Financial and Cost Accounting Services (FCAS) would like to thank all of the units who assisted in making the conversion of metal serial-numbered tags over to radio frequency identification (RFID) tags a success! By converting to RFID tagging for our movable equipment inventory we will greatly reduce the burden on academic administrators and faculty by cutting the amount of time and effort required to perform the inventory, eliminating the need to touch the equipment while performing the inventory, and maintaining better tracking and more accurate inventory records.


October 2021

  • FCAS engages units to discuss movable equipment tagging changes.
  • HCA Asset Management is hired to retag movable equipment and conduct a comprehensive FY22 movable equipment inventory. 

November – December 2021

  • HCA visits campus and retags movable equipment with RFID technology.
  • HCA works with departments where this is a discrepancy between UVM’s asset records and HCA’s inventory results.

January – February 2022

  • FCAS works on making all updates to movable equipment records to document the new RFID tag number and the updated location.

March 2022 – TBD

  • FCAS will draft a RFID scanning inventory schedule in compliance with federal regulations to inventory all movable equipment within a two year cycle.

June 2024

  • Deadline for first RFID scanning inventory under new process.


General – RFID technology & tags

Where can I get general information about RFID technology?

See RFID regulations here.

If my area uses RFID tags for other purposes, such as production measurements, will the new inventory tags interfere with the frequencies?

No, there will not be interference.

Will RFID tags interfere with my equipment’s functionality?

The RFID tags utilized for movable equipment inventory do not emit a signal. They are passive with no battery and only emit a signal (UHF 902-928 MHz is the FCC standard frequency) when in the presence of the activated inventory wand. Consequently, these tags will not interfere with equipment functionality.

What if I would like to use RFID for other purposes? Can we use the same consultant?

Yes, you can request contact information for the consultant from Financial and Cost Accounting Services.

What is the life cycle of the tag?

Unlimited as long as it’s not destroyed. There is no battery and the tag only emits a signal when in the presence of an activated inventory wand.

Is there any special handling required to dispose of RFID tags?

No, they can be treated the same as the old numbered tags. Please refer to the Disposal of Surplus Property and Movable Equipment policy on appropriate disposal procedures.

Can RFID tags removed from disposed property be repurposed if they’re in good shape?

No, even if the tag is still adhesive, it is best to dispose of the tag when the underlying asset is disposed of or retired.


Are all assets being tagged with RFID tags?

No, there are some items (such as vehicles, animal cages, magnetic equipment, etc.) that don’t lend themselves to RFID tagging. These assets will still need to be tracked within the accounting system and potentially assigned an old-type tag.

I have equipment that is obsolete or outdated. Does this require tagging?

Federal guidelines require the equipment must be tracked as long as it is in service even if the item has outlived its normal useful life.

If the item is being cannibalized or being used for a different purpose than what it was originally intended, refer to the Surplus Property and Movable Equipment policy and work with Financial and Cost Accounting Services on how to update the asset record.

Is equipment in off-campus locations being tagged?

Assets that are in Extension Offices will not be tagged with RFID tags. These assets will still need to be tracked within the accounting system and will be assigned an old-type tag.

Assets that are in the general Burlington area will be tagged, even in sites such as the Medical Center, Colchester Research facility or Technology Park.

Assets that are temporarily off site should be tagged when they are returned to UVM campus.

What about physically flexible assets (such as tents)? Will they be tagged with RFID?

Currently, a tag is assigned and can occasionally be placed on a sturdy surface, such as a support beam to a tent, or a storage case. If this is possible, an RFID tag may be affixed.

If this is not possible, a tag ID will be assigned by FCAS but not sent to the department. The department will need to work with FCAS on the inventory schedule to confirm the location and condition of the asset itself.

Asset Updates

How will underlying asset records be updated moving forward?

For tagged assets, FAMIS will be available to make movable equipment updates until June 13, 2022. FCAS are working with the Planon implementation group and PeopleSoft technical support to determine how best to update asset records moving forward.

What is the correct process to retire or dispose of an asset?

First, seek trade in opportunities or transfer of the property to another department or college within the University. The Controller’s Office and Surplus Property Program Manager must be notified of these transactions.
For disposals, the department must submit a service request using the FAMIS Self Service system to request pick-up of surplus items. The Surplus Property Program office will remove surplus property. Equipment over $5000 must also have a Surplus Disposal Form and should be submitted through FAMIS via a Service Request Number while the system is still available.
After removal of the item, the Surplus Property Program will forward the original form and Asset Tag to the Controller’s Office to update the underlying asset records.

FCAS is working with the Planon implementation group, PeopleSoft technical support and the Surplus Property Program to determine how best to request retirements and disposals moving forward.

Ongoing Inventory & Equipment tracking

How will inventory be reflected in FAMIS/IWMS?

Financial and Cost Accounting is participating with the IWMS implementation to address this question. More details will come as we have them.

If there are lab or space moves, how will inventory be updated?

Notify Financial and Cost Accounting Services with details. We can do an ad hoc inventory to update everything en masse.

Will my department be assigned a scanner to take inventory?

No, Financial and Cost Accounting Services will be conducting the physical inventory. If there are spaces or pieces of equipment that need special handing, notify us to work out how the inventory will be conducted.

If an asset is sent out for repair, should the tag be left on the asset?

Notify FCAS for how to handle this situation.