10.40 - Property Inventory and Products

Last updated January 15, 2008

A. General. The Property Management Office (PMO) of Business Systems and Accounting Services is responsible for identifying and reporting all stand-alone property items that have a cost or estimated/appraised value (gifts & donations) of $2,000 or more and a useful life of one year or more. [rev. 1-08]

A-1.Definitions: [rev. 1-08]

i) Cost: The initial price of the item or items (if constructed), including shipping and handling, applicable taxes, installation and ancillary costs (cords, cables, pipes, etc.) necessary for the item to function for the purpose for which it was acquired.

ii) Capital Outlay Expenditures: Purchase of an item with a unit cost of $300 or more and where the account code used to purchase the item begins with E6.

iii) Repairs, betterments or improvements: (a) Extend the estimated useful life; (b) increased capacity; (c) substantial improvements in the quality of output; or (d) substantial reduction in operating cost.

A-2. Ownership.

i) The University owns all property: The University owns all property purchased with University funds and all property received as gifts. In addition, except where provided by the terms of a grant or contract by operation of law, the University owns all personal property purchased with funds from a grant or contract. No department, departmental unit, or University employee, may hold proprietary interest in any piece of University property, or property purchased with grant or contract funds which is held by the University. Regardless of which departmental unit ordered the item, the fund cited, or the budget expensed, the principle of University ownership prevails. [rev. 1-08]

ii) Property Numbers: The PMO provides a unique University property number for all property items included in the university’s property inventory system and creates a corresponding item record in the Banner Fixed Assets database. The number is the license plate for licensed vehicles and other licensed items (e.g. trailers, ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles, etc.). For all items that physically can be tagged, the number is on a red property tag for items purchased with grant funds, and is on a yellow property tag for all other items. [add. 1-08]

iii). Blue Property Tags: The PMO will provide uniquely numbered blue property tags for the purpose of identification of University property under $2,000 for attractive property such as computer equipment, audio visual and video equipment, radios, TVs, cameras, projectors, palm pilots, PDA’s, GPS’s, etc. These tags can be used as a tool to assist in departmental tracking of inventory. A sample Excel spreadsheet to assist departments in tracking their inventory items is located here. Additional blue property tags can be obtained upon request to the PMO. The blue property tags are not included in either Banner Fixed Assets or the physical inventory required by operation of Idaho state code section 67-5746 . The DPA is responsible for affixing the blue property tags to the corresponding item(s). [add. 1-08]

A-3. Unit Responsibility. The administrator of each department is responsible for safeguarding and maintaining property assigned to or in his or her control. Further, each administrator is responsible for insuring a physical inventory of all property identified through the University property inventory system is conducted once each fiscal year. When a change in administrators occurs, the new administrator assumes responsibility for all property assigned and should promptly verify the accuracy of the assigned inventory. [rev. 1-08]

i). Department Property Administrator (DPA). [add. 1-08]

a. Designation of Department Property Administrator (DPA): Property management is an important function at the University. Prudent business practices help protect the University’s multi-million dollar investment in equipment, meet government and sponsor requirements, and support indirect cost recovery associated with assets at the University. Each administrator is responsible for insuring effective property administration that is in compliance with this policy. Each department administrator shall designate a DPA. The department administrator is responsible for ensuring that end-users and purchasers of property cooperate fully with the DPA.

b. Qualifications for DPAs: Selecting and designating a well-qualified DPA is critical to ensure effective property management occurs at the departmental level. It is imperative that the right people are designated as DPA, as they must interface with all faculty, staff and students working in their respective area. They are also the liaison between their department and the PMO.

The DPA must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Be a University employee
  • Have current knowledge and understanding of all facets of property management, including associated policies and procedures, or ability to quickly learn the policies and procedures.

In addition, it is recommended that the DPA meet the following criteria:

  • Effective communication skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Positive and persistent attitude toward accomplishing tasks
  • Good organizational skills

Departments must notify the PMO when a change in DPA occurs as the DPA is the daily contact between the department and the PMO.

ii) Security of Property. Each University employee has a general obligation to safeguard and make appropriate use of property owned by or accountable to the University. This includes property either assigned for individual use, or as part of a common area. This obligation includes but is not limited to: [add. 1-08]

  • Notifying the appropriate DPA of the acquisition, movement or disposal of property in a timely manner;
  • Exercising reasonable care in use to prevent damage and maintain good condition, accounting for reasonable wear and tear resulting from use;
  • Exercising reasonable security measures to prevent theft or misuse;
  • Reporting lost, stolen, damaged or otherwise impaired property to appropriate parties in a timely manner, including but not limited to a direct supervisor or common area manager.

