Asset Management - Standard Operating Procedures


Campuses of the California State University system are required to adhere to CSU policy pertaining to acquisition, use and disposition of fixed assets.  CSU Executive Order 649 delegates authority to campus presidents to establish and maintain a system of internal control to safeguard university property.

These procedures provide reasonable standards for compliance with CSU policy.

In keeping with its mission, the University provides equipment and furniture resources to members of the University Community. The equipment and furniture made available for student, faculty and staff use are the property of the California State University, Northridge and the State of California, and is provided for the completion of academic requirements, scholarship, and University business. Use of these resources is a privilege. Use of University equipment and furniture for activities other than academic purposes or University business is not permitted, and the University reserves the right to suspend the use of these resources for the following reasons:

  • Illegal activities
  • Abuse of resources which significantly reduces the ability of others to use these resources.

Adherence to these procedures will facilitate accurate record keeping related to the acquisition, control, and disposition of property. The combination of accurate accounting records and strong internal controls must be in place to protect against and detect the unauthorized use of the university's Capital and Non-Capital equipment.


Property Control Designees:

Campus departments have the primary responsibility for the care, custody, maintenance, records and control of all property.It shall maintain up-to-date departmental records and initiate such forms as are necessary to fully inform Asset Management with respect to the custody, records, control and all transactions involving said equipment so that Asset Management may properly carry out its responsibilities.

Property Control Designees, designated by a chair, dean or director have responsibility for the following:

  • Promptly reporting any loss, damage, transfer, or misuse of property or equipment to the Asset Management Department as well as any other Campus entities necessary.
  • Performing a yearly inventory of Capital equipment in conjunction with the Asset Management Department, including any supporting documentation needed to complete the process.
  • In conjunction with the Asset Management department, conducting a monitoring cycle of non-capital equipment on a perpetual basis, which will have no one cycle last longer than three years.Once the cycle is complete a new cycle will begin.

The department chair, dean or director will assign the department property control designee these tasks in writing.

Definition of Equipment:

Capital Equipment:

Capital equipment is defined as tangible or intangible, non-consumable property with an acquisition cost of at least $5,000.00. Capital equipment has a normal useful life of at least one year, is not permanently attached to or incorporated in university buildings and grounds, and is used to conduct university business. The cost of equipment includes the purchase price plus all costs to acquire (tax, shipping and handling), install and prepare equipment for its intended use.

Non-Capital Equipment:

Non-Capital equipment is defined as tangible, non-consumable property with an acquisition cost of at least $2,000.00. Non-Capital equipment has a normal useful life of at least one year, is not permanently attached to or incorporated in university buildings and grounds, and is used to conduct university business. The cost of equipment includes the purchase price plus all cost to acquire (tax, shipping and handling), install and prepare equipment for its intended use.

Acquisition of Capital & Non-Capital Equipment:

Identification of Capital and Non-Capital Assets

Asset Management has main responsibility for reviewing all Purchase Order Requisitions for appropriate Profile ID, Account numbers and requests for items to be flagged for asset tagging to be used by the Purchasing Department to create a Purchase Order. All Requisitions are reviewed daily, returned to purchasing in a timely manor as to not slow the Purchasing process.

Delivery to Central Receiving Department

Capital and Non-Capital equipment acquired on a university purchase order or contract will be tagged with a bar-coded label before delivery to accepting department. The Receiving department has responsibility for providing a record of the tag number, equipment serial number on a copy of the detailed delivery report, and sending a copy of that report to Asset Management. Receiving is responsible for recording the asset tag number in the appropriate field in PeopleSoft.

Direct Delivery to Department/Pick-up by Department

When Capital or Non-Capital equipment is delivered directly to a department or the department picks up the equipment directly from the vendor, it is the responsibility of the department to notify Receiving of the delivery. The Receiving Department will receive the item in the system along with updating the asset tag number and then follow normal procedure to notify Asset Management who will be responsible for tagging the item and entering it manually in the PeopleSoft System.

Identification of University Capital & Non-Capital Equipment:


All Capital and Non-Capital equipment is bar-coded with a unique identification number and recorded in property inventory records. It remains so identified as long as it is in the custody, possession or control of the university. Assigned identification numbers are recorded on all applicable receiving, shipping and disposal documents, and other records that are related to the property control system. Such markings and identification are removed or obliterated from the equipment only when sold, scrapped, or otherwise disposed of. Once an identification number has been assigned, no change is made during the life of the item regardless of inter-departmental or inter-campus transfers.

Departmental Responsibilities

Bar coding, tracking, and maintenance of Capital and Non-Capital equipment records are the responsibility of Asset Management.

Each department is charged with the responsibility for university equipment assigned to or purchased by their department. Inventories of Capital equipment will be taken each year as required. Non-Capital equipment will be monitored on a three-year cycle. Departments are responsible for communicating with Asset Management when equipment when items are lost, stolen, destroyed or transferred or traded.

