Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 20: Property

Property Inventory

BPPM 20.50

For more information contact:
   Property Inventory

Form:  Inventory Control Report


This section provides requirements and procedures for maintaining records of equipment possessed by and transferred from University units. Equipment records are maintained in Workday based on specific criteria.

University and Departmental Inventory Records

The Property Inventory Unit of the Controller’s Office maintains a record of equipment possessed by WSU meeting the criteria for the University’s inventory system as indicated below. (RCW 43.19.1917)

Departments maintain records of departmental equipment that meet the criteria for a departmental inventory system as indicated below.

Numbered identification tags are placed upon all inventoried equipment. The identification numbers correlate the tagged items with the records maintained in either Workday or a departmental inventory database or spreadsheet.

University (Central) Inventory records are maintained in Workday.

The recording and tagging system facilitates tracking and periodic review of University equipment.

Inventory Criteria

University Property Inventory System

An item is added to the University’s inventory record if it meets the criteria for capital equipment as defined by the state of Washington and interpreted by WSU Property Inventory. Items tracked in the University Property Inventory System are listed in Workday as “Capital (depreciable capital asset).”

Standard University Inventory Criteria

University-inventoried items have the following characteristics:

  • Cost is $5,000 or more
  • Life expectancy exceeds one year
  • Nonconsumable; the item does not change form with use
Additional University Inventory Items

In addition, items that are designated as trackable or small and attractive assets from a University-wide perspective must be inventoried in Workday. Such small and attractive assets are inventoried, regardless of cost, and include:

  • Weapons, e.g., firearms, weapons, signal guns or related accessories.
  • Laptop, notebook, and tablet computers.
  • Equipment or vehicles that require a license, e.g., drones, motor vehicles, vessels, trailers, aircraft, farm equipment, and heavy machinery (see BPPM 70.40).
Items Not Inventoried in the University Property Inventory System

The following items are not usually inventoried in Workday:

  • Items that are part of a building or structure or are permanently installed in a building and support the operation of the building.
  • Parts of another capitalized item.
  • Items that do not meet the University inventory criteria (see University Property Inventory System).

Departmental Inventory System

University departments may track assets not meeting the University inventory criteria in a departmental inventory system or in Workday using noninventory spend categories. Generally, departments may record items costing less than $5,000 in a departmentally-maintained inventory system (see University Property Inventory System).

Departments may use database or spreadsheet software or Workday to track such assets. 

Department Small and Attractive Assets

University departments are responsible for identifying assets deemed small and attractive from the department’s perspective. Such assets are items that do not meet the criteria for small and attractive assets required to be tracked in Workday. Examples include cameras, desktop computers, optical devices, recording devices, etc.

Departments should ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to monitor and safeguard departmental small and attractive assets. Departments are responsible for tagging, inventorying, and tracking the items (see Tags and Numbers, and Inventory and Tracking). The annual risk evaluation includes questions regarding the management of small and attractive assets (see BPPM 10.04).

Workday Business Asset Tracking Specialist Role

The Business Asset Tracking Specialist (equipment coordinator) is able to access departmental- and University-inventoried assets in Workday. The applicable cost center security partner must first assign the role in Workday to the equipment coordinator. (see Equipment Coordinator and BPPM 85.33.

Tags and Numbers

The department identifies new items added to the departmental inventory system by affixing seven-digit bar-coded inventory tags purchased from University Stores; University Stores item #51251. (Note: If an asset was previously tracked in the University Property Inventory System, the department may use the old number and tag to track the item in the departmental inventory system.)

Inventory and Tracking

Departments should periodically perform a physical inventory to reconcile the actual assets with the items tracked in the departmental property system.

The department is responsible for disposing of obsolete assets (see BPPM 20.76) and recording disposal of the items in Workday. See Disposal of Inventoried (Tagged) Items regarding disposal of inventoried (tagged) items.

Inventory Management

The inventory management process applies to all inventoried (tagged) property whether the property is maintained at the University or departmental level.


The department chair (or equivalent administrator) is accountable and responsible for all equipment assigned to the unit. For this reason, a new department chair should conduct a physical inventory of all departmental equipment soon after assuming the position.

Exception: A designated Accountable Property Officer is responsible for federal excess equipment (see BPPM 20.78).

Personal Use

University property may not be used for private purposes. The department chair may not authorize the loan of equipment to an individual for private use. Likewise, an individual may not borrow University equipment for private use (see BPPM 20.35 and EP45).

