How do I keep track of where items are located if they're considered moveable equipment?

Communication within your department is your key tool!

While Accounting Services is responsible for performing an annual physical inventory of all centrally tracked assets, we cannot keep track of the movement of individual equipment items between physical inventories. We recommend that department equipment coordinators communicate regularly with their department managers, supervisors, research investigators, etc.

Additionally when moveable equipment does move throughout the year, department equipment coordinators should contact Brad Barker at . We recommend that department equipment coordinators contact Brad Barker to update the location codes at the time that they become aware of the move as updating location codes at the time of movement is a lot easier than trying to remember where an item moved to months later. 

When does the annual moveable equipment inventory for assets $5,000 and above occur?

The annual moveable equipment inventory for assets with an original cost of $5,000 and above occurs year-round. This annual inventory is required by the State of Kansas. It is also a great property management tool for tracking moveable equipment.

For new items purchased, the Property Accounting team will contact department equipment coordinators on a monthly basis to barcode new capital assets.

For items purchased in prior years that need to be rescanned, the Property Accounting team has developed a tentative year-round schedule. Our goal is to complete the University’s inventory of non-research equipment throughout the Fall semester and the inventory of research equipment throughout the Spring semester. The annual deadline for all assets to be inventoried is June 30th.

For a complete schedule and our listing of equipment coordinators please refer to Annual Inventory.

Why are assets recorded at their original acquisition cost and not adjusted to reflect market value?

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as well as Governmental Accounting Standards Board guidelines require assets to be recorded at original acquisition cost and then depreciated over their “useful” lives for financial reporting purposes.

For KU owned assets, individual asset depreciation is calculated and maintained centrally. Depreciation is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets as set by the “Regents’ Institutions Capital Asset Policy.” Depreciable useful life should not be confused with “physical life.” Physical life refers to the total length of time an item of equipment is physically retained and used. 

Regent’s Institutions Useful Lives:

  • Buildings & Building Improvements---40 years
  • Land Nonstructural Improvements/Infrastructure---25 years
  • Vehicles---5 years
  • All other Equipment---8 years (including computers)
  • The estimated useful life of some capital items may deviate from the above standard policy based on industry standards, practical experience known at the time of acquisition, and/or building componentization.

The original acquisition cost, in addition to other unique asset identifiers, is often used on property accounting reports to help faculty and staff identify specific assets. For example, most faculty and staff can remember and identify a $10,000 piece of equipment that was purchased five years ago versus identifying an asset with a current net book value (original value less depreciation) of $3,750. 

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