Administrative Procedures Handbook

Property Accounting

The Property Accounting and Redistribution Center (PARC) is located north of Facilities Management in the same building as University Printing & Mailing Center (UPMC). The PARC warehouse is a storage area for usable items. These are redistributed at no cost to campus departments. Please contact PARC if you have questions about items currently held in the warehouse or if you need assistance with any equipment related matter.

Equipment, regardless of actual or perceived value is not to be removed from the University or used for non-University business. Additional information on the use of University property can be found on the Property Use Policy page.

Phone: 309-298-3118

Reportable Equipment

Reportable equipment is defined as equipment with a purchase price of $2,500 or more. Reportable equipment also includes antiques, firearms, vehicles, computers and other electronic items with data storage capability regardless of cost. Reportable equipment is tagged. Property Accounting is responsible for maintaining property records for equipment in this category. In addition, other items may be listed at a nominal value (usually $0) and may appear on the fixed asset system for tracking purposes. Campus departments are responsible for the safeguarding of these and all other University assets.

Do not place reportable equipment in trash cans or bins. Reportable equipment should be disposed of in accordance with the excess (surplus), broken (scrap) or obsolete equipment section.

Non-Reportable Equipment

Non-reportable equipment items are defined as those with a unit cost of $100 to $2,499.99 excluding antiques, firearms, vehicles, computers and other electronic items with data storage capability. Antiques, firearms, vehicles, computers and other electronic items with data storage capability are classified as reportable equipment. Departments acquiring non-reportable equipment are responsible for the records pertaining to their purchase and location and for the safeguarding of these and all University assets. Tags for identifying non-reportable equipment as property of Western Illinois University are available through PARC at no charge.

Non-reportable equipment can be transferred between departments without notifying Property Accounting.

Do not place non-reportable equipment in trash cans or bins. Non-reportable equipment should be disposed of in accordance with the excess (surplus), broken (scrap) or obsolete equipment section.

Equipment Identification

Shortly after purchase, Business Services will reach out to the purchasing department via the ticketing system with instructions on tagging reportable equipment. Once tagged, the tag number along with many other attributes including the location of the equipment are entered into the Property Accounting system by Business Services personnel. The tag currently used is white with black lettering and a QR code. Business Services receives notification of an equipment purchase when payment is made. If a piece of reportable equipment has been paid for and a ticket has not been received from Business Services within 30 days please contact Property Accounting so that a determination can be made as to the status.

Inventory Change Report

This report is used to initiate a transfer of reportable equipment between departments so property records can be updated to reflect the current location of the equipment. This form is also used to request the disposal of equipment with a purchase price of $100 or greater (excess, surplus, broken, scrap, obsolete, etc.) and to report stolen equipment. When requesting the disposal of equipment that does not have a tag on it, please provide a full description and if known, the date of purchase, price, and serial number.

Do not place excess equipment in trash cans or bins. equipment should be disposed of in accordance with the excess (surplus), broken (scrap) or obsolete equipment section.

The inventory change report is located on the Business Services web page under forms.

Inventory Change Report Form (PDF)

Equipment Transfers

When reportable equipment is being permanently transferred from one department to another an Inventory Change Report must be completed so property records can be updated to reflect the current location of the equipment. (An inventory change report is not necessary when non-reportable equipment is being transferred from one department to another.) If the equipment is to be moved by Building Services, a Service Request must also be completed by the requesting department. Service requests can be completed through the Facilities Management website.

When reportable equipment is being moved from one room to another within the same department, an email should be sent to so property records can be updated to reflect the current location of the equipment.

In the event a budget transfer is arranged for the exchange of reportable equipment, an Inventory Change Report must still be completed. PARC is not notified of budget transfers, so the transfer of equipment from one inventory location to another is not automatic.

Excess (Surplus), Broken (Scrap), or Obsolete Equipment

Excess (surplus) equipment is defined as usable equipment no longer needed by a particular department or area but that is still functional.

Broken (scrap) equipment is equipment that is damaged beyond repair or that is defaced to the point that it is no longer functional.

Obsolete equipment is equipment that is no longer usable because of its age. Equipment considered obsolete by one University department may not necessarily be considered obsolete by another University department.

University property, regardless of value, should be safeguarded against theft at all times and should not be placed in hallways or other unsecured areas.

Excess equipment should be offered to other campus departments prior to submitting an inventory change report to PARC. Attempting to transfer items before they reach the warehouse reduces paperwork and requires fewer moves for Building Services.

All equipment with a purchase price of $100 or more requires a completed Inventory Change Report and a Service Request for processing. Service requests can be completed through the Facilities Management website.

Computer equipment no longer needed by a department requires the submission of a service request to University Technology. University Technology determines the final disposition of computer equipment and ensures data security. Any item with data storage capacity including copy machines and fax machines can potentially result in a security breach.