Equipment Rental

With the approval of the responsible principal administrative officer, the department chair may request that the central administration authorize rental of equipment items not needed in University operations (see BPPM 20.40).

Equipment Coordinator (Business Asset Tracking Specialist)

The department chair designates one or two individuals as equipment coordinators and notifies Property Inventory so that surplusing authority may be updated. Responsibilities of equipment coordinators are outlined in this section.

The department chair also submits a request to the applicable security partner to assign the Workday Business Asset Tracking Specialist role for the specified cost centers to equipment coordinator. (See BPPM 85.33 regarding assigning security roles.)

When an appointed equipment coordinator is off work for an extended period (longer than one month), the second appointed equipment coordinator steps in to maintain assets until the primary equipment coordinator returns.

Review of Records

Departmental personnel may review unit inventory records by directly accessing the data by using the Find Assets report function in Workday. (See the Workday Find Asset reference guide for instructions.)

Personnel are advised to search by the following:

  • Coordinating cost center field;
  • Spend category of SC00337 Small Equipment (non-inventoriable);
  • Issued to; and
  • Serial number.

The Find Assets report may be exported and downloaded as an Excel file.

Update of Inventory Records

Additions or changes to inventory records may be done in two ways. Property Inventory staff may make the changes in Workday for the department or department personnel may make the changes in the system themselves. (See Changes Input to PROPERTY).

Changes Input to PROPERTY

By Property Inventory Personnel

Departmental personnel complete and e-mail an Inventory Control Report form (see Fig. 1) to Property Inventory to have Property Inventory update unit records in Workday.

By Departmental Personnel

If departmental personnel directly update University inventory records in Workday, completion of Inventory Control Reports is not always required.

Note: Departmental personnel assigned with the Business Asset Tracking Specialist security role may directly issue assets to a building, room, location, and worker in Workday. To update description, memos, asset name, serial number, manufacturer, coordinating cost center (owning cost center), asset coordinator, or accounting information, the Edit Asset business process must be used. (See the Workday Issue Asset and Edit Asset reference guides for instructions, as applicable.)

Issue Asset and Edit Asset requests are routed in Workday to Property Inventory for approval and asset profile updating.

sample Inventory Control Report

Moving Equipment

To record location changes for University-inventoried equipment that do not involve a transfer between administrative units, either directly transfer the asset in Workday or complete and submit an Inventory Control Report to Property Inventory. (See the Transfer Asset reference guide for Workday instructions.)

If using the Inventory Control Report, check the Move To blank and e-mail the completed and signed form to Property Inventory.

Departments may record location changes for departmental inventory equipment that do not involve a move between administrative units using the Transfer Asset process in Workday or the applicable departmental inventory system.

Alternative Procedure for Monitoring University Inventory Items

The department chair (or equivalent administrator) may request approval to implement an alternate tracking procedure to monitor locations of University-inventoried department equipment. The administrator routes a description of the proposed procedure to the University Property Inventory Manager. After approval, the department is fully responsible for accurately tracking equipment items.

Moving Equipment Off Campus

University equipment is occasionally moved to off-campus locations for the completion of official business. Equipment is also moved off campus when rented to non-University users.

Note: Employees may not make private use of any University property which has been removed from WSU facilities, even if there is no cost to the University (see EP45.) (WAC 292-110-010(5)(b))

Long Term

If a University-inventoried item is to be off campus for at least a week, use the Transfer Asset process in Workday to update the location field or use the Edit Asset request process to add comments as necessary. Update the record again once the item is returned to campus.

Departments may record location updates for departmental-inventoried items in the applicable departmental inventory system or Workday, as applicable.

No Computer Access

To record off-campus moves of University-inventoried equipment without computer access, complete an Inventory Control Report as soon as the item leaves and again as soon as the item is returned to campus.

Short Term

For moves of less than a week, the department is responsible for recording and monitoring equipment location.


Departments acquire property through purchase, fabrication, gift receipt, transfer, and federal excess property programs. Equipment meeting the criteria for University-inventoried equipment is to be recorded in the University Inventory System (see University Property Inventory System).

Purchases from Outside

Property Inventory reviews daily expense reports for equipment that should be inventoried in the University inventory system.

When such items are noted, Property Inventory sends a prenumbered asset tag to the appropriate equipment coordinator.

Fabricated Equipment

The need to fabricate an asset comes about when the equipment does not already exist or additional functionality needs to be added to an existing piece of equipment. Certain criteria must be met in order to fabricate equipment (see BPPM 40.12).

