Managing Fixed Assets

Tagging of Capital Assets

When the purchase of a capital asset has occurred, a staff member from the Office of the Comptroller schedules time with the purchasing department to tag the asset for recordkeeping purposes. 

Inventories

In order to comply with financial audits, internal controls, and federal Single Audit requirements, the Office of the Comptroller performs university-wide rolling inventories on an annual basis. Departments and the Office of the Comptroller share the responsibility for maintaining an accurate location listing for all of their assets through active communication. 

To assist with this effort, the Office of the Comptroller provides each asset custodian and department/division coordinator with a report on all assets assigned to the custodian (a list of assets assigned to the department/division is provided to the coordinator) in March and September of each year for verification. 

At the conclusion of the inventory, a report on the results is provided to the custodian and department/division coordinator.

Operating departments are responsible for maintaining the assets in working condition. 

Expected Useful Life

An asset purchased has an expected useful life of 5 years for depreciation purposes.  It is the university’s intent to utilize an asset for the duration of its expected useful life. Any plan to dispose of an asset prior to the end of its useful life (not fully depreciated) must be communicated to the Office of the Comptroller in advance. Instructions are included in the Surplus Property Policy (PDF).

Transfer of Assets

To transfer a fixed asset from one location to a new location, complete a Change in Fixed Asset Status (PDF) form including the "Request to: Transfer Assets" section.

Surplus University Property

Surplus university property is an asset(s) that wears out, becomes obsolete, or is no longer needed in operations. Any plan to treat an asset as surplus property prior to the end of its useful life (not fully depreciated) must be communicated to the Office of the Comptroller in advance.

Examples of transactions involving surplus property:

  • Sale of surplus property with a unit value greater than $500
  • Sale of surplus property that has a registered title (e.g., automobiles)
  • Donations of surplus property
  • Obsolete property – disposal or warehousing

Disposal of Surplus Property

  • Please refer to the Surplus Property Policy (PDF) for university guidance.
  • Facilities Services can be reached at 202-994-6700.
  • Property acquired through Sponsored Projects must first obtain approval for the proposed disposition by completing the Change in Fixed Asset Status (PDF) form and submitting it to the Office of Vice President for Research (OVPR).

Download the Capital Asset Management Training (PDF) for additional information on Managing Fixed Assets.