Cannibalized Equipment

Cannibalized equipment is equipment that’s parts are removed to use in other University equipment. Prior to cannibalizing equipment an Inventory Change Report must be submitted to PARC. Department of Central Management Services (DCMS) approval is required prior to the cannibalization of equipment. Once an Inventory Change Report is received, Property Accounting obtains DCMS approval and communicates back to the department.

Equipment Loans

An Equipment Loan Form should be initiated for all loaned equipment. When equipment will be removed from campus in excess of 30 days the approval of the Inventory Custodian, the Dean (if applicable), the Vice President for the respective area, and the Executive Director of Financial Affairs or Vice President for Finance and Administration is required. The signature of the Dean should be obtained before sending the form to either PARC or the Vice President's office. Final approval is made by the Executive Director of Financial affairs in the VPFA office. The original form with all signatures is held in PARC. Please note that there is a section requiring departments to state the business purpose of the loan. The return date should be no later than one year from the date the loan is initiated. After one year the form must be renewed if applicable. During the physical inventory, custodians should verify that loaned equipment is at its authorized location before reporting it found. Departments are responsible for ensuring that loaned equipment is returned to the University upon the termination of employment if loaned to a faculty or staff member, upon graduation if loaned to a student, or at the end of the authorized loan period.
Once a loaned item (greater than 30 days) is returned to campus, a copy of the loan form with the signature of the accepting party (the inventory custodian or designee) should be forwarded to PARC. This cancels the loan in the PARC office.

Reporting/scanning a campus location for loaned equipment during the annual physical inventory process does not cancel the loan.

Equipment used by faculty for classes at the Macomb or Quad Cities Campus do not require a loan form but the department may initiate the form at their discretion to aid in tracking of the equipment. The signatures of the Dean and Vice Presidents are not required for on-campus loans regardless of the length of the loan.

The University Equipment Loan Form can be obtained through the Business Services web page.

Equipment Loan Form (PDF)

Equipment Trade-In

Trade-in procedures are the same for reportable and non-reportable equipment. Approval from the Department of Central Management Services (DCMS) is required before equipment can be removed by a vendor. If the purchase of the new item is being handled by Purchasing, Purchasing will automatically notify PARC of the trade. If the purchase is being made by DPA or pcard the following information will be required by PARC:

  • Tag number of the item traded. If the item is not tagged please supply a full description of item, serial number, date of purchase and purchase price.
  • Description of the item being purchased
  • Price of new item
  • Price credit that will be received with the trade-in
  • Name and address of vendor

Once a trade-in is approved by DCMS, Property Accounting will send a Trade-In Notification Form to the department. The trade-in item should not be physically removed by the vendor until DCMS approval is received. Immediately following the removal of the equipment by the vendor the Trade-In Notification form should be completed and returned to PARC so that the traded item can be removed from inventory. Please note: Vendors should not be allowed to remove any piece of equipment that is being replaced, even if it doesn't work, unless a trade-in arrangement has been approved.

Equipment Security

Equipment left in an unsecured classroom, office, hallway, or storage area is prone to theft. Please ensure that these areas are locked when unattended and that access is limited. Equipment designated as surplus or scrap should not be left in hallways or other unsecured areas regardless of their perceived value or utility. Departments in the process of moving are encouraged to take all of their equipment to their new location if surplus items cannot be removed prior to vacating an area. Surplus equipment remains the responsibility of the custodial department until it arrives at the Property Accounting warehouse regardless of previously filed disposal paperwork.

Stolen Equipment

The Office of Public Safety should be notified immediately of any theft or suspected theft of equipment. Stolen equipment will not be removed from a department's fixed asset inventory until an Incident Report Form from Public Safety (or applicable investigating authority if the theft occurred off campus) and a signed Inventory Change Report from the department are received. Please forward a copy of the Incident Report Form and the Inventory Change Report to PARC for processing.

Please note: Property Accounting does not maintain product information on non-reportable equipment. In the event of the theft of a non-reportable item, please consult department records and purchasing documents for serial numbers, price, date of purchase, etc. Business Services may be able to assist with information if vendor or purchase document is known.

Annual Physical Inventory

The Department of Central Management Services requires the University to conduct an annual physical inventory and complete an annual Certification of Inventory report for all equipment with an acquisition cost of $2,500 or more and all equipment defined as high theft. In order to meet this requirement, a physical inventory of reportable equipment is performed by each area assigned an inventory location code (this is a five digit number that should not be confused with a university account). Notification letters are sent to Inventory Custodians informing them of the period in which their inventories should be performed. For internal control purposes, the individual(s) assigned the task of locating equipment should be someone other than the person who has physical possession of the equipment and someone who does not have purchasing responsibility.