Accurate and effective management will benefit individual departments and the University as a whole. For assistance, departmental staff should contact their DPA. DPAs requiring assistance should contact the Property Management Office. [add. 1-08]

Accurate and timely reporting of all property, whether sponsor-funded or not, directly impacts Facilities and Administrative Rate (indirect) cost recovery and other reporting requirements. [add. 1-08]

A-4. Usage. University property may only be used in the performance of University functions. Property may not be rented or loaned to any person or group for private use without the recommendation of the appropriate administrator and the written authorization of the Vice President for Finance and Administration. Property purchased with funds from grants and contracts may have additional usage restrictions. Contact the Office of Sponsored Programs (208-885-6651) for additional information. [rev. 1-08, ed. 7-10]

A-5.Theft or Misappropriation. Theft or misappropriation of University property and/or private property on University premises constitutes violation of Idaho law and Board of Regent’s policies. [ed. 1-08]

A-6. Storage.

i) Storage of non-university property: Except for office decorations (such as artwork), University buildings or grounds may not be used for the permanent or continuous storage of personal property that is not used for official purposes; any property continuously stored in University facilities is presumed to be University property. [ed. 1-08]

ii) Storage of University property: University property no longer needed or used by a department should be transferred to the Surplus Property department [see 10.41] for potential reutilization or disposal; it should not be placed in storage. Unnecessary storage of property is not cost-effective, fills valuable space, incurs the risk of potential loss, damage or misuse, and continues to require records maintenance and physical inventory. If there is a justifiable reason for an item to be placed in storage, the DPA must notify PMO of the user status change to "idle” and the actual location of the storage area. Upon receipt of notice of a status change to idle, the PMO shall update the Banner Fixed Assets database. While property is in storage, the DPA is responsible for ensuring that care is taken to ensure the method and location of storage is adequate for the type of items being stored and that property is secured in a manner that will prevent loss, damage, or destruction to the property. [add. 1-08]

A-7. Disposal of Property. Except as provided below for livestock, University property may only be disposed of as outlined under Surplus Property Inventory procedures [See 10.41]. [rev. 1-08]

A-8. Disposal of Livestock by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Slaughter Animals. Surplus meat animals and surplus breeding animals not considered satisfactory for breeding purposes are usually consigned to public market. Those not considered satisfactory for breeding purposes are so designated when delivered to market. Limited numbers of meat animals of the Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences are slaughtered in the department's abattoir for instructional or research purposes. The products from these animals are sold to University units such as Housing and Food Services, to local retail outlets, or through the Meats Lab at retail prices. The sale prices are determined from the "Yellow Sheet" published by the National Provisioner, Chicago, Illinois.

Breeding Animals. Surplus breeding animals may be disposed of through recognized consignment auctions and certain animals may be designated as experimental animals and placed in other university or private-cooperator herds or flocks under formal agreement with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Breeding animals that are not disposed of in one of the foregoing ways are periodically advertised for sale in accordance with general University procedures for the disposal of surplus property.

Bid Opening. When bids are opened on animals advertised for sale in accordance with general procedures for the disposal of University property, the designated official from the department concerned is responsible for recommending one of the following actions: (a) accept the high bid; (b) accept a bid other than the high bid, if it is to the definite advantage of the university to do so; or (c) reject all bids with a recommendation that the animals be re-advertised for sale or a recommendation of the conditions under which the animals would be sold at private treaty with written approval of the dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

B. Process. Property Management Office (PMO). The PMO is charged with the development and coordination of a university-wide system of property management and with assisting departmental units in the discharge of their property management responsibilities. The PMO and internal audit will conduct verification of physical inventories within departmental units as a means of evaluating the effectiveness of the inventory system. [rev. 1-08]

These verification inventories may incorporate various sampling techniques as part of the verification process, including statistical, stratified, judgmental, purposeful, or other sampling or testing methods. [add. 1-08]

B-1. Inventory Results and Reports. The PMO shall post results of a physical inventory to Banner Fixed Assets and generate reports within 30 days after the completion of the inventory. The PMO shall analyze the results for each inventory, determine whether corrective actions for property administration practices need to be taken, and work with each area to implement any corrective actions. The PMO may conduct additional investigations to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed changes. The PMO shall distribute the report to at least the following: [add. 1-08]

  • Accountable unit administrator and DPA, if a different employee
  • Dean or equivalent area Vice President
  • Business Systems and Accounting Services and University Controller
  • Office of Sponsored Programs (where applicable)
  • Risk Management, (where applicable)

Content and format of reports may vary, depending on the needs of the receiving department.

