Property Inventory

The Property Inventory Section of the Department of Financial Services is responsible for maintaining a permanent and detailed centralized inventory system for recording all tangible capitalized property (items costing $5000 or more) purchased with University funds, acquired by private gifts, or transferred from an outside source as required by the Federal Government, the State of Oklahoma Office of Management & Enterprise Services and the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents. 

Property Inventory is also responsible for tracking non-capitalized, highly portable and/or theft prone property as deemed necessary by the University administration and departments. Additionally, Property Inventory coordinates physical inventories of University and sponsor-owned tangible capitalized property and select tangible non-capitalized property on an annual basis. 

At no time can a University department or office discard a University asset without proper authorization; nor can a University asset be given or donated to any individual, private corporation, or non-profit organization.

Accountability and Responsibility

Accountability - Accountability for all moveable tangible property in use rests with department chairs, directors, and budget unit heads and is required in order to minimize risk of misuse, damage, theft, or loss of assets. Accountability is the requirement imposed on those individuals empowered with the authority to decide as to the acquisition, employment, and disposition of assets. Accountability cannot be delegated, but can only be transferred to other accountable individuals, or discharged through the proper execution of this procedure. If a breach of accountability results in significant loss (either instantly or cumulatively over time) to the University, appropriate administrative action may be taken. Unless separate documentation has been issued to assign or delegate accountability for an asset to a specific individual (e.g., principal investigator of a sponsored program), such accountability shall rest with the department chair, director, and/or budget unit head whose org/project paid for the asset. For assets that are funded from more than one org/project, accountability will rest with the respective department chair, director, and/or budget unit head that paid for the majority of the cost of the asset.

Responsibilities - Each department chair, director and/or budget unit head is responsible for all property purchased or transferred to his/her area as reflected on the official inventory records of the University. Specific responsibilities are as follows:

  1. Accepting and signing the official inventory report upon each physical count   attesting to the proper reconciliation of the current inventory report to the prior inventory report including additions, disposals, thefts, adjustments, etc.
  2. Notification of the proper office(s) (including Property Inventory) of any change in physical location of property.
  3. Notification of the proper office(s) (including Property Inventory) of any property that is lost, damaged or stolen.
  4. Making available to Property Inventory personnel all items of acquired property for the purpose of making periodic physical inspection, regardless of the source of funds utilized to purchase the property.
  5. Ensuring all tangible capitalized property is reviewed through physical observation by someone other than the property custodian at the time of the annual inventory.
  6. Approving off campus use and resulting removal from locations in University buildings of property for which he/she has responsibility for. A Property Inventory Off-Campus Usage Authorization form must be filled out completely and forwarded to Property Inventory for approval in these situations.  Please see the Off-Campus Usage section below for policies and procedures.
  7. Approving transfers of items of property to other departments as the need arises. A Request for Moving Services form must be completed by the relinquishing department along with an Equipment Removal form.  This form is located on the Financial Services website.

During the annual inventory, Property Inventory shall provide each department with instructions for completing the inventory and a computer printout listing all property items currently under their responsibility. The completed, signed inventory report and any change of status forms must be returned to Property Inventory by the date indicated. Property Inventory will validate that the inventory report is properly completed, review all items added for appropriateness of such action, review all items to be removed and the reasons thereof prior to removal, update the Asset Management System, and compile an updated inventory report to be forwarded to the department for verification of the changes made. After the documentation is verified, Property Inventory will perform a spot check of selected items on each inventory.

Property Inventory is responsible for submitting an annual report of current inventory of tangible assets owned by the Health Sciences Center as of
June 30 of the preceding fiscal year to the OMES by August 15 of the current fiscal year.


Tangible Capital Asset - A tangible capital asset is one that is moveable (i.e., not permanently attached to a building), has a useful life extending beyond one year, and whose cost (i.e., invoice price plus freight, installation, etc.) is $5000 or more. Examples of tangible capital assets are: office equipment, lab equipment, shop equipment, motor vehicles, furniture, tools, etc. A tangible capital asset cost is "capitalized" or reported as an asset on an organization's balance sheet rather than "expensing" the cost of the item against the current fiscal year's operations.

