Learn about Equipment Inventory Process

Physical inventory is performed once a year. The Equipment Liaison will be provided a handheld scanner
and is responsible for scanning equipment in coordination with the Fixed Assets Office. Equipment Liaisons are encouraged to periodically review their equipment lists in preparation for the annual inventory as well as the Equipment Procedures Manual. The Equipment Liaison Checklist outlines the inventory process from start to finish.

Equipment Inventory Procedures

Timing of Inventory

Inventory timing depends on whether a department has purchased their own scanner. Departments owning scanners have from July 1st to March 31st to conduct their scanning and can do so at their own pace. For departments borrowing scanners, the Fixed Assets Office works with the Equipment Liaison to select one month each year to perform a physical inventory. The Equipment Liaison should inform individuals within their unit of the scheduled inventory date and ensure that all locations will be accessible. All ETF and equipment over $5,000 that is off site, remote/home use, should be brought into the office for scanning whenever possible. The Equipment Liaison will work with the Fixed Assets Office when equipment is not available for scanning.

Before the Inventory

  • Review your inventory list. Complete a Request for Tagging of New Equipment for items that are not
    currently included on your inventory list.
  • Identify assets that are no longer needed and initiate a Surplus Workflow Request(s).
    An updated report may be requested from Fixed Assets once these items have been completed.
  • Review report for missing information (serial numbers, manufacturers, models, etc.) and make notes to
    obtain information during scanning.
  • Determine a starting point for the area and office in a logical direction; ensure that you have access to
    every location with equipment, including offices, lockable private rooms, docking stations, storage
    rooms, labs, and classrooms.
  • Review the instructions for using the handheld scanner and contact Fixed Assets if you have questions.
    Inform your department of the physical inventory date(s) and estimated time you will be visiting each
    area for scanning. This will help ensure cooperation and minimize disruptions.

During the Inventory

  • Print the initial inventory list, provided by Fixed Assets, and carry it with you during the physical
    inventory process.
  • Scan all visible barcodes. Check the scanner to ensure that the number of
    items has increased after each scan. You may also mark the items on the initial inventory list to help
    keep track.
  • Identify barcodes that are unscannable, if equipment is missing a tag or an incorrect serial number is
    recorded and make a note on the inventory list. Contact Fixed Assets for a new barcode label.
  • Items that cannot be found should be noted on the inventory list.

After the Inventory

  • Return the scanner (if borrowed) and inform Fixed Assets of the items that were unable to be scanned and any missing information that was discovered.
  • After the initial scanning, Fixed Assets will send an updated list to you.
  • Locate missing items through a search of department locations and review of equipment paperwork
    including transfer forms and surplus documentation.
  • Schedule a date with Fixed Assets to verify remaining items and report any items that are still unfound.

An inventory is considered complete when:

  • All equipment listed on the inventory report has been scanned;
  • Any equipment that was not located has been appropriately documented;
  • New purchases are updated in the university inventory records.

Correct Equipment Information in Department's Inventory

How to remove an equipment from my inventory that does not belong to my department:

Usually equipment that is on your inventory and doesn’t belong could be on there for a variety of reasons which are easily resolved. Please contact Fixed Assets regarding this issue and we will work with you to find why the equipment is on your inventory, figure out whose inventory it should be located, and to fill out the proper paperwork in order to fix the problem.

Equipment Not Found Procedures

The university is required to investigate every report of missing or stolen assets. When a department is
unable to locate any item, the following procedures should be applied:

  1. Obtain the details of the missing item from the inventory records. This includes the description of the
    item, model number, serial number and the last recorded location of the item.
  2. Physically check the last recorded location and adjacent areas.
  3. Check with all individuals who have access to the area where the missing item(s) was last located.
  4. Review all equipment paperwork such as Surplus Property documentation, transfers and loan forms.
  5. If at any time during the investigation, it is suspected that a theft may have occurred, the Equipment
    Liaison must report the incident to the University Police Department for investigation and further
  6. If the missing item is located, the Equipment Liaison must notify Fixed Assets and the proper location
    will be recorded in the inventory records (TraQ).

Equipment will be removed from the university inventory records if a department is unable to locate the
equipment after applying a good faith effort during the annual physical inventory. Fixed Assets will inactivate
the missing equipment in the TraQ database, code it as disposed with a disposal code of X- Not Found During
Inventory and, if a capitalized item, treat it as a deletion for financial statement purposes.

The missing equipment will no longer be reported on the inventory list distributed to the department. If the equipment is found within the current fiscal year, Fixed Assets will re-activate the item in the TraQ database. The item status of any equipment scanned during the annual inventory that has been disposed in the database in a previous fiscal year will be updated to “ActiveD,” noting that it was previously disposed but remains on campus.

Departments shall absorb the book value amount of the lost equipment and may receive a monetary
penalty for the loss of equipment. The original cost minus depreciation will be used to determine book value as
of June 30 and may be deducted from the department budget the following fiscal year, dependent upon the funds used to purchase the equipment. Any missing ETF items with remaining book value will need to be replaced with a similar asset costing at least as much as the book value, while GEN items (items purchased with non-ETF funds) will only carry a penalty if the remaining book value is ≥ $5,000.


A server was purchased one year ago at a cost of $8,000.  The life expectancy for the server is five years.  After one year, the asset is 1/5 depreciated (-$1,600).  The original cost $8,000 – (minus) depreciated value $1,600 = Book Value of $6,400.  If not located during inventory, the department budget will be reduced by $6,400 in the following fiscal year.

Equipment Inventory Resources

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