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Official policies of St. Mary's University

Fixed Assets Management

Approver(s):

Executive Council

Authorizes release:

Vice President for Administration and Finance

Responsible office:

Finance Office

Review cycle:

Annually or as required

Adopted:

November 2014

Last update:

January 2017

Next review:

June 2017

Related policies and additional references:

Procurement of Goods and Services; Title V Policies and Procedures


Overview

This policy describes the responsibilities that Budget Directors have regarding the fixed assets assigned to their Department.  Fixed assets are buildings, improvements, furniture, and equipment that are acquired, built, or donated, and have a value of $1,500 or greater.  In addition the University tracks all computer and projector purchases.  It also describes what Budget Directors need to know regarding acquiring, disposing, and changing location of fixed assets in their area, and the inventory process for these assets.

Additions and Acquisitions

Most fixed assets are obtained through the purchasing process.  A purchase order is processed and once approved is submitted to the vendor. After the product has arrived, and the invoice has been paid, an Accounts Payable representative will contact the department in order to obtain necessary information about the asset, including location.  An asset tag will then be placed on the item, and will be added to the University’s asset inventory system in Banner.

If an asset is donated or acquired in some manner other than purchasing, a Fixed Asset Status Change Form should be completed.  An action code of “A” should be entered, a description and location of the asset should be provided, the individual to whom the asset has been assigned, and the value of the asset should also be entered.  An asset tag will then be placed on the item, and will be added to the University’s asset inventory system in Banner.

Deletions, Disposals and Sales

When assets are junked, lost, or stolen, they should be reported to the Finance Office using the Fixed Asset Status Change Form.  The action code of “D” should be entered.  If the asset tag number is known, it should be entered on the form; otherwise a description of the asset should be provided.  An explanation of the disposal should be provided, and the form should be signed by the Budget Director for that area. Vice Presidents signature is also required for assets where the original purchase price was over $1,000 and all computers.

If furniture and/or equipment (non-computer) requires disposal, Housekeeping should be contacted to have the item removed.  Housekeeping will store the discarded furniture and equipment until it can be transferred to another department. Often times, usable furniture can be obtained from the storage through Housekeeping.  If the furniture or equipment is junk, Housekeeping will dispose of it.  They will request a copy of the completed Fixed Asset Status Change Form before removing the items.

If computer equipment requires disposal, then Information Technology should be contacted.  A technician will assess the equipment, and will determine if the equipment can be reassigned to another department or is obsolete.  If it is considered obsolete, they will contact Housekeeping to properly dispose of the equipment. They will request a copy of the completed Fixed Asset Status Change Form.

If an asset is replaced, such as in a trade-in, the disposal should be reported on the Fixed Asset Status Change Form.  However, assets should not be sold without consulting the Finance Office. It should be noted that although an asset may have been purchased with a particular department’s budget, and assigned to that department, the department is not free to dispose or sell the asset without consulting with the Finance Office.

If furniture or equipment is lost or stolen, it should be reported to the University Police, as well as the Office of the Vice President for Administration and Finance so that any insurance claims can be filed.

Disposition of Equipment Purchased with Federal Funds

Prior to disposing of federal equipment, the Finance Office must be notified. They will need to determine who retains title to the equipment. In general, equipment purchased with federal funds becomes the property of the University when it is delivered. There are however some sponsored agreements under which the sponsor retains title to any equipment purchased with sponsored funds. If title is retained by the sponsor, the agency must be notified if you want to dispose, transfer or sell the equipment. Once the federal agency is notified, approval must be granted in order for an action to take place. The money received from a sale must be returned to the agency.

Change of Location

If the location of furniture or equipment changes, the new location should be reported on the Fixed Asset Status Change Form. An action code of “C”, the description of the asset, the asset tag number, and the new location (building and room number) should be entered on the form, and the form signed by the Budget Director of that area.

Asset Inventory

The main objective of the fixed asset inventory is to maintain an accurate accounting of University owned assets. Therefore, approximately once every two years, each department’s fixed assets will be inventoried. A list of assets assigned to each department will be provided, and Budget Directors are responsible for identifying the items on the list, and making necessary changes to the list if needed. Reasons for disposal should be noted on the form. The inventory list should then be signed by the Budget Director for that department, and returned to the Finance Office. Area Vice President Signature is required if disposing of assets whose acquisition value is greater than $1,000 or computers.

Depreciation

The University’s depreciation policy is to begin straight-line depreciation in the month of purchase using the following useful lives:

  • Buildings – 45 years
  • Parking lots, walks and drives – 20 years
  • Equipment – 25 years
  • Library books – 5 years
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