C. Procedures. The following procedures are required for departmental units or administrator(s) assigned responsibility for property inventories.

C-1. Inventory Procedures. Physical inventories of property are conducted at the University to verify the accuracy of the property records in the Banner Fixed Asset database as well as the existence and activity status of the assets. Results of an inventory provide an excellent overall assessment of the effectiveness of the property management system at the University and the level of compliance with established policies and procedures. Data is used in various management reports, including financial statements, grant and contract sponsor reports, and data presented to the Board of Regents and various State of Idaho agencies. [add. 1-08]

When a DPA maintains good property management practices on a routine basis, the physical inventory becomes a matter of verification and should pose little inconvenience to the department. Good daily property management practices include but are not limited to: [add. 1-08]

  • Affixing all University property tags received from the PMO to the item(s) within 14 days of receipt
  • Notifying the PMO of all changes in location (building and room), user status (active, idle, not located), and condition (excellent, good, fair, poor)
  • Transferring items designated for the Facilities Surplus Property Office in a timely manner and consistent with APM section 10.41.

C-2. Custody and Return of Property by Departing Employees. At least annually, each DPA should review the inventory to ensure the assets are under the control of current University employees. Each department is responsible for establishing a standard procedure for ensuring that departing employees do not remove University property. The procedure should include a meeting with the DPA and transferring the custody for assigned assets. Employees are required to return to the department any University-owned property in their possession whether on or off campus. The only exception is where the item was purchased in whole or in part with funds from federally sponsored grants and contracts or government furnished property, and pursuant to the terms of use of the property, such property may be transferred to another entity. See [10.40 C-7, iv] for these policies and procedures. [add. 1-08]

C-3. Off-campus Use of Property. The use of property purchased by the University, provided by a sponsor, donated, or otherwise accountable to the University may need to occur at a location other than University sites (main campus, research and extension centers, education centers, etc.). Examples of a location that would be considered "off-campus” include the residence of a University employee or a temporary work site. Regardless of location, use of property must still directly benefit the University or the sponsored project for which the property was acquired. [add. 1-08]

The responsibilities of the custodian of the property are the same regardless of the location, [See 10.40 A-3, ii]. [add. 1-08]

Property that is frequently in transit between a campus and an off-campus location, or property normally in an off-campus location, must be documented on a University of Idaho Off-Campus Equipment Verification Worksheet. The worksheet must be updated annually and maintained on file by the DPA. It will be used to substantiate the location of an asset during the physical inventory, inventory verification reviews by the PMO, and audits conducted by internal audit. Property that is to remain off campus more than 30 days must have an off-campus location listed on the Banner Fixed Asset record. If a new one needs to be created contact the PMO for assistance. [add. 1-08]

C-4. Movement of Property. Each Banner Fixed Asset property record must reflect a correct location for the property. Each department is responsible for establishing a communications method that will enable the DPA to expeditiously update the location information with the PMO for their property. [add. 1-08]

i) Tracking temporary moves of property (less than 30 days). Updating the Banner Fixed Assets record is not required if an item is moving temporarily. The "home” location of the asset record remains the same and a subsidiary locator system is used to record the temporary location change. The subsidiary method for tracking location is determined by the DPA. A recommended and effective method for accomplishing this is the use of a sign-out log. Sign-out logs, or whatever alternative method is used, must be readily accessible to equipment custodians/users.Sign-out logs can be maintained in several ways; they can be posted at the inside door of a lab or maintained by the DPA or an office administrator. The DPA should work with department personnel to create a sign-out process that will be easy to use. The DPA must periodically check the sign-out logs to ensure equipment is being checked in and out properly and that it is being returned on time. For items not returned to its designated location within 30 days, the DPA must contact the equipment user to have the item returned or notify the PMO to update the location in Banner Fixed Assets if the move is to extend beyond 30 days. If the item is necessary during a verification of physical inventory or an audit, the sign-out log (or equivalent) must be available to substantiate the asset’s location. [add. 1-08]

ii) Property changing locations for 30 days or more. The DPA must notify the PMO to change the property record to the new location. If the location change is to a different department and the accountability of the asset is changing, the DPA must notify the PMO of this change also. Before the PMO is notified, a courtesy contact to the new DPA should be made. [add. 1-08]

