by an independent party.  

  • Fixed assets sometimes referred to as PPE (property, plant or equipment). They are considered fixed because they cannot easily be liquidated or converted into cash. These assets are purchased for continues, long-term use in conducting university business. They can include land, buildings, machinery, furniture, computers and tools.  

  • Property owned or furnished by the federal government or acquired by the university with federal funds under the terms of a contract or grant for which the federal government retains title.

  • Property containing substances that are considered hazardous by federal or state laws and regulations or by university policies and procedures, as administered by the Environmental Health and Safety Department.

  • Equipment having an acquisition or donated value between $1,000 and $4,999 and a useful life in excess of one year.

  • Intangible assets possess three characteristics. They lack physical substance, their initial useful life exceeds one (1) year and they are nonfinancial in nature. Examples include: software, easements and intellectual property like patents, copyrights, royalties or trademarks. 

  • Movable equipment is not permanently attached to a building or grounds as fixed equipment or an improvement other than buildings.

  • Equipment having an acquisition cost or donated value of greater than or equal to $1,000, but less than the $5,000 capital threshold, and with a useful life in excess of one year. Examples include, but are not limited to, photographic equipment, computers, printers, scanners, etc.

  • Equipment, material, supplies, land, land improvements, buildings or building improvements purchased with any funds administered by the university, acquired from the State Department of Facilities Construction and Management or bequeathed or contributed to the university.

  • Land, buildings and related improvements purchased with university funds, bequeathed or donated to the university.

  • An official university document that is used to transfer property and equipment from one department to another or to retire property and equipment from a department's inventory records. The Retirement/Transfer form may be obtained from the Property Accounting Department or University Surplus and Salvage Department. 

  • Programming code used to operate computer systems. Software may be purchased or developed internally.

  • Unneeded equipment is considered surplus equipment if it is still functional. Surplus equipment is transferred to the University Surplus and Salvage and can be used by other university departments. 

  • Property determined to be excess by the state or federal government which is made available to the university for purchase or as a gift.

  • Funds administered to the university without regard to the source of such funds. This excludes agency funds.  

  • That property to which title is vested in the university whether purchased with university funds or acquired by bequest or gift.

Quick Links

View Form
Capital Asset Definitions & Terms
Visit Page
Retirement/Transfer Instructions
Visit Page
Asset Tag
Visit Page