What is the University's
definition of movable equipment?
The University’s definition of movable equipment is
an article of non-expendable, tangible, personal property
which stands alone, is complete in itself, has a
useful life of more than one year and has a value of $5,000
or more. Common categories of movable equipment include
scientific equipment, computer equipment, vehicles and
What is the
difference between movable equipment and fixed equipment?
Fixed Equipment is permanently attached
fixtures, machinery, and other appurtenances that cannot
be removed without cutting into walls, ceilings, or floors
or otherwise damaging the building. Movable equipment
stands alone and can be moved without impacting the
building. If you have any questions in determining whether
an item is fixed or movable equipment, contact Cost Accounting Services
Why are some
expense accounts used to account for equipment less than
What costs are included in the unit
acquisition cost of movable equipment?
The net invoice price of the equipment including the cost of modifications, attachments, accessories, or auxiliary apparatus necessary to make the equipment operable. Other charges such as the cost of installation, configuration, shipping/freight, handling, duty, and protective in-transit insurance, shall be included in determining the acquisition cost.
Training, maintenance and warranties should not
be included in the unit acquisition cost.
What if costs such as maintenance
and warranties are included into one inclusive cost
("bundling") item on the vendor's quote and the primary item
meets the $5,000 minimum threshold?
What is the University's policy
on purchasing movable equipment?
Departments must purchase movable equipment by using the University’s requisition process. It is important to use the correct expense accounts to classify the movable equipment types and whether it should be a capitalized asset.
How important is selecting
the purchasing category during the requisition process
in accounting for movable equipment correctly?
It is very important. Expense accounts are
assigned to each purchasing category. Determining which
costs are included in the Unit Acquisition cost and
whether the Unit Acquisition cost is equal or greater than
$5,000 should occur before selecting the purchasing
category. Any line items on a requisition which are included
in the unit acquisition cost should have the same purchasing
What are common pitfalls
to avoid during the submission of a requisition to buy movable
The most common oversight is not accurately determining which costs are included in the Unit Acquisition cost of a movable equipment item. When ordering multiple units of the same movable equipment item, the unit acquisition cost is critical in determining whether it meets the $5,000 threshold of movable equipment. Line items on a requisition which include costs of the unit acquisition cost such as shipping should have the same purchasing category.
I use the University’s purchasing card program to
purchase Movable Equipment?
No. Requisitions must be used to
purchase movable equipment.
When are repairs
and upgrades to an existing movable equipment item
considered movable equipment?
When the value is $5,000 or more and the action
extends the useful life of the original piece of equipment
by one year or more, Equipment repair, replacement,
and upgrade costs will be included in the University's Asset
Management System. A new asset will be created in the
Asset Management system with a new asset ID and be
classified as a component of the original movable equipment
May I trade-in my
existing equipment and use the proceeds to offset
the purchase of new movable equipment?
Yes. Enter the asset tag number and the trade-in
allowance amount on a line item in the requisition. In
addition, email the model number, serial #, UVM Asset ID and
a description of the trade-in equipment item to Cost Accounting Services
for audit trail purposes.
equipment addressed by the University's movable equipment
Yes. For donated movable equipment, the department
is responsible to follow the University’s gift
acceptance guide as well as ensuring the equipment is
sufficiently evaluated for correctness and completeness and
is in good working order. The unit acquisition cost of the
donated equipment will be the fair market value of the
equipment at the date of the gift and must be greater than
or equal to $5,000 to be considered movable equipment.
Contact Cost Accounting
Services to tag any donated movable
equipment items that have values which are equal or greater
do I notify to tag a movable equipment item in my
Cost Accounting Services oversees the University
Asset management database and is responsible for working
with departments to apply a unique asset tag on each movable
equipment item. All movable equipment items should have a
visible asset tag unless agreed to by Cost Accounting
Services. Contact Cost Accounting
to schedule a movable equipment item to be tagged.
What are the
departmental responsibilities of assigned movable
Each movable equipment item has a department
assigned to it which requires the department to be
ultimately responsible for the complying with the
University's property standards which include:
- Report any loss, damage, or theft of equipment in a timely manner to Police Services, Risk Management and Cost Accounting Services
- Implement adequate maintenance procedures to keep the equipment in good condition
- Use federally
purchased equipment as described in the University movable
- Conduct annual
movable equipment inventories as prescribed on the Space
and Movable Equipment web site
- Dispose of movable equipment per the Disposal of Surplus Property and Movable Equipment policy
The movable equipment inventory is part of the
space and equipment inventory which is conducted each
spring. For movable equipment located in University
rooms, the assigned department of each room updates
the location of the movable equipment items in their
assigned space of the University's space database (FAMIS). For
movable equipment located outside University space
such as vehicles, the department is responsible for
inventorying equipment items and providing the results of
their inventory in an Excel spreadsheet to Cost Accounting Services.
What QA steps should department
personnel who are conducting the inventory take to ensure the
completeness of their inventory prior to submitting to Cost
1) Rerun the UVM PeopleSoft Report
Mov_Equip by Dept w/ Comments and to confirm the last
inventory dates are in the fiscal year being inventoried.
2) Confirm that off-campus movable equipment e.g. vehicles have been inventoried and ensure a comment of the inventory results has been added on the excel spreadsheet.
3) Confirm equipment in other departmental space has been physically inventoried
4) Confirm that the dispositioned movable equipment is reflected on your updated movable equipment excel spreadsheet
What are the guidelines of transferring equipment?
There are four types of transfers which have
different procedures. Guidance for the types of transfers
are provided at this
What are the
University policies/procedures for disposing of movable
Prior to the disposition of movable equipment by a
department, the department shall notify its respective
College/School/Unit to determine whether the equipment item
can be utilized within its College, School, or Unit. Each
Dean’s office or Unit shall retain a record of their
ultimate disposition of each equipment item for audit
purposes. Upon approval to disposition the equipment by the
College, School, or Unit, the department shall use the
appropriate disposal business procedures outlined by UVM
Surplus Disposal policy.
May I sell used
movable equipment using on-line auction sites such as
No. The University's appropriate disposal business
procedures outlined by UVM
Surplus Disposal policy must be used.
May I donate movable equipment to an
organization or employee?
Upon obtaining approval from the Physical Plant
Recycling Program and the Controller, donating movable
equipment including surplus computers to employees is
allowable. Please refer to the
UVM Surplus Disposal policy for more details.
Last modified January 18 2018 11:34 AM