Standard Operating Procedures

SUBJECT: Physical Inventories
SOURCE: Capital Asset Management, Office of the Treasurer
ORIGINAL DATE OF ISSUE: February 2004
DATE OF LAST REVISION: February 2010
CSOP NO: 4.0
RATIONALE: Physical inventories are completed to:
  • secure university assets,
  • verify location for compliance with OMB Circular A110, and
  • assist organizations with effective management of capital equipment.
CSOP: "A physical inventory of equipment shall be taken and the results reconciled with the equipment records at least once every two years. Any differences between quantities determined by the physical inspection and those shown in the accounting records must be investigated to determine the causes of the difference." (Reference U.S. Office of Management and Budget: Circular A110)1.

To ensure compliance, the State Board of Accounts annually selects an audit sample. In addition, federal agencies request equipment lists for auditing purposes on a regular basis.

Each organization is responsible for inventorying those assets capitalized under their organization code in the Kuali Financial System (KFS).
  1. Inventory Scheduling
  2. Inventory Process for Each Campus
  3. Reconciliation of the Inventory Process
  4. Untagged Assets not on Equipment List
  5. Untagged Assets on Equipment List
  6. Loans, Transfers, and Audit
  1. Inventory Scheduling

    The Capital Asset Office will contact the Organizations required to do an inventory to schedule the use of the scanners. No inventory will be scheduled later than the average number of days given to reconcile the inventory prior to May 31st.

    Example "Latest Possible Start Dates" for a Fiscal Year 2010:
    Total Number of Assets in Inventory Average Number of Days Required to Reconcile Inventory Latest Possible Start Date
    1-100 15 business days April 15th
    101-500 30 business days April 1st
    501-2,000 60 business days March 1st
    2,001 - Over 90 business days February 1st

    Organizations will need to process the reconciliation report and return the signed inventory certification letter prior to May 31st to their Campus Capital Asset Office.

    The Certification Letter denotes that all equipment is present and accounted for, or the necessary documents have been issued to update the asset database.

    Certification Letters must be signed by the Fiscal Officer. The Fiscal Officer will be held accountable for accuracy of the inventory in the event of an audit.

  2. Inventory Process for Each Campus

    Bloomington: The Campus Capital Asset Office will contact the organization's inventory representative to schedule the inventory date. On the day your inventory is to start, a representative from the organization will pick up the Trakker(s) and Capital Asset Office personnel will train the inventory representative on the use of the Trakker(s).

    Indianapolis: The Campus Capital Asset Office will contact the organization's inventory representative to schedule the inventory date. On the day the inventory is to start, the Capital Asset Office personnel will deliver the inventory Trakker(s) for the organization. The Capital Asset Office personnel will train the inventory representative on the use of the Trakker(s).

    South East, North West, Kokomo, South Bend and East: The Campus Capital Asset Office will contact the organization's inventory representative to schedule the inventory date. On the day the inventory is to start, a representative from the Campus Capital Asset Office will come to each organization and scan the tags for the organization.

  3. Reconciliation of the Inventory Process

    When Trakkers are returned to the Capital Asset Office, two reports may be generated by Capital Asset Office personnel.

    • Bar-code Error Document- identifies problems encountered during the scan. When uploading the Trakker file, any records that do not pass validity checks against the asset database are sent to an Inventory Error Document. This document is normally forwarded to the organization for correction of the errors.
    • Inventory Reconciliation Report- lists equipment not scanned. Since all tagable assets must be scanned, when these assets are located, the Organization should schedule to pick up a scanner again to complete their inventory.

    Exception to Scanning of Capital Assets:


    Non-accessible for tagging: Capital assets that have an "N" for the tag field will be an exception. These assets will be:

    • Too delicate/fragile to tag. For example: laser optics.
    • It would de-face/de-value the asset. For example: antique furniture or art work.
    • It would make the asset un-usable. For example: the rotor used with a centrifuge/balance scale. It would throw off the balance to tag it.
    • The asset is non-accessible. For example: Components inside of other equipment or the satellite dish on top of a tower.
    • The size of the asset. For example: No surface flat enough or large enough for the size of the tag.
    • Surface conditions. Asset is attached to or surrounded by temperatures too hot, cold or wet. For example a submersible pump.
    • Asset is Impractical to scan. For example: Asset in radiation/magnetized areas. Modular furniture.
    • Out of reach. For example: roof mounted assets without stair access.

