Property, Plant and Equipment

Property, Plant, and Equipment (PP&E) comprises the University’s real estate property, moveable equipment, and fixed assets. Accounting for PP&E is performed by the General Accounting Office, in compliance with both University regulations and GAAP guidelines. Inventory records, including descriptions, locations, and values of PP&E are prepared and maintained by the General Accounting Office, as are amortization schedules. Use the left menu for more specific information.

Asset Management

All University departments have the responsibility of ensuring accuracy of inventory of capital equipment. Each department with capital equipment should identify a property administrator within its area. The property administrator should be involved in the end-to-end process related to the capital equipment, from the point of procurement of new university-funded and externally-funded equipment to their disposal. The property administrator should, therefore, be familiar with relevant chart of accounts to ensure capital equipment is accurately recorded in the financial system and reported in the financial statements. The property administrator’s involvement in the procurement process ensures compliance to both the University’s and sponsors’ procurement requirements. It is imperative that the property administrator keep thorough records of equipment purchases, including the following:

  1. Purchase order, receipt, and invoice information, e.g. amount, organizational worktags, receipt date, invoice date, etc.
  2. Final location of the equipment
  3. Serial number, model number and manufacturer
  4. User and intended use of the equipment
  5. The bar-code label number or purchase order number of the asset it will be installed in if the equipment is a component of a larger system

These records should be maintained throughout the life of the equipment and made available to the GAO and to external and internal auditors upon request.
The property administrator serves as the primary point of contact between the department and GAO. He/she assists in the inventory of equipment and the resolution of discrepancies. The property administrator has the following responsibilities:

  1. Monitors and tracks the location of each piece of equipment assigned to him or her
  2. Completes and submits a Business Asset/Equipment Inventory Form to GAO when:
    1. Equipment is moved from its original location to another location within the University
    2. Equipment is transferred from the University to an outside entity
    3. Equipment is disposed of (lost, stolen, scrapped, sold, donated, etc.)

Departments are responsible for providing the care necessary to maintain capital equipment in the condition received or better (normal wear is expected) in order to avoid additional replacement costs. Departments should also have adequate safeguards to prevent loss, damage, or theft of the equipment. Any loss, damage, or theft should be investigated, immediately documented, and reported to the Georgetown University Public Safety Office. A copy of the report should accompany the Business Asset/Equipment Inventory Form submitted to GAO. Equipment that cannot be located during re-inventory will be written off by GAO against the department’s operating funds, with negative impact to the campus and university as a whole.

For further details, please reference the Business Asset Policy.

Excess Property Bulletin

The Excess Property Bulletin is a list of items for sale or donation by university departments. Priority is given to other university departments for the first two weeks of a listing, after which equipment is available to anyone for any use. Items may be dropped from the bulletin after three months of no activity. Sales tax MUST be collected for all sales to entities that are not tax-exempt. Contact the Tax Department for the correct accounting string to use for depositing tax revenue from equipment re-sales.

See the end of this bulletin for applicable tax rates. Revenue from the sale of the item itself should be deposited using the accounting string from which the equipment was originally purchased (contact Property Accounting for that information).

Sponsored Assets

By law the University must track all equipment purchased with sponsored funds, regardless of whether the University retains title to the assets.  Equipment purchased with sponsored funds is usually subject to strict regulations regarding transfers, sales, or disposal of such equipment. For additional information, please refer to Appendix I in the Business Asset Policy.  Contact GAO or Sponsored Projects Financial Operations with any questions regarding equipment purchased with sponsored funds.