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Welcome to Property Accounting

Property Accounting is responsible for the university’s moveable and fixed capital equipment. Capital equipment, also known as assets, are identified with inventory tags 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 U 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 is 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 by purchase, gift, loan, transfers between departments or campuses within the university or from another institution, or Government surplus program

  • An asset is anything owned by the University that has a monetary value--usually 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 gets from a fixed asset extend over several years. Because of "wear and tear" the asset is "used up" or "consumed" over that time period. Therefore, the value of the asset is incrementally reduced annually; this is referred to as depreciation.

  • Equipment is tangible property (other than land or buildings) of a more or less durable nature that is useful in carrying on the operations of a business. Regardless of cost, equipment is considered University property and must be managed according to University Policies and State Law.

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

  • The price that property would sell for on the open market. For equipment donated to the University, this value may need to be determined by an independent party to the transaction.

  • The most probable price that could be paid for equipment or property by average, informed purchasers.

  • Fixed assets are sometimes referred to as PPE (property, plant, and equipment). They are called "fixed" because they cannot easily be liquidated or converted into cash (liquid assets). These assets are purchased for continued and long-term use in conducting the University's business. They include land, buildings, machinery, furniture, computers, tools, etc.

  • 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 identified as hazardous by federal and/or state laws and regulations and/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: lack of physical substance, an initial useful life in excess of one year, and nonfinancial in nature. Examples include software; intellectual property such as patents, copyrights, royalties, or trademarks; and easements.

  • 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/equipment from one department to another and/or to retire property/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 campus surplus department and made available for use 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 by the University without regard to source of such funds (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

Definitions & Terms
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Retirement/Transfer Instructions
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Asset Tags
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