Home Property Accounting Policy and Procedures

Policy and Procedures

  • All equipment acquired or controlled by the university will be subject to Property Accounting procedures. Additionally, the (are there additional procedure steps for government property?) will apply to all government property controlled by the university.

    This procedure provides guidance for handling university, federal, and state-owned capital equipment. This includes but is not limited to: acquisitions, ownership, transfers, relocations, and/or disposals of equipment, as well as the responsibilities and duties of departments pertaining to the tagging and documentation of each piece of capital equipment. Any person who is in a position of purchasing, fabricating, transferring, using and/or disposing of a piece of movable capital equipment within the university is affected by this policy.

  • Property Accounting Responsibility

    Property Accounting is responsible for the accounting control, records, operations, and reporting of all movable and fixed capital equipment. The disposal of equipment acquired through the university by purchase, lease, donation, or loan is controlled by University Surplus and Salvage. All disposals must have prior approval from Property Accounting, and additional approvals may be needed depending on the funding source. For example, equipment purchased on a grant requires the approval of the Office of Sponsored Projects.

    Property Accounting is responsible for the accounting control, records, operations, and reporting for all fixed assets.

    Custodial Responsibility

    The head of each department is responsible for all assets procured by their department. This responsibility includes protection against abuse, theft, movement, disposal, or unauthorized use. An inventory of capitalized movable equipment must be performed and maintained by each department with the assistance of Property Accounting. Accurate inventory records are necessary for insurance purposes, maximum equipment utilization, and planning for replacement through historical data.

    Departments are required to record the following information in the RFTrack system:

    • Description of the asset including manufacturer, model name and number, serial number, inventory number, responsible person within the department, original value, depreciation information, dates of acquisition, capitalization and deactivation, etc.
    • All records must also include transfers of ownership, location changes, inventory cycle data, disposals of assets via SAP, and inventory reconciliations.
    • All of Property Accounting forms will be retained in OnBase for their respective retention periods.
  • Requisition

    • Before equipment is purchased, a requisition is set up for the requested item(s) in Ushop.
    • An Equipment Verification form is required for all lab equipment purchased with federal funds that costs more than $25,000. This form verifies this piece of equipment is not already owned by the university or is not available to be used by this project.
    • The requisition is routed for approvals.
    • Property Accounting is always the last approver for requisitions with a total of $5,000 or greater.
    • Once all approvals are received, the PO is sent out for purchasing.


    • Equipment is physically received and delivered to the ordering department.
    • Accounts Payable processes a payment voucher for the equipment invoice which is recorded to the department’s general ledger capital equipment account.
    • Property Accounting runs a General Ledger report to show all the capital equipment that was recorded in the system the prior day. This lets Property Accounting know the equipment is onsite and ready for tagging.


    • Departments are responsible for contacting Property Accounting to request physical asset tags for the equipment.
    • A University of Utah RFID numbered tag is secured to the equipment. This is the inventory number for this item.
    • Departments are also responsible for updating the asset record in RFTrack with identifying information including serial number, manufacturer, location, contact name, etc.


    The University of Utah’s inventory cycle runs annually and is conducted by department.

    • The information for all assets coded for a particular department are contained with the RFTrack system.
    • A scanner is checked out by the department and the inventory tags are scanned.
    • For any assets that were not found first, consider possible causes – including equipment being transferred or retired without proper documentation.
    • If the asset still cannot be found, it should be reported as lost or cannot be located on a Retirement/Transfer Form.


    At the time that a department no longer needs a piece of equipment or it is no longer useable, the university’s disposal process needs to be followed.

    • It is policy to dispose excess university property in a manner that will maximize the return or benefit to the university, consistent with laws governing state property.
    • Departmental sale of university property, except to another university department or through University Surplus and Salvage, is prohibited.
    • Listings of property available at University Surplus and Salvage are available online and are periodically updated.
    • Excess university property received at University Surplus and Salvage generally will not be held longer than 60 days. If property is determined to be not saleable, it may be cannibalized, scrapped or discarded if determined to be of no value.
    • Surplus and Salvage records when the equipment is sold, recycled or disposed. At the end of every month, the log is sent to Property Accounting to dispose of assets.



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GASB 51 Accounting and Financial Reporting for Intangible Assets
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USHE R561-3.1.1 Fixed Asset Accounting Conventions

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