The departmental equipment coordinator notifies Property Inventory of the intent to fabricate equipment. The department forwards information on all purchases to Property Inventory, including the following information:

  • Purchase order numbers
  • Purchasing card transaction numbers
  • Charges from any WSU departments

Property Inventory issues an inventory number and tag and continues to add purchase costs until the piece of equipment is finished.

The Controller’s Office requires that Purchasing or the department add the inventory number in the comments sections on all purchase orders and purchasing card transactions in order to help capture all costs.

As the costs to fabricate the equipment are incurred, General Accounting reclassifies the charges not already capitalized to equipment through the Create Journal process in Workday. Indirect cost is automatically adjusted when each journal is processed.


Departments receiving donated equipment that meets University inventory criteria (see University Property Inventory System) send a Gift Transmittal form to University Advancement with a copy to Property Inventory (see BPPM 30.70). 

Once approved, University Advancement forwards a copy of the Gift Transmittal to Property Inventory. Property Inventory registers the item in Workday and sends a tag to the equipment coordinator.

Acquisition of Federal Excess Property

Report inventoriable items acquired through federal excess property programs to Property Inventory (see BPPM 20.78).

Updating Records After Tag is Received

The equipment coordinator is responsible for linking the asset to a location (building/room) and worker in Workday through the Issue Asset business process.

The equipment coordinator is also responsible for submitting an Edit Asset request to have Property Inventory update the following fields:

  • Description
  • Memo
  • Asset name
  • Serial number
  • Manufacturer
  • Coordinating cost center (owning cost center)
  • Asset coordinator
  • Accounting information

See the Workday Issue Asset and Edit Asset reference guides for instructions.

Placement of Inventory Tags

The equipment coordinator is responsible for placing inventory tags on each University- and departmental-inventoried equipment item, as indicated under the asset profile in Workday or the departmental inventory system.

The equipment coordinator makes sure the surface is clean before the tag is installed. Tags will not stick to dirty, wet, or greasy locations.

If a tag assigned to a University inventory item is damaged or rendered unusable it should be returned to Property Inventory which issues a replacement tag. Contact University Stores regarding replacement of a damaged or unusable tag purchased for a departmental inventory item.

The coordinator places tags in similar locations to make future inventory checks easier. Tags are placed as follows:

  • Electrical equipment — Near the manufacturer’s nameplate.
  • Laptop computers — Near the manufacturer’s nameplate. Usually on the back or bottom of the computer.
  • Vehicles — Inside the door jamb by the serial number plate, or inside the glovebox or center console.
  • Fabricated or built equipment — Place the issued property tag(s) on each included part if space allows for it. If there is not space on each part, place the tags for all included parts on the main body of the fabricated asset build.

Those having questions about tag placement should telephone Property Inventory.

When Tags Cannot Be Used

When an inventoriable item is too small to tag, when placement of the tag on the item would hinder operations, or when exposure to weather would cause a tag to come off:

  • Place the tag on the applicable documentation for an item logged into the departmental inventory and file in an easily-accessible location.
  • If possible, etch the inventory number onto the item. An etching tool is available for check out from the WSU Police Department.

Personnel are not to remove WSU inventory tags unless specifically authorized by  the Controller’s Office personnel.

Immediate Tagging of University Inventory Items

Immediate tagging of University inventory items is no longer available with Workday, as all purchase accounting information must be entered at the time of asset registration.

Moving Assets Between Departments

The following discussion applies to the move of state-owned equipment only. Refer to BPPM 20.78 for instructions regarding federal excess equipment. Contact Sponsored Programs Services for instructions regarding moving equipment owned by grant or contract sponsors.

Online Transfer

Departments may directly edit their departmental assets in Workday to reflect the move to a different coordinating cost center.

Assigned departmental personnel must complete and submit an Edit Asset request to move an asset to a different coordinating cost center. (See the Workday Edit Asset reference guide for instructions.)

Current Owning Department

The equipment coordinator completes and signs the Owning or Transferring Department section of an Inventory Control Report (Fig. 1).

The current owning department then forwards the Inventory Control Report to the recipient department’s equipment coordinator.

Exceptions: Each transfer to Surplus Stores requires that an online Surplus Disposal Request (SDR) be processed at myFacilities, unless the transfer is at WSU Vancouver. WSU Vancouver surplus transfers are to be processed by submitting a WSUV Facilities Request. See BPPM 20.76.