Tangible Non-Capital Asset - A tangible non-capital asset is one that has a useful life of one year or less and/or whose cost is less than $5000. The cost of a tangible non-capital asset is "expensed" on an organization's income statement against the current fiscal year's operations. 

Property Accounting Procedures

Acquisition - Tangible Capitalized Property
All assets with a cost of $5000 or more and a useful life extending beyond one year shall not be expensed in the current period, but shall be carried as assets of the University and posted to the detailed, centralized property records maintained by the Property Inventory.

When an asset is purchased through Accounts Payable the invoice is forwarded to Property Inventory once processed for payment. Property Inventory then reviews the invoice to ensure the item was appropriately classified as a capital asset prior to assigning an inventory number and entering into the Asset Management System. The asset is then physically tagged (labeled) by the acquiring department with an asset tag furnished by Property Inventory. 

When an asset is purchased by Purchasing department on a University issued procurement card, Purchasing forwards the invoice to Property Inventory for review to ensure the item was appropriately classified as a capital asset prior to assigning an inventory number and entering into the Asset Management System. Property Inventory will then send a University asset tag to the acquiring department to be physically placed on the item. 

Affixing tags to certain items is impractical or undesirable (e.g., inaccessible property, works of art, etc.). In these instances, an inventory record is still created, maintained, and inventory accomplished on these items. Inventory tags for these items shall be maintained in a central location readily accessible to the inventory control officer.

Inventory tags must not be removed from property except by authorized Property Inventory personnel. 

Items of property costing $5000 or more on federally sponsored research grants and contracts must be screened against existing University property in order to ensure that there is no like property already available to meet the needs for which the property is being purchased. Grants and Contracts Accounting forwards a Property Inventory Screening form to Property Inventory to determine if like property exists. If like property is found to exist, Grants and Contracts Accounting contacts the department(s) to determine if the property is available to be shared. If like property is available to share, Grants and Contracts Accounting informs the requesting department of the property availability. If no like property is available, Grants and Contracts Accounting approves the purchase request. 

Property transferred to the University under a sponsored program agreement should be coordinated through the Office of Research Administration. The property must be in useable condition, physically inventoried, assigned an inventory number, and entered into the Asset Management System according to its book value. 

Property on loan from the Federal Government must be accounted for and inventoried in the same manner as other University property.

Acquisition - Tangible Non-Capitalized Property
Items that are highly portable and theft prone are candidates for tracking within the University's centralized inventory system. Other than those items specifically identified by University administration, tracking items costing less than $5000 in the University's centralized inventory system is at each department's discretion. However, departments continue to be responsible for properly accounting for all tangible non-capitalized property. Tracked items will be assigned an inventory number but not capitalized in the University accounting records, therefore not depreciated. Departments are responsible for physically tagging tracked non-capitalized items with Property Inventory assigned tags. 

Other than items required to be tracked by University administration, Property Inventory does not require formal physical inventories on non-capitalized items. However, when periodic physical inventories are performed for departmental purposes Property Inventory will compile or assist in compiling a tracked property inventory report to be used in the physical inventory. Departments are responsible for notifying Property Inventory when items no longer need to be tracked and should be removed from the Asset Management System.

Off-Campus Usage

University property that is owned by the University or for which the University is responsible is to be used only for University purposes.  As a general policy, University property will not be removed from authorized campus locations.  However, there are instances in which it would be advantageous for the University to allow faculty, staff, or students to remove property for off-campus usage.  Examples of allowed off-campus usage might include:

            Medical equipment in a hospital accompanied/used by HSC employees

             Defibrillator in a public school used by HSC Nursing staff         

           Sponsor purchased equipment placed with a sub-recipient

When it is determined by the appropriate departmental authority that such is the case, the following policies and procedures shall be observed.

