Capital Asset & Equipment Accounting FAQ

The University defines capital equipment as tangible personal property with a useful life greater than one year with an individual or componentized cost of $5,000 or greater. The equipment can be University, government or contractor owned. Donated equipment also qualifies as capital equipment if the value at the time of the donation is $5,000 or greater.

The University uses PeopleSoft’s Asset Management (AM) module to manage the University’s capital assets.  The University is required to maintain records for both University and government owned assets. Capital assets are usually entered into AM through an integration process with Accounts Payable.  The integration process pulls the information from the invoices and purchase orders, when applicable. Occasionally, an asset will need to be entered manually by the Capital Assets department, i.e. when an item is subsequently re-classed to the correct account.

Monthly activity is recorded, in the following accounts:  Major Equipment (536000) and Vehicles (536250). Items charged to these accounts must meet the capitalization threshold on an individual or componentized basis.  On a monthly basis, Equipment Accounting analyzes and reconciles these accounts to ensure only capitalized equipment or vehicles are properly recorded in these accounts.

Shipping, installation, initial training and discounts are included in the cost of capital equipment. Additional components of the equipment that are not separately inventoried (i.e. Printer cables or microscope components) are also included.

Supplies, non-permanent accessories, warranties, service and maintenance agreements are excluded from the cost.

Equipment that is assembled through the use of multiple components into a usable piece of equipment over a period of time is considered fabricated. The total cost to assemble the equipment should be $5,000 or greater to be capitalized.  Any department constructing fabricated equipment needs to complete the Fabricated Equipment Notification Form. The form needs to be sent to Equipment Accounting at A tag number will be assigned, which is utilized on all requisitions, purchase orders, p-card charges and journal entries to identify the charges.  All costs for the fabricated equipment should be charged to account 536200 (Major Equipment-Other Equip) or 536250 (Major Equipment-Auto Trucks), respectively.

Yes, all capital assets owned by the following: the University, government, and contractor acquired must be recorded in AM and monitored in accordance with the Uniform Guidance.

The department would contact Equipment Accounting at who would generate a list of capital assets belonging to their department. Equipment Accounting will accommodate any unique requests, if possible.

Yes, Equipment Accounting manages the location and disposition of all capital equipment at the University whether they are located on-campus or off-campus for inventory purposes. In the case of equipment being moved, traded, transferred or disposed the Equipment Change in Status Form must be completed and sent back to Equipment Accounting at so the necessary changes can be made in AM.

If a departing Principal Investigator (PI) wishes to transfer equipment to another University, the list of equipment should be submitted to the PI’s Department Chair and Dean for review and approval. It is the responsibility of the department to identify whether the equipment can be transferred with or without a cost to the other university. Equipment usually purchased on federal grants is transferred without a charge. The University usually charges the new institution the current NBV of the equipment being transferred that is purchased with University funds. The NBV of the equipment being transferred can be requested at any time from Equipment Accounting at

A physical inventory is completed every two years and is done by building. Equipment Accounting will generate a list from AM and use a Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) to scan the tags that are affixed to the capital equipment. For items that cannot be tagged, Equipment Accounting will verify the location and status of the equipment with the aid of the respective Principal Investigator or Custodian.

Equipment Accounting should be notified at of capital equipment that is donated to the University and provided backup for the value of the equipment in order for the donated equipment to be recorded and monitored in the AM system.