C-5. Annual Inventory Requirements. Pursuant to Idaho State Board of Education and Board of Regents of the University of Idaho policy section V.I.4.a., the University must follow Idaho state code Section 67-5746 which requires a physical inventory of all property (those items included in the Banner Fixed Assets inventory system) once each fiscal year. Each departmental unit is responsible for complying and conducting this yearly inventory. The following procedures apply to all departmental units regarding the annual inventory requirements: [ren. & rev. 1-08]

i) Not later than August 31, the PMO will provide each DPA with a "Certificate of Inventory” [See 10.40 (E)] and an inventory listing. The inventory listing will be provided in tag number sort. [ren. & ed. 1-08]

ii) The DPA is to use the inventory listing to conduct the physical inventory. DPAs must identify discrepancies, or exceptions, between the listing and the actual physical inventory. Items on hand that meet inventory criteria but do not appear on the listing need to be identified as additions. Items not on hand or not found that appear on the listing need to be identified either as deletions, or as "Unable to Locate”. Deletions must match one of the categories listed below in [10.40 C-7, ii]. "Unable to Locate” status leaves an item on inventory until it is either found or declared "Lost”. [ren. & ed. 1-08]

iii) The DPA must list exceptions in the form of changes; changes are listed on the Certificate of Inventory with attachments as needed, or on the inventory listing. [ren. & rev. 1-08]

iv) The DPA must complete the physical inventory and return the Certificate of Inventory, with any necessary attachments, to the PMO not later than the last week of October. The appropriate administrator must sign the Certificate of Inventory. Units must list the DPA, who can answer questions about the inventory. [ren. & rev. 1-08]

C-6. Property Additions. The following procedures apply when departmental units receive or add property to the inventory. [ren. 1-08]

i) The PMO shall review all property purchases and identify items for inclusion in the university’s property inventory system. The PMO assigns a unique University property tag to each item added to inventory and creates a corresponding item record in the Banner Fixed Assets database. The tag is sent to the DPA to be affixed to the item. [rev. 1-08]

ii) The DPA is responsible for affixing the property tag to the corresponding item in a timely manner (DPAs shall place the tag in a readily visible, readily accessible place on the item). The DPA must review all information on the attached sheet, annotate necessary changes/corrections and return to the PMO in a timely manner. [rev. 1-08]

iii) DPAs must notify the PMO of items received or acquired by means other than a capital outlay expenditure within 14 days of the acquisition. (E.g., gifts, government furnished property or constructed, etc.) [rev. 1-08]

iv) Acquisition of property which includes a trade-in: Trade-ins require special care. Since the equipment being traded-in is permanently leaving the University, this is actually a two-fold transaction: an acquisition and a disposal. If the potential item to be traded-in was funded by a grant and contract, the disposition must be approved before the purchase commitment is made. In all instances, the purchase commitment (requisition or DPO or P-card) text must include the tag number, description, make, model, serial number or VIN, and amount credited for the trade-in item so proper acquisition and disposal procedures can be accomplished by the PMO. [add. 1-08]

C-7. Property Deletions. The following procedures apply when departmental units want to delete property from the inventory. [ren. 1-08]

i) The University inventory system does allow for depreciation. However, items may not be deleted from inventory simply because the estimated value of the item has depreciated over time to less than $2,000. Such items will only be deleted when they are disposed of through Surplus Property [See 10.41].

ii) Items may be deleted from inventory only if they fall into one of the following categories:

• Lost • Destroyed • Trade-in • Sold • Scrapped • Cannibalized • Transfer • Return to Lender • Return to Vendor • Stolen (items stolen should be reported to Campus Police) • Surplus (must be accompanied by pickup receipt form filled out by Surplus Property personnel).

iii) Departmental individuals can only remove University property tags when an item is: [add. 1-08]

  • Returned to the manufacturer for replacement (please note tag number and the DPA needs to request a new tag from the PMO when the replacement is received)
  • Used as a trade-in towards another purchase
  • Returned to the sponsor or other third-party owner

Surplus Property personnel are responsible for removing University property tags when an item is sold or scrapped by Surplus Property.

iv) Items purchased in whole or in part with funds from federally sponsored grants and contracts or government furnished property generally require adherence to federal administrative requirements, acquisition regulations, and agency-specific conditions governing the disposition of federal property. (See Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110: Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations; Federal Acquisition Regulation, Part 45: Government Property). Because the use of federal funds often entails restrictions on the disposal of property used in support of sponsored research, even when title to the property is vested in the University, departments wishing to sell, or otherwise dispose of, research-related equipment must first obtain written authorization from the Office of Sponsored Programs (208-885-6651). Please refer to Office of Sponsored Program’s Guidelines for the Disposal of Equipment Purchased with Federal Funds for a more detailed discussion of disposing of equipment used in federally funded sponsored research at the University. [add. 1-08]

D. Information. Please direct questions concerning University of Idaho property management to the Property Management Office at (208) 885-4070, or e-mail Inventory Email. Please visit us at:

Asset Accounting

E. Sample Certificate of Inventory [Sample Form]