Equipment Loan Forms should be on file for all loaned equipment. Custodians are responsible for verifying that the loaned equipment is at its designated location prior to reporting the equipment as found.

Departmental annual inventory results are compiled by Property Accounting and are reported to the Department of Central Management Services. The report for the entire University must have a loss ratio of less than 1% of the dollar amount of inventoried items. If the University's loss ratio is 1% or greater, DCMS will require the University to re-inventory high loss ratio locations. High loss ratios also trigger increased scrutiny by internal and external auditors.

All information reported during the physical inventory is subject to audit by PARC, the internal auditors, and the external auditors.

Missing Equipment - Inventory Discrepancies

Once the annual physical inventory is complete each Vice President is asked to review a list of missing items for areas under their control. A missing item is one for which a physical location was not given during the annual physical inventory. The respective Vice President will then determine which of the following courses of action should be followed:

  • Continue searching for the missing equipment
  • Request a Public Safety investigation to determine whether the equipment was stolen; or
  • Determine the equipment to be missing and request that missing items be removed from the department inventory

PARC will recommend that any equipment not located after two inventory cycles be written-off, and will seek approval from the appropriate Vice President.

Central Management Services does not allow the removal of equipment from the University records as missing unless the item has been reported as a discrepancy on the annual certification of inventory report.

Any equipment which has been removed from inventory as missing but is later located and in use will be retagged and re-entered in the fixed asset system. Please call PARC if a previously missing item is found and should be retagged. If the item is not in use please arrange with PARC to have the item removed from the area.

Equipment Sales

Departments cannot sell equipment whether reportable or non-reportable. Excess equipment should be reported to Property Accounting on the Inventory Change Report so that the proper disposition can be determined.

Equipment Donations

Persons who wish to donate equipment to the University should be encouraged to do so through the Foundation & Development Office. The Foundation & Development office documents the donation for donors so that a tax deduction may be received. PARC is notified when a gift is given through the Foundation & Development Office. For more information, contact the WIU Foundation & Development Office, Gift and Pledge Processing, at (309) 298-1861. If equipment is received from a donor that does not wish to declare the gift through the Foundation & Development Office please contact PARC.

Employee Personal Property

Items that belong to state employees, student workers, etc., that were purchased with personal funds (refrigerators, fans, computers, etc.) should be clearly labeled with the name and phone number of the owner. When these items are no longer serviceable it is the responsibility of the owner to dispose of them. The University does not assume any responsibility for fees associated with the recycling or disposal of personal items.

Federal Government Titled and Furnished Property

The following policies pertain to moveable equipment used with organized research or other sponsored activities procured by the University on federal contracts or furnished to the University by a federal awarding agency.

Western Illinois University is decentralized in the management and administration of all activities, where individual departments are largely responsible for equipment management. The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) provides policy and procedural guidance to the departments and complies with reporting requirements of auditors, sponsors and agencies. Such requirements are dictated in the special terms and conditions of awards and in applicable sections of federal government guidelines found in the following circulars:

OSP, on behalf of the departments, will submit required property reports to the government as required by CFR. Details of required government reporting functions are seen below.

To the extent there is any inconsistency between University policies and the terms and conditions of a sponsoring agency's award under which equipment is provided, the award's terms and conditions shall govern.

General Guidelines, Definitions, Policies and Procedures

Roles and Responsibilities

In addition to acquiring, using, maintaining and protecting capital equipment, the department's general responsibilities include keeping records of capital equipment they have acquired with federal funds or that are federally-owned and are in their possession. Departments must also properly dispose of federally-funded or owned equipment according to the terms and conditions of the grants or contracts through which the equipment had been acquired.

Typical functions of Property Accounting and/or departments may include:

  • Keeping records of capital equipment
  • Coordinating physical inventories of capital equipment
  • Reviewing fabrication requests for contract/grant compliance
  • Budgeting and transacting equipment and fabrication expenditures
  • Notifying Property Accounting when equipment and fabrications are to be placed in service
  • Recording movements of federally-funded or federally-titled equipment
  • Processing and filing Inventory Change Reports
  • Processing and filing documents related to receipt of government surplus or loaned equipment
  • Processing and filing reports from subcontractors on loss, damage, or destruction of equipment in subcontractors' possession

OSP in conjunction with Property Accounting shall provide policy and procedural guidance to the departments pertaining to all federally funded and furnished equipment. OSP shall also respond to requests for reports and information from sponsors, auditors and other parties.

Government Titled Equipment

Equipment purchased by Western Illinois University on most federally funded contracts remains the property of the federal government until disposition instructions from the federal awarding agency allows transfer of the property to the University at the termination of the project. Since title of the equipment does not rest with the University, the equipment items are entered into the University's Property Management System at a zero value for tracking purposes. OSP as the central office for administering all sponsored projects will be responsible for reporting all items of government titled equipment to the appropriate awarding agency.