  1. Approval to remove University property from authorized locations in University buildings must be secured from the Department Chair, Director, and/or Budget Unit Head who has responsibility for control of the item of University equipment involved as well as Financial Services.  These approvals shall be documented on the Property Inventory Off-Campus Usage Authorization form.
  2. A written record of this approved document is to be maintained in the office of the approving authority and a copy to Financial Services Property Inventory. Such record shall include at a minimum:
         a) Description of property to be removed;
         b) Make, model, and serial number of property;
         c) University Inventory Tag Number;
         d) Originating University location of the property;
         e) Authorized university employee name, position classification, department name, telephone number, and email of the person authorized to remove
             the item of University property from its University location;

         f) Location (street address, apartment number (if any), city, and state) to which property is to be relocated, and
        g) Date on which University property is being removed from University location and date it is to be returned to University location;
        h) All authorizing signatures.
  3. Any person removing University property from a University location is to assume the responsibility for providing appropriate care and security in its transportation to the authorized offcampus location, and for returning such property in satisfactory working condition. The person authorized to remove the University’s property to an offcampus location may be made liable for the costs of repair or replacement of any such University property not so returned.
         a) The person removing the University’s property will acknowledge this responsibility by that person’s signature on the University form containing such
             a statement of responsibility.

         b) In the event of damage or destruction of the University’s property due to fire, flood, windstorm or other natural causes, or in the event of the loss of such
             property through theft, the person having removed the University’s property to an off
    campus location shall file a report of loss or damage with the local
             authority (fire department, police department, or sheriff’s office), and furnish a copy of that report to the Property Inventory.  If the equipment was a

              computing device (laptop, smart phone, flash drive, or tablet), this information must also be reported to Information Technology Department (IT).
  4. Copies of the Authorization Form will be furnished to the person authorized to remove the University property to an offcampus location, and Property Inventory.
  5. As a general policy, University property which has been authorized for removal from its normal University location will be returned to that location as soon as possible. To that end;
         a) Approvals for removal will be limited to the current fiscal year;
         b) If the authorizing authority deems it necessary, an extension of time for return of the University property must be approved in writing
             with copies provided to the individual authorized to use the property off
    campus and to Property Inventory;

        c) At inventory time, all property which has been removed from University locations shall be physically accounted for by the person who
           has authorized the removal of the property.

  6. In the event of a planned separation or extended absence of the person who has been authorized to remove the University’s property to an offcampus location, the authorizing official shall be responsible for ensuring and providing for the return of the property to its University location prior to the departure of the individual. Extended absences include Sabbatical Leave or similar authorized absences of six months duration or longer.
  7. For unanticipated separations or extended absences, the authorized person agrees to return the property to the University or make it available to the University for pick up at the University’s reasonable convenience.
  8. All University property removed from University locations shall be subject to the immediate recall by the University at any time deemed necessary by appropriate University authorities.
  9. Upon the receipt of this Statement of Policy and Procedure, each Department Chair, Director, and/or Budget Unit Head will identify all items of University property which have been authorized by those individuals for removal from their University location, will verify their current locations, and will either approve the continued use of that property away from the University location, or have the property returned to the University.
          a) If authorization is given for continued use away from the University’s location, the authorizing person shall furnish Property Inventory the
              information specified in item 2, above.

          b) Such information is to be provided within thirty (30) days following receipt of this Statement of Policy and Procedure, or the return of the University’s
              property is to be accomplished within that thirty (30) day period.


University assets are to be disposed of in a manner that will accrue maximum benefit to the University. Before any action can be taken to dispose of property, the excess property must be made available for screening against University requirements. Research items in working condition should remain in place during the initial screening period. A Service Unit Request (SUR) to Moving Services and an Equipment Removal form must be filled out completely indicating the inventory number, serial number, and nomenclature of the property being surplused. The Department of General Services will communicate campus-wide the listing of surplus property specifying the screening period. If a department wishes to acquire any of the surplus property, a SUR to Moving Services must be initiated.

