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Capital Asset Responsibilities

Procedure
Purpose: 

To provide information regarding the function and responsibilities of the Office of Financial Services.

Applies to: 

Lawrence campus and all reporting units.

Campus: 
Edwards
Lawrence
Juniper Gardens
Parsons
Yoder
Topeka
Policy Statement: 
I. Purpose
 
The following statement provides general information regarding the function and responsibilities of the office of Financial Services.
 
II. General Guidelines
 
State of Kansas Statute 75-3729 establishes the regulations concerning the responsibility for maintenance of records and control of all permanent property of the University of Kansas. The University must also comply with the provisions of Office of Management and Budget Circulars A-21, Revised, and A-110 to assure proper reimbursement of federally funded research and training projects.
 
Threshold Requirements
 
In accordance with the Kansas Board of Regents’ Capital Asset policy, the following capitalization thresholds requirements have been established.
  • Equipment and Works of Art---$5,000 with a useful life greater than one year
  • Land Nonstructural Improvements/Infrastructure---$100,000
  • Buildings and Building Improvements---$100,000
  • Software--$250,000
All capital assets that meet established capitalization thresholds are tracked within the University’s central asset database. The University has elected not to capitalize its library book collections. These collections adhere to the University’s policy to (a) maintain them for public exhibition, education, or research; (b) protect, keep encumbered, care for, and preserve them; and (c) require proceeds from their sale to be used to acquire other collections.  Generally accepted accounting principles permit collections maintained in this manner to be charged to operations at the time of purchase rather than be capitalized.
 
Colleges/departments are responsible for maintaining a department listing of equipment items vulnerable to theft. 
 
Ownership of Property
 
The University of Kansas (KU) shall own all property purchased with State of Kansas funds and all property received as gifts. Although title to property purchased with the funds from a grant or contract may not be vested in KU, KU shall exercise the responsibility of ownership for such property. Regardless of which KU department ordered an item, the fund cited, or the particular budget expensed, the principle of state ownership prevails.
 
Usage of Agency Property
 
KU assets should only be used in the conduction of official university business. Property may not be rented or loaned to any person or group for personal use.
 
III. Property Accounting Responsibilities
  • Accountable for all property under its control as mandated by state and federal regulations.
  • Manage and oversee the central database of capital asset information to meet capital asset management/reporting needs of the University.  Responsibilities include recording all monthly adds, deletes (retirements), transfers and adjustments in the database, including determining whether purchases (adds) meet the capitalization threshold criteria noted above. Additions to inventory include those items purchased with state funds, KUEA funds, transfers from other agencies, donations and gifts, and some items purchased with KUCR funds.  
  • Prepare and process all required paperwork related to capital assets. Examples include annual reports to State Accounts and Reports as well as the audit and approval of all “disposition of property” requests.
  • Provide individual or group training to departments regarding property management and the University FITC financial system Asset module.
  • Physically tag and photograph all centrally tracked equipment.
  • Complete required annual capitalized equipment inventory.
  • Maintain file of vehicle titles and perform an annual audit to ensure all titles are on file and secure. Coordinate with KU Administration and departmental personnel, title transfers for vehicles sold or traded.  
  • Prepare and file with the State Board of Tax Appeals for tax exemption status on all new land acquisitions.
IV. Campus Responsibilities
 
Colleges/departments have an important role in the maintenance of an accurate, up-to-date inventory system. Each college/department shall have an Equipment Coordinator who is the key contact for any department equipment issues. Each college/department is responsible for the following actions:
  • To provide adequate safeguards to ensure that all University property is properly maintained (includes purchases less than capitalization threshold).
  • To enter correct information on purchases within University FITC financial system. Correct coding by departments avoids the need for later corrections.
  • To properly code capital asset expenditures – Equipment purchases of $5,000 or more must be coded with a 1708xx Fixed Asset Clearing account. Use of an account code outside the 1708xx range increases the possibility that the asset will be omitted from the Asset module in FITC.
  • To provide correct location assignment to Property Accounting Team every centrally capitalized piece of equipment is required to be physically “tagged” with a bar-code asset label. Asset location data such as building, floor, and room number are also required fields within the central database. As noted above, the Property Accounting team is responsible for tagging all new equipment as well as updating asset location data in conjunction with the annual equipment inventory. In order to locate the equipment, though, the team is dependent upon department equipment coordinators to provide accurate equipment locations. The Property Accounting Team encourages all departments to provide asset locations when submitting equipment invoices for payment. During the decision-making process, the ultimate destination of the asset is often known; therefore, the inclusion of this information creates no additional work for the department, but saves considerable time and effort in asset identification by the Property Accounting team.
  • To maintain equipment listing for items vulnerable to left. Key items that should be included on every department listing are: computers, digital projectors, cameras and other popular electronic devices
  • To communicate asset policies and procedures to pertinent department personnel and act as a liaison between property end-users and Property Accounting staff. 
  • To complete all required paperwork related to capital assets.
V. Benefits of Inventory System
 
The FITC Asset module provides University colleges/departments with the following key benefits:
  • Property control and accountability through a comprehensive campus-wide inventory system.
  • Improved equipment utilization through control and identification of capital assets.
  • Database to meet University, state, and federal grant requirements.
  • Database to meet requirements of proper risk management and provide basis for identifying equipment for insurance purposes.
  • Basis for management to project and budget future capital replacement requirements.
Contact: 

Financial Services
1246 West Campus Road
Lawrence, KS 66045
financialservices@ku.edu
785-864-3066

Approved by: 
Director, Financial Services
Approved on: 
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Effective on: 
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Keywords: 
asset responsibility property equipment ownership
Change History: 

04/26/2021:  Converted from PDF to live text page. Updated Contact, Approver, and owning unit from Comptroller to Financial Services.
06/06/2021: Uploaded Policy to the Policy Library.


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