Recipient Department

The equipment coordinator indicates receipt of the item by signing the appropriate signature block on the Inventory Control Report.

The equipment coordinator enters the current equipment location under Building/Room No. column.

The coordinator scans and e-mails the the Inventory Control Report to Property Inventory.

Note: If the scanned image does not meet the state’s image quality requirements, the coordinator must retain the signed paper copy in accordance with University records retention requirements. See BPPM 90.21 and 90.01.

Deletions from Inventory

Disposal of State-Owned Equipment

Generally, all equipment donated to or purchased by the University, regardless of funding, is considered to be state-owned equipment. Items which are damaged, obsolete, or otherwise considered unnecessary or unusable may be disposed of as indicated below.

Departments are reminded that University property may not be moved to an individual or used for private purposes. (See the note under Moving Equipment Off Campus.)

Disposal of Inventoried (Tagged) Items

It is the department’s responsibility to determine if their items are on University inventory or departmental inventory. (Note: Some untagged items may be included on the University inventory or the departmental inventory. See When Tags Cannot Be Used.)

University- or departmental-inventoried (tagged) items which are damaged, obsolete, or otherwise considered unnecessary or unusable may be disposed of by one of the following methods:

  • Moving the item to Surplus Stores or WSU Vancouver Facilities Services. Surplus Stores may scrap, destroy, or resell the item (see BPPM 20.76). This action results in the deletion of the item from the University inventory, as applicable. The department submits a Dispose Asset request in Workday. Surplus then processes the disposal request in Workday after pickup.

    To move an item to Surplus Stores, the owning department submits an online Surplus Disposal Request (SDR) at myFacilities. Exception: Owning departments at WSU Vancouver must submit an online Facilities Request to move surplus items.

  • Selling or moving the item to another University department (see BPPM 20.80).
  • Removing serviceable parts from the item for use in other equipment of the same kind after receiving approval from Surplus Stores to do so. The department must contact Surplus Stores for a Property Destruction Certification form and submit an online SDR at myFacilities. Exception: Departments at WSU Vancouver must contact WSUV Facilities Services for the Property Destruction Certification form and submit an online Facilities Request to move the surplus items.

    (In such cases involving a University-inventoried item, Surplus Stores or WSUV Facilities Services, as applicable, is included in the approval steps when the department submits the Dispose Asset request in Workday.)

Note: Each inventoried (tagged) item disposed of must be accounted for by one of the above methods.

Deleting Items From University Inventory

Important: Departments are responsible for submitting disposals for University inventory items in Workday. Workday routes Dispose Asset requests, as appropriate, to:

  • Cost center manager;
  • SPS, if grant-funded;
  • Surplus Stores, and then
  • Property inventory for final approval.
Disposal of Noninventoried (Non-Tagged) Equipment

Important: Departments are responsible for deleting departmental inventory items from Workday and/or from the departmental inventory database or spreadsheet.

Departments must dispose of noninventoried (nontagged) items which are damaged, obsolete, or otherwise considered unnecessary or unusable through Surplus Stores. Exception: Surplus Stores may not accept some items. Examples of items not accepted are available at Surplus Disposal.

For questions, telephone 509-335-3089; or e-mail Surplus Stores.

To route noninventoried items to Surplus Stores, the owning department submits an online SDR at myFacilities. Exception: An owning department at WSU Vancouver must submit an online Facilities Request to move surplus items. See BPPM 20.76.

Surplus Stores and WSUV Facilities Services disposes of the items in the most efficient method; e.g., recycle, surplus sale, trash. Surplus Stores and WSUV Facilities Services do not individually track non-tagged items received for disposal.

Trade-ins with Outside Vendors

The department must provide Surplus Stores with an opportunity to sell a University-owned item before the item may be used as a trade in. See BPPM 70.12 for trade-in procedures. Departments must also have approval from Surplus Stores to complete a trade-in, to insure that WSU receives appropriate trade value.

Loss of Equipment

Immediately report the loss by telephone to the local police department with jurisdiction where the loss occurred. On the Pullman campus notify WSU Police.

Complete and e-mail an Inventory Control Report to Property Inventory and copy to the Office of Internal Audit. If the loss occurred on the Pullman campus, also copy the WSU Police.

If the property is federally owned or was acquired with federal funds, check the Federally-Owned box near the top of the Inventory Control Report.

After 20 business days the department may request Property Inventory to submit the disposal in Workday. The department may also submit a Dispose Asset request in Workday for the item as “lost/stolen,” noting the police report number under Comments.