If no University departments wish to acquire the surplus item(s), then an attempt to dispose of the surplus assets is made through public auction. Prior to a public auction, State of Oklahoma public schools can each acquire a designated number of items by petitioning the Records Manager for General Services in writing. Items remaining after the auction may be discarded as worthless assets.

  1. Trade-In - Whenever an asset is traded-in on a like-asset with additional payment involved, the inventory number, serial number, model and description of the asset traded in must appear on the related purchasing document(s). A copy of the purchasing document(s) and credit invoice must be attached to the Equipment Removal form signed by the department chair, director, and/or budget unit head and forwarded to Property Inventory.

  2. Asset One-For-One Exchange - A one for one exchange for a like asset with no additional payment involved will be supported by a memorandum from the department chair, director, or budget unit head. The memorandum will include a description of the item to be traded in, such as brand, serial number, model, and inventory number. The same information must be provided for the new item received. The memorandum must be signed by the department chair, director, and/or budget unit head and forwarded to Property Inventory.

  3. Return an Asset for Credit - A copy of the credit invoice with the Equipment Removal form signed by the department chair, director, or budget unit head must be sent to Property Inventory for removal of an asset from the inventory records.

  4. Cannibalized Assets - If an asset has been cannibalized due to not warranting reutilization, an Equipment Removal form must be filled out completely, signed by the department chair, director, and/or budget unit head and forwarded to Property Inventory for removal of the asset from the property records. 


 1. Cash Sales - Departments are not authorized to make cash sales of University property. University property may be sold for cash only after every attempt has been made to redistribute the items to meet other valid University requirements. Cash sales will be conducted only by the Purchasing department using public bid procedures with the proceeds deposited into the University's revolving fund unless otherwise authorized by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance or his/her designee to be deposited elsewhere.

  2. Missing Items/Unable to Locate - If a department is reasonably sure a missing item was not stolen but moved from one area to another and cannot be located, a Missing Equipment Notification form must be filled out in its entirety and submitted to Property Inventory within thirty (30) days of discovery. This form must be signed by the department inventory representative and the department Business Administrator or equivalent. Missing/unable to locate items will remain on the Asset Management System through the next inventory cycle. The asset custodian is expected to be diligently looking for this item during the time between inventories.

As soon as a department is reasonably sure the item will not be located or after two consecutive inventory cycles, an Equipment Removal form shall be completed and forwarded to Property Inventory for approval to purge the item from the Asset Management System. This form requires an explanation of the circumstances including the steps taken to locate the item and how future losses will be prevented. This form will be signed by the Property Inventory supervisor and/or Controller. Property Inventory shall report the loss to Internal Audit annually.

  3. Stolen Assets – Campus Police and Internal Audit must be notified upon discovery of stolen assets. The disposition of assets lost through theft must be documented by the Equipment Removal form signed by the department chair, director, or budget unit head with a report from Campus Police attached. These documents shall be submitted to Property Inventory within thirty (30) days of discovery. In turn, Property Inventory shall report the loss to the state inventory control officer within thirty (30) days of discovery.

  4. Transfers of Assets - At no time will title to property vested in the University be transferred directly to a terminating faculty member. Transfer of property may be considered when:

a) It is or was the specific intent of the donor that the property is or was to support the work of the terminating faculty member rather than a program of the University and that the property ownership should be transferred to the institution to which the faculty is moving.

b) The property was purchased from funds supporting an ongoing program which the donor or granting agency will continue at the new employing institution.

c) Transfers of property will be pre-authorized by the appropriate contracting official and approved by the appropriate dean/department chair and designated executive/administrative officer.

5. Property Inventory Adjustments - Whenever possible, the property inventory system should be updated as soon as a change of status occurs. This helps insure the property inventory system remains in close agreement with the property actually on hand and facilitates the progress of scheduled physical inventories. Property Inventory will conduct spot inventories of items in order to test the validity of the inventory records. However, these spot inventories do not relieve the department of the responsibility for conducting their own spot inventories.


Exceptions to specific provisions of this policy must be submitted in writing and approved by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and CFO or his/her designee.