Departments, for the purpose of accountability, may request bar coding of certain types of minor (sensitive) equipment that does not meet the acquisition cost of $2,000.00 dollars. Departments are instructed to limit the bar coding of this type of equipment. However, once it has been determined that minor equipment under the $2,000.00 threshold is to be bar coded, the item becomes part of their Non-Capital equipment-monitoring list and departments are held responsible and must account for and dispose of all such items on their list in accordance with established procedure regardless of cost.

Warranty information and support documentation is to be maintained by the originating department. Inventoried equipment will have minimal backup information maintained in the property records, which may be helpful in pursuing a warranty. The information maintained in the property records is not the primary source of warranty information.

Instructional Capital or Non-Capital equipment, that is equipment purchased for use in instructional departments will have a special coding in the asset records if they meet the Asset criteria. Reports on such instructional equipment purchases will be available from property records.

Bar-Coding (Tagging):

The application of the barcode number to Capital and Non-Capital equipment is the responsibility of Asset Management and Receiving. However, this function may be delegated to a campus department when deemed appropriate. The identification number is applied to the actual unit unless its size or nature makes it impractical. A barcode bearing the identification number should be affixed in the top left corner or next logical or conspicuous position. Additional identification required by a department should be applied in a manner that avoids confusion with the state identification number. Should the identification number be accidentally or mistakenly obliterated, defaced or removed, the equipment will be bar-coded with a new number. The previous number becomes the secondary number enabling Asset Management to account for all numbers associated with that item. Departments may request that specific items which do not meet the Capital or Non-Capital definitions be bar coded and followed in the property ledger by making that request in writing to the Materials Manager, responsible for Asset Management. 

Location of Capital & Non-Capital Equipment:

The location of each item of Capital and Non-Capital equipment is noted in the departmental records. Current records as to movement of equipment are maintained in such a manner that any item of equipment can be located for inspection or inventory purposes within a reasonable time. The responsible department will notify Asset Management of any changes in location.

Equipment Requiring Special Handling:

Personally Owned Equipment

If a university employee keeps personally owned equipment on campus, it should be reported to his/her department and identified as the property of the owner. The university is not responsible for loss or damage to the equipment.

Loan Capital and Non-Capital Equipment

Loans of Capital and Non-Capital equipment must be properly documented. 

  • Loans of University Capital and Non-Capital Equipment from One Department to Another: If equipment is loaned to another department for a short period, a memorandum of the transaction should be filed in the lending department.
  • Loans of University Capital and Non-Capital Equipment to External Organizations, Employees, or Other individuals: Any loan of university Capital or Non-Capital equipment to an external organization or to an individual, including employees, must have prior departmental approval. Employees who are using state equipment at home must complete an Equipment Home Use Form that is kept on file at the departmental level. It is the responsibility of each owner department to insure that such paperwork is complete and up to date, and reported to Asset Management. 
  • Inter-Campus Loans of Capital or Non-Capital Equipment: Inter-campus loans of equipment require prior approval. Loans of one year or more are recorded on the inventory record, with the borrowing campus completing a Transfer of Location of Equipment form to be kept on file in Asset Management. It is the responsibility of the owner department to notify Asset Management of all such actions.

Inventory of Equipment:

Physical Inventories of University Equipment

The Capital equipment inventory will take place during January of each year. It is the responsibility of each department to complete the physical inventory within the appointed time. Inventory equipment such as scanners will be provided along with instruction of their use, if necessary. Support documentation such as inventory listings and discrepancy reports will be generated for each department, and departments will be responsible for reconciling any and all discrepancies using the format provided by Asset Management. It is the responsibility of the owner department to maintain all support documentation for lost, stolen, loaned, deleted and damaged equipment. If needed, Asset Management will assist in processing those forms.

Non-Capital equipment will be monitored with a perpetual system with no one cycle taking longer than three years. It will be the responsibility of each department to review and update the minor equipment listing using the Asset Management format provided. Departments must account for all Non-Capital equipment on their listing. Asset Management will assist each department with information for completion of forms needed to bring the departments listing up to date. Each Department must update their department's list within the required time. Departments will have one month to reconcile their listing.

If there is a change in the chairman/director of a department during the year, the department should take a physical inventory at that time. Asset Management may verify the departmental inventory on the basis of statistical sampling. If the sample shows gross discrepancies, the department will be requested to take a complete physical inventory.

Results of inventories

University departments will submit to Asset Management their inventory listing that properly identifies all discrepancies disclosed by physical inventory. The listing will be signed by the department head indicating that the physical inventory of all or certain classes of property was completed on a given date, and that official property records were found to be in agreement with the physical inventory, except for reported discrepancies. The listing will be furnished with a minimum of delay at the completion of the physical inventory.

Removal of Equipment from Property Records (Retirement):


In order to retire Capital or Non-Capital equipment items from property inventory records, a process known, as a 'Survey' must be completed. The following procedures must be taken:

  • A Surplus Property Survey Request (Form 116) must be prepared and submitted to Asset Management. A complete description of the item, including the University identification number and serial number, if available, should be furnished.
  • Asset Management will review the written request, prepare a Property Survey Report and then forward the completed Property Survey Report to a member of the University's Property Survey Board for review and approval.
  • Upon approval, Asset Management will remove equipment from department equipment inventory records.