Transfer, Move, or Disposal of Federal Excess Equipment

See BPPM 20.78.

Move of Assets to Other Institutions

The table below sets forth transfer possibilities for equipment purchased under various University programs.

Equipment Type Supporting Functions Transfer Options
State-owned FN001, FN003, FN005, FN006, FN007, FN009, FN013, FN014, FN015, FN018, FN019, FN024, FN025, FN030, FN031, FN032, FN034, FN040, FN041, FN042, FN043, FN044, FN046, FN048, FN049, FN051, FN060, FN061, FN062, FN065, FN066, FN067, FN073, FN074, FN077, FN078 Must be sold to recipient institution at current market value. Contact Surplus Stores (see BPPM 20.76).
Purchased with donated monies or donated as an in-kind gift FN057 Considered to be state-owned equipment (see above) unless otherwise stated in writing by the donor.
Agency equipment FN068 Transfers are at the discretion of the funding organization.
Purchased with a sponsor’s funds or acquired from a sponsor FN017 See BPPM 40.16 for transfer procedures.

University Asset Biennial Physical Inventory

Each department completes a physical count of inventoriable equipment once every two years.


Property Inventory e-mails applicable inventory lists to the primary Business Asset Tracking Specialist for each coordinating cost center to physically verify and update. The e-mail includes instructions and due date.

University Inventory Property List

Property Inventory attaches an Excel download from Workday to the notification e-mail listing all assets for the indicated coordinating cost center.

The equipment coordinator completes the inventory and then forwards the finalized biennial inventory documentation to the department chair (or equivalent administrator). Once approved by the chair (or equivalent administrator), the equipment coordinator forwards the Excel file with the chair/administrator’s approval e-mail to Property Inventory.


The department is responsible for returning the completed and approved listing of University-inventoried equipment within 45 working days of the date the inventory request was received from Property Inventory.

Equipment Acquired on Sponsored Programs (FN017)

See also BPPM 40.12 and 40.13. See BPPM 20.78 for information about federal excess equipment.

If title vests with the state of Washington, the procedures applying to state-owned equipment described above are followed.

If title vests with the federal government, Property Inventory issues federal inventory tags and WSU inventory tags for all equipment meeting the University’s definition standard inventory criteria above. The department is responsible for ensuring that both types of tags are installed according to the above procedures.

Furnished Federal Property (Government-Owned)

If the property is furnished by a federal agency or a third party for use on a federal grant or contract and the title vests with the federal government, the item is placed in the University inventory system if it meets University equipment requirements. (See University Property Inventory System.) Property Inventory issues a University property inventory tag and federal property tag to the department.

Federal property that does not meet University equipment requirements is placed on the department inventory and a federal property tag is affixed to the item if one is provided.

Physical Inventory

Certain federal sponsors require a regular (usually annual) physical inventory of equipment purchased under the agreement or furnished by the federal government. Many sponsors also require a physical inventory at the project’s termination. In these instances, SPS prepares a list of accountable equipment and sends it to the responsible department administrator.

The chair or equivalent administrator, with assistance from the equipment coordinator, is responsible for verifying location, condition, and serial and model numbers. The administrator is also responsible for verifying that WSU and federal inventory numbers are affixed.

The chair or equivalent administrator, with assistance from the equipment coordinator, indicates any corrections to the list and signs and returns the list to SPS. The administrator is to return the signed and corrected list within 14 working days of the issue date.

SPS requests each subcontractor to provide a list of federal property acquired or furnished under the subcontract.

Property Reports

SPS prepares and submits to the sponsor or agency any required property reports in accordance with agency or sponsor deadlines.

Disposition of Equipment at Project Termination When Title Vests with Sponsor

After the final physical inventory is completed, SPS usually requests that the sponsor transfer the title.

If the sponsor approves the transfer, SPS personnel notify the responsible equipment coordinator. The equipment coordinator removes the sponsor’s markings from the equipment.

If the sponsor does not approve the transfer, SPS requests disposition instructions from the sponsor.

Revisions:  Jan. 2023 (Rev. 606); Nov. 2022 (Rev. 602); July 2018 (Rev. 517); Jan. 2013 (Rev 408); Apr. 2003 (Rev. 229); July 2002 (Rev. 211); Mar. 2001 (Rev. 179); Aug. 1998 (Rev. 125); Mar. 1995 (Rev. 96); Jan. 1992 (Rev. 88); Sept. 1990 (Rev. 83); Mar. 1988 (Rev. 70).