Financial procedures in relation to the recording and disposing of equipment
and the maintenance of asset registers
The department's asset register
Every department shall be responsible for maintaining an Asset Register, which should account for at least the following items of equipment and furniture:
a. All items that have an original cost in excess of £1,000;
b. Personal computers, IT and audio visual equipment with an original cost over £500;
c. Other equipment, whatever its value, that may be considered attractive;
d. Other equipment, whatever its value, where there may be a health and safety issue either in use or on disposal;
e. Other items a department may wish to track for reasons such as maintenance contracts, electrical testing etc.
A department may choose to use a lower limit than in a. above, which represents the minimum requirement.
The cost should include the purchase price, delivery and installation. It should also include any non-recoverable VAT or import duties. It should not include any maintenance.
The Asset Register should be based on the format attached in Appendix A and have at least those fields marked as "required" (columns A to J). Within these fields:
The "equipment name" should be a general name or description and standardised across the department. An example might be a "Balance". In this way a search on "Balance" would identify the department's stock of balances.
The location of the asset should be given. This is a room number e.g. WH 4.03, or if a mobile item a room number where the item returns to when not in use, or if attached to an individual, the room number of that individual.
Apart from the required fields, the Register may contain other headings at the discretion of the department. These might include the "owner" of the asset (this could be used to identify a group, centre or individual or to distinguish between assets owned by the department as opposed to those owned by other departments or organisations). Whether an item is in use or not could be a field that a department may find useful. Similarly, the supplier of the asset and the project/activity number the asset is purchased on may be useful information but this is discretionary detail.
The Register should include items obtained under lease agreements. In this case, put the lessor as the supplier. The original cost/value should be the price of the equipment if it had been bought outright rather than by lease.
The Register should also include donated and loaned equipment. In this case the supplier is the donor/lender and an estimate should be made of the value of the equipment at the time to be put in the original cost/value column.
Where an item is purchased via staged payments, the inventory form should only be completed on delivery/completion/confirmation of use.
A department may keep separate asset registers for computers or electrical equipment if it wishes, provided that the required information is recorded.
Departments are encouraged to maintain the Asset Register electronically, either on an Access database or an Excel spreadsheet.
The Head of Department is responsible for the Register. He/she should nominate someone in the department to take day-to-day responsibility for the maintenance of the Register.