The proposed disposal of property or equipment by cannibalizing, junking, salvaging, selling, donating or trading-in these items, must also be recorded on a Property Survey Report Form following the above procedures.

Trade-in of Capital or Non-Capital Equipment

Departments must prepare and submit a written request whenever equipment is being traded in. The request should include a complete description of the equipment, the vendor, the monetary value offered for the equipment, and requisition number. The department should provide a Purchase Order number to Asset Management when it becomes available.

Lost or Stolen Capital or Non-Capital Equipment

When a determination has been made that Capital or Non-Capital equipment has been lost or stolen, the individual or department accountable for the equipment should immediately notify the Campus police. A theft or lost report is completed and submitted with a Surplus Property Survey Request (Form 116) and a Lost Property Statement Form to Asset Management.

Employees may be charged for any loss or damage to University Capital or Non-Capital equipment that is attributable to their negligence or unauthorized use.

Transfers & Relocation of Capital & Non-Capital Equipment:

It is the responsibility of the department to notify Asset Management of all relocations of Capital and Non-Capital equipment items as follows:

Inter-Departmental Transfers

When Capital and Non-Capital equipment is transferred between departments, an "Equipment/Furniture Move Service Request" form must be completed and signed by the appropriate dean, director or chair of the department involved in the transfer of Capital and Non-Capital equipment. This form should then be forwarded to Asset Management to update the inventory records.

Relocation of Entire Department

When an entire department relocates, the department should conduct a complete physical inventory of Capital and Non-Capital equipment.

Transfers to State Agencies

When Capital and Non-Capital equipment is transferred between state agencies, a Surplus Property Survey Request form must be completed and signed by the appropriate dean, director or chair of the department and sent to Asset Management. The request is attached to a Transfer of Equipment form prepared by Asset Management, approved by a Property Survey Board member, and signed by the receiving state agency.

Sale of Capital and Non-Capital Equipment

Asset Management, in accordance with university policy, may offer university equipment for sale, before such action occurs these items are offered to the general campus via posting on the Asset Management Web-site. Departments may also call and request particular equipment, if such items come to the attention of Asset Management we will notify the requesting department and a transfer document is prepared with the asset being reinstated. If no campus department wants such equipment, Asset Management may offer this equipment to the general public via a Public Service Surplus Auction Web-site. All proceeds from any sale are returned to the general fund. The term "sold equipment" applies to university-owned equipment sold to external agencies or individuals. It does not apply to equipment transferred to another department or campus.

Donation of Equipment

Asset Management in accordance with university policy may donate university equipment. Any non-profit organization may qualify for a donation. The organization must submit a letter, requesting donation on letterhead to Asset Management.
all donations of Capital and Non-Capital equipment must be processed through Asset Management.

Junked or Salvaged for Parts

A Property Survey Report must be prepared whenever it is proposed to dispose of university owned Capital or Non-Capital equipment by junking or salvaging the equipment for parts. Departments should follow the procedures outlined above in the section entitled Removal of Equipment from Property Records (Survey).

University Gifts

CSUN Asset Management Department's Procedures for Accounting for University Gifts:

It is the policy of California State University, Northridge that all gifts received by the university or any of its colleges, departments, or units, be deposited through the University Development Office with the California State University, Northridge Foundation. Gifts to the university may be in the form of cash or non-cash items. Gifts of art must be approved for acceptance by the university's art collection commission. Gifts that are accepted with the expectation that they will be sold require special consideration for IRS purposes.

To account for and reconcile Capital and Non-Capital equipment that is donated to California State University, Northridge the following procedure should be followed

All gifts of tangible personal property are transferred to the university through a deed of gift letter. Because of the tax implications related to gifts, procedures have been established through the University Foundation to assist members of the academic community and donors in properly receiving and accounting for gifts to the university. The University Foundation will prepare a copy of the deed of gift letter for Asset Management and will include in it such information as equipment description, the receiving department, and value of the gift.

Upon receipt of the deed of gift letter, Asset Management is responsible for processing the gift in accordance with CSUN gift policy and procedures and will tag, and record appropriate equipment for inclusion into the Asset Management system.

Bar-coding Assets

Donated property is bar coded for tracking purposes when certain conditions are met. Bar-coding means to affix a University bar code to the asset, and record it in the University property records. The Campus maintains this accountability until disposition of each asset occurs. Tangible property must meet the following two requirements in order to meet the bar-coding requirements for state equipment:


Fund Accounting does reconciliation of all Capital and Non-Capital assets, it is they who run the balances of assets from PeopleSoft and determine how often that procedure is completed.

Annual reporting requirements

Instructional Equipment Report: Asset Management maintains an instructional equipment inventory for system budget development and state reporting requirements.