Government Furnished Property (GFP) requirements

Agencies of the federal government will on occasion furnish equipment or other property under a grant or contract for use in sponsored activities. GFP remains owned by and titled to the federal government while in WIU's possession and until it is properly disposed of. Any property received from the federal government regardless of original value or date when received must be properly and continuously identified, maintained, protected, controlled, and inventoried while in the possession of the University or its subcontractors. GFP must be disposed of when no longer needed as approved by the federal agency that furnished the equipment. Disposal may involve returning the property to the government, transferring its title of ownership to the WIU, or distributing to a third party.

Because GFP is provided to WIU at no cost yet remains the property of the federal government, it is neither recorded as an expense transaction in the General Ledger nor recorded as a capital asset in the University Property System. As such, no depreciation expense or other transactional information will be recorded for GFP in WIU's financial statements.

Notification Procedures

When OSP is notified via sponsor correspondence of an award receiving government-furnished equipment, an email will be distributed to the PI and Property Accounting to maintain the information described above.

Equipment Fabrications

A "fabrication" is equipment that is being constructed or developed for WIU by combining components or materials into one identifiable unit. All components must work as one unit to be considered a fabrication; parts alone are not considered a fabrication. Individual components acquired during a fabrication project are considered equipment regardless of their unit costs. For example, three parts of a robotic arm each costing $2,500 would accumulate to a $7,500 capital asset. When fabrications are sufficiently developed and useful, and meet capital equipment thresholds, they should be placed in service. A notification to this effect shall be completed by the PI and forwarded to Property Accounting.

Inventory Control of Equipment

Departments must maintain positive identification and awareness of equipment purchased on contracts in which title vests with the federal government. Property owned by the federal government and used by WIU is clearly identified as federally owned in the property accounting records. Federally-funded or owned equipment is subject to annual A-133 audits during which WIU's compliance with federal equipment requirements in OMB Circular A-110 section 34 is tested. Thus, Property Accounting must maintain records of federally-funded or owned equipment and include all of the following information for each item of capital property:

  • A description of the equipment.
  • Manufacturer's serial number, model number, federal stock number, national stock number, or other identification number.
  • Source of the equipment, including the award number.
  • Acquisition date (or date received, if the equipment was furnished by the federal government) and cost.
  • Information from which one can determine federal participation in the cost of the equipment (not applicable to equipment furnished by the federal government).
  • Location of the equipment and the date the information was reported.
  • Unit acquisition cost.
  • Original cost or value of each item of GFP.
  • Ultimate disposition data, including date of disposal.

Equipment owned by the federal government shall be identified to indicate federal ownership.


A physical inventory of all government titled and furnished equipment must be conducted every other year at a minimum. Any change in location or use must be reported to Property Accounting whereby the inventory file will be updated.


OSP shall submit all required federal property reports, including specific forms for GFP disposal, to the federal government on behalf of the departments. Specific property reports to be submitted by OSP to the federal government include but are not restricted to:

Procurement Instrument Format Distribution Notes
DOD Contract DOD Property In The Custody Of Contractors; DD Form 1662

Negative Reports Not Required (unless a positive balance was reported last year)
Original and 1 Copy To: Cognizant ONR Regional Office Due 10/31 of each year for preceding year ending 9/30.
DOD Grant Grant Inventory List as required by DoDGARS 32.33(a)(1). No Prescribed Form

Negative Reports Not Required
Original To: Cognizant ONR Regional Office Data Required for submittal can be found in OMB Circular A-110, Subpart C, Section .34(f)

Due 10/31 of each year for preceding year ending 9/30.
Equipment Disposal

OSP authorizes the disposal of government-owned (titled or furnished) equipment. All equipment including government-owned is disposed of following University procedures.

Use, Maintenance and Protection of Equipment

Departments should return any warranty cards to the manufacturer and conduct periodic maintenance such as lubrication, cleaning and/or calibration. Departments should also maintain records of any deficiencies discovered as a result of inspections, as well as any maintenance actions performed.

Subcontractor Responsibilities

OSP should advise subcontractors of their responsibility to comply with WIU's Equipment Management policies and procedures where applicable, unless the subcontractors have approved systems of their own. Subcontractors should report to the PI all instances of loss, damage, or destruction of government equipment in the subcontractor's possession or control, which is accountable under a grant or contract, and submit copies of these reports to OSP.

Title Transfer

When departments use capital equipment that is owned by (titled to) the federal government, and the project through which the federally-titled equipment was furnished is sufficiently completed, OSP/Property Accounting may initiate the transferring of ownership to WIU.