    If you have an asset that can't be tagged that is not on the list above please contact the University Capital Asset Office at capasset@iu.edu for an exception to standard.

    Off Campus: Assets located "Off-Campus" will be an exception.

    All assets with a capital asset tag not scanned must have an "Exception to Standard" filled out by the Organization inventory personnel and signed by the Fiscal Officer. The Capital Asset Manager will indicate whether there will be an exception made for these assets.

  4. Untagged Assets not on Equipment List:

    If an untagged asset with a value of $5,000 or more is found, and is not on the equipment list, the inventory representative should report the item to the Campus Capital Asset Office. The Campus Capital Asset Office will need to know how the equipment was acquired by the organization (i.e., Gift, Transfer-in or IU Purchase). The following information describes how each acquisition method will be handled.

    • Gifts

      Gifts of capital assets occur either by a donation to the IU Foundation or by a direct donation to an IU organization. The University Capital Asset Office creates gift assets through reports received from the IU Foundation. If a gift asset is not currently on your inventory we need to first determine if the gift has been reported to the IU Foundation.

    • Transfers-in

      Transfer-in capital assets are those assets received from an external organization (unusually another university) or government surplus. The following information is needed by the University Capital Asset Office to create the assets:

      • Account Number (owner account)
      • Source of Acquisition
      • Manufacture
      • Description
      • Location (campus, building, room)
      • Fair Market Value
      • Payment Account Number (this account will have income/expense posted to it)

    • IU Purchase

      If the equipment was purchased through the IU procurement system we will need the purchase order number to research why the item was not capitalized. It may be that the equipment was expensed incorrectly. Assets that were expensed incorrectly in a prior fiscal year are added to the asset database as "Found." If the error occurred in the current fiscal year a General Error Correction can be issued to correctly capitalize the asset. Another possibility is that asset was retired in error. If this is the case, the retired asset will be re-created as found only if the asset has a net book value greater than or equal to the capitalization threshold. If the net book value is below the capitalization threshold, the IU tag will be removed, and the asset will not be created.

  5. Untagged Asset on Equipment List

    If an asset is missing the IU tag number, contact the Campus Capital Asset Office to acquire a new tag for the equipment. The Locating Maintenance screen in KFS can be used to update the tag number. Retrieve the asset number and enter the new tag number in the field titled "New IU Number." Be sure to click on the save button before exiting the screen.

  6. Loans, Transfers, and Audit

    All capital assets on loan should have a current Equipment Loan Document in the Kuali Financial System (KFS).

    See Accounting Administration Policy FIN-ACC-I-140 Off-Premise Capital Equipment Control

    Asset Transfers or Retirements should be initiated when the asset is physically removed from the Organization. When sending equipment to Surplus Stores, it is highly suggested that the equipment be transferred within 3 business days of change of possession.

    See CSOP 2.0 Asset Retirement
    See CSOP 3.0 Asset Transfer

    If the organization's assets are selected for an audit, the organization will be expected to locate the assets for physical inventory inspection. The audit will be coordinated with the Campus Capital Asset Office.

    See Accounting Administration Policy FIN-ACC-I-170 Capital Movable Asset Physical Inventories, Tagging and Location Changes
DEFINITIONS: Capital Assets must have an acquisition value of at least $5,000 and a useful life expectancy of one year or greater.

Equipment - The term "equipment" includes delivery equipment, office equipment, machinery, furniture and fixtures, factory equipment and similar fixed assets.

Trakker is a handheld data collection terminal used to scan the IU tag number affixed to equipment.

CROSS REFERENCE: CSOP 2.0 Asset Retirement
CSOP 3.0 Asset Transfer
CSOP 8.0 Capitalization of Moveable Equipment
Accounting Administration Policy FIN-ACC-I-170 Capital Movable Asset Physical Inventories,
      Tagging and Location Changes
RESPONSIBLE ORGANIZATION: Organizations that purchase and maintain capital equipment

1Uniform Requirements for Grants and Other Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals and Other Non-Profit Organizations.