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Inventory of Moveable Property and Equipment

About this Policy

Inventory of Moveable Property and Equipment

Policy Number: 24007

Effective Date:
Dec 12, 2017

Last Updated:

Responsible Office:
UM System Supply Chain – Asset Management

Responsible Administrator:
Chief Procurement Officer

Policy Contact:

Campus Accounting


  • Finance

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This policy applies to all movable property and equipment owned by the University as well as moveable property and equipment owned by external sponsors but currently in the University's custody. 

It does not apply to other items such as land, buildings, infrastructure, or equipment that is not movable or which is permanently affixed to buildings or infrastructure.  It also does not apply to consumable supplies.

Reason for Policy

To ensure all moveable property and equipment is secured, accounted for, and properly recorded for effective management of assets.

Policy Statement

Each campus must maintain official inventory records for all University owned capital property and equipment and:

  • Is self-contained for its primary function (not a component part of any other piece of equipment); and
  • Has sufficient individuality and size to make control feasible by means of identification tags, numbers and/or manufacturer’s serial numbers marked thereon.

Campuses must maintain records for items that fall below the capitalization threshold and that are deemed “sensitive in nature” or “high risk”. It is the responsibility of each college, school and division to determine what is considered “sensitive” or “high risk” and to establish proper internal controls to protect University assets.  These items include the following and must be tracked throughout the useful life of the asset:

  • Guns, explosives and other weapons are required to be tracked.
  • Consult with your IT professional regarding appropriate and efficient tracking of technology
  • Other items which might be described as “sensitive in nature” or “high risk”, cost $500 to $4,999, and can be easily misplaced or stolen.

Once the college, school and division has identified the items to be inventoried, departments must have a mechanism in place to maintain up-to-date inventory records that allow for identification of items and reduction of theft.

Property Associated with External Sponsors
All property purchased or fabricated with external funding, or provided by an external sponsor, regardless of whether the title is retained by the sponsor or the University, must be inventoried, tracked, and disposed of in accordance with the terms and conditions of the external sponsor’s requirements.  This is applicable to sponsored project assets as defined by the sponsor.

Property purchased through System Supply Chain with external or University funds, where a designated entity other than the University will receive the property and title, will not be inventoried unless stipulated by the agreement with the entity providing the funding. It is the responsibility of the department initiating the purchase to notify System Supply Chain (Surplus Property and Asset Management) when these items are not required to be inventoried.

Reporting Changes
Changes in inventory must be submitted to System Supply Chain (Surplus Property and Asset Management) or University of Missouri Health Care Controller’s Office to report:

  • Any inventoried property that has been lost, stolen, destroyed, found (having previously been reported lost or stolen), or identified as surplus.
  • The addition of any property meeting inventory requirements that has been fabricated with University funds or received as a gift.
  • Transfer of ownership when the terms of some sponsored project agreements specify that the sponsor retains title of the property until a specific time has lapsed after the purchase of the property (most commonly, at the end of the project). 
  • Any property meeting inventory requirements that has been provided by loan, either temporarily or indefinitely, by an external sponsor.

The addition of any new property or equipment purchased on a Purchase Order is not required to be reported to System Supply Chain (Asset Management).

Physical Inventory
At least annually, a physical inventory process shall take place and the results reconciled with Asset Management.  Each department must verify the location of the equipment and certify that the property is useful and needed.  The individual verifying the location of an inventory item must be separate from the custodian of the item.  Any differences between the physical inspection and the inventory records must be investigated to determine the corrective action needed.

University owned property, or non-owned property for which the University has custodial responsibilities,  shall not be sold, given away, destroyed or otherwise disposed of without the permission of the System Supply Chain (Surplus Property and Asset Management) or Chief Procurement Officer of the UM System. 


Capital Assets - an asset used in operations that has an expected Useful Life of greater than 1 year.  For the purposes of this policy, these assets may include vehicles, moveable equipment, or other movable property.  A Capital Asset should be self-contained for its primary function (not a component part of any other assets).


System Supply Chain (Surplus Property and Asset Management) or University of Missouri Health Care (MUHC) Controller’s Office:

  • Establish and maintain the records and procedures necessary for the accountability of the University property inventory.
  • Maintain a listing of inventories completed by departments and notify the respective Campus Accounting offices of the status of completed inventories.
  • Inventory shall be identified by affixing the inventory decal or tag to the property or by an alternative identification number, including the manufacturer’s serial number, model number, or other identification number in cases where the tag or decal cannot be affixed to the equipment (i.e., some fabricated equipment).  The alternative identification number should be traceable to the corresponding documentation on files such as a purchase order or invoice. 
  • Non-owned property that must be tracked will be identified by a decal or tag of a different type and/or color than that affixed to University-owned property.
  • Distribute an inventory report to each department annually.
  • Monitor the completed physical inventories and manage the list of inventories to timely completion.
  • Keep inventory records up to date throughout the year for any additions, deletions, and movements of property.

Campus Departments:

  • Responsible for all property assigned to the department.
  • Establish appropriate controls for all moveable property and equipment.
  • Maintain records and controls for sensitive or portable equipment
  • Notify the System Supply Chain (Surplus Property and Asset Management) or University of Missouri Health Care Controller’s Office of property additions or deletions and location changes throughout the year (i.e., property obtained from donations or external sponsors, or property that has been lost, stolen, destroyed, or identified as surplus). 
  • Verify inventory records provided by the System Supply Chain (Surplus Property and Asset Management) or University of Missouri Health Care Controller’s Office annually. 
  • Verify and return certification statement with corrected annual physical inventories indicating the inventories were conducted in accordance with University Policy and Procedures by the prescribed deadline. 

Additional Details


Asset Management Forms:

UM Form 27: Property Inventory and Change Report

UMUW 155: Disappearance of Assets & Money Form

Related Information

Policy 22205 on Gifts & Pledges
Policy 22401 on Capital Assets
Policy 24013 on Resale, Sale or Disposal of University Property


Formerly Business Policy Manual 407 – Inventory of Movable Property and Equipment (revised 4/8/15)


UM System Asset Management Site

Reviewed 2017-12-06