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Procedures for additions, disposals and maintaining an asset register

The process all University departments must follow when adding items to or removing items from an asset register, including general maintenance of the register.


Procedure for additions

The department should set up procedures such that the responsible person is informed when an item has been delivered in order to update the Register, see Appendix B.

It is preferable that each addition be given a unique Identification Number, normally the next sequential number.

To make identification of equipment easier, departments should consider the use of fabric or other labels on which either the serial number or unique Identification Number could be written, and attached to the front of the equipment.

Where there is a high health and safety risk with ownership of the equipment it is essential that the University's Safety Officer is consulted at the time of purchase.

An Inventory Addition Form must be sent to Andrew Courtney, Finance Office only where the item costs over £25K (inclusive of any non-recoverable VAT). Guidelines for completing this form are also available from the additional guidance notes. Where an item is purchased via staged payments, the inventory form should be completed on delivery/completion/confirmation of use. This is to maintain the accounting of assets costing in excess of £25K, which are included within the University's financial statements.. The department should itself record the expensive equipment in its register; the central capital asset register is for financial accounting purposes only.

An Inventory Addition Form is not required to be completed for assets costing less than £25K, (although a department may continue to use them if they assist its internal record keeping - Appendix B)

Procedure for disposals

All disposals of items on the Register must be authorised on an Equipment Disposal Form. This form must be used by all departments. Guidelines for completing this form are also available. This form provides the authority for and should be completed prior to a disposal. There should be at least two signatories to the form.

Where an item with an original value less than £25K is scrapped or transferred to another department, the two signatories must be: a) The person completing the form b) An authorised signatory of the department for the purpose of equipment disposals.

Person B may be the person responsible for maintaining the Register providing he/she is not also person A.

Where an item is disposed of to a member of staff (either for a price or at nil cost), or is sold to a third party or has an original value is in excess of £25K however disposed of, one of those two people must be the Head of Department.

Where an item with an original cost over £25K is disposed of, the disposal form should also be authorised by the University Purchasing Manager and a copy sent to the Finance Office for the purpose of updating the central capital asset register of over £25K assets. Any proposed sale price for such an item will need to be approved by the University Purchasing Manager. The Purchasing Manager should also approve any disposal to a Head of Department irrespective of the original price.

For any sale of equipment, once the disposal form has been approved, a sales order should be raised by the department. VAT must be added to the price of any equipment sold to a third party, including individuals. VAT is not applicable on inter-departmental transfers. Sales of equipment items should be coded to the relevant project and account code 1674 should be used.

When selling or transferring assets purchased from funds provided by an external sponsor, consideration should be given to the terms under which those funds were given.

Persons selling or donating items have a duty of care. Guidance issued by the Safety, Health and Environment Unit must be consulted.

Before an item is scrapped, consideration should be given to whether it has a resale value, but with regard to the guidance on selling second hand articles issued by the Health, Safety and Environment Unit. If an item is to be scrapped, an assessment must be made of the health and safety and environmental risks. Guidance on this is available from the Waste Disposal Service.

Once a disposal form has been authorised, the item can be disposed of and the Asset Register updated.

Disposal forms should be retained in the department for at least two years after the end of the financial year of disposal.

Procedure for updating and maintaining the asset register

The Head of Department is responsible for ensuring that the Asset Register is up to date.

The department should put procedures in place to ensure the accuracy of the Register and to ensure that assets recorded on it are still present within the department. One approach would be by periodic sample checks both to and from the Register.

Disposed assets may be retained on the Register (marked as disposed) or alternatively removed to a separate disposed items register.

Assets will invariably depreciate in value over time, some more rapidly than others. No attempt has been made to include a "current value" on the Register as the fields of original cost and date of purchase would enable a value to be approximated if ever needed. Old assets should remain on the Register, even if they no longer have a market value, so long as they are still in a department's possession. Use of an optional "in service" flag or a ">10years old" heading could be employed to filter these assets out for day-to-day purposes.

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