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Acquisition Guide

The information provided in this guide will assist a UCSC faculty or staff member in acquiring inventorial equipment. Please email with questions.​​​​​​​​​​​

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  • Important information to know

    Inventorial Equipment defined

    "Inventorial Equipment" refers to items that must be tracked through UCSC's property and financial systems. These items are either owned by or in the custody of UCSC.

    Not all equipment that is purchased meets the definition of inventorial equipment. For a piece of equipment to be inventorial it must meet the following criteria:

    1. Acquisition cost equal to or greater than $5,000 including:
      • the purchase cost of the item (after deduction of any cash discounts (not including a trade-in discount))
      • applicable sales tax, installation, and if applicable, US customs charges
      • transportation, i.e. freight costs.
      • any costs needed to make the item usable.
      • initial complement of supplies for the equipment (only when purchased on the same PO as the equipment).
    2. Item is non-expendable
    3. Item can stand alone
    4. Has a normal useful life of one year or more
    5. Qualifies as tangible personal property (i.e. can be appraised for value)

    Firearms, vehicles and vessels must be recorded and tracked, regardless of cost.

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  • Using the correct account code

    It is important that you use the correct account code for the following reasons:

    • reporting to federal funding agencies
    • indirect cost calculations
    • establishment of budgets used to determine renewal and replacement funds
    • tracking inventorial equipment
    • asset insurance program

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  • Defining attachments (aka components)

    Attachments or parts of a system ordered on the same PO as the main unit of equipment, regardless of price, are added to the value of that equipment.

    • For attachments purchased on the same PO as the inventorial equipment, use the same account code as the primary asset.

    Attachments or parts of a system not ordered on the same PO as the main unit of equipment may be considered inventorial. Examples include:

    • For attachments valued at $5,000 or more for the same property number, and purchased on a separate PO, use account number 007000.

    The UC Property Number of the specific piece of equipment being enhanced by the addition of an attachment must be referenced in the Purchase Order item text.

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  • How to purchase equipment

    Always use a "regular" FIS/Banner purchase order when purchasing inventorial equipment.

    • Always use commodity level accounting when purchasing inventorial equipment
    • In the purchase order item text, provide the departmental custody code, building/location code, and room number where the item will be located
    • Unless special handling is required, enter a ship-to address of Central Receiving, so the equipment will be tagged when received.
    • If special handling is required, provide an internal note with any special handling requests for the purchasing specialist.

    Note: Assign an inventorial account code to equipment costing less than $5,000 when the contract or grant sets an inventorial dollar limit of less than $5,000. When this occurs, notify Equipment Administration in the text field that the award sets a lower dollar limit.

    For more detailed information regarding an equipment purchase see: Equipment (Purchased) Payment Guide

    Not Allowed
    A purchase of inventorial equipment by any other means than a UCSC purchase order, such as:

    • Purchasing Card
    • Corporate Travel Card
    • Direct Pay Reimbursement
    • Personal Credit Card

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  • When purchase includes a trade-in

    Determine who has title to the equipment being traded in by contacting Equipment Administration.

    After verifying with Equipment Administration that UCSC holds title, complete a Purchase Requisition for the new equipment you want to purchase.

    1. When a Purchase Order (PO) involves a trade-in of a piece of inventorial equipment:
      • All inventorial items on the PO related to the trade-in must be coded with account code 007130
      • If the trade-in is non-inventorial equipment then code with account code 006XXX.
    2. The buyer must enter the "after-discount" price of the new item in the price field on the PO.
    3. A commodity line for the sales tax due on the full pre-discounted value of the equipment.
    4. Line item text needs to include the following information:
      • FIS Banner: Equipment Trade-Ins
    5. Arrange with the vendor for pickup, or shipping. To determine how to ship the equipment being traded-in, contact Receiving Services (831) 459-2852 or Fax: (831) 459-3699.

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  • Equipment received as a gift or donation

    Outside sources such as manufacturers and philanthropic organizations often donate equipment to UCSC.

    Prior to accepting any gift, contact the Development Officer for your unit. The Development Officer will assist you in determining the appropriateness of accepting the gift and will work with you to:

    • Determine whether or not to accept the piece of equipment offered as a gift. For example, confirm that the equipment is in usable condition.
    • Determine the value of item(s) being donated
    • Notify the Development Officer when the gift is received so that he/she can coordinate with University Relations to record the gift. Additional information regarding a 'gift-in-kind' is available at the University Relations website .

    University Relations will notify Equipment Administration who will:

    • Assign a property tag number
    • Provide a property tag to the department that received the donation.
    • Add the donated equipment to the inventorial equipment database.

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  • Equipment acquired as a transfer

    Inventorial equipment is sometimes acquired as a transfer from another UC campus or an outside agency.

    Note: If you are transferring equipment to another department or campus, see: How to Transfer Equipment within UC.

    For incoming transfers within UC, complete an Equipment Inventory Modification Request (EIMR)

    Check the "TRANSFER" box in the Transaction type section of the EIMR.

    1. Fill in department name, custody code, preparer's name, phone, and date sections of the EIMR.
    2. Complete the FROM and TO sections, and the Equipment Identification Section.
    3. Have the EIMR approved (i.e. signed) by both the transferring and accepting parties.
    4. Submit the completed EIMR to Equipment Administration.

    Note: Equipment transferred from another department or UC campus, will already have property tags affixed.

    If the transfer is from an outside agency, Equipment Administration will work with you and the other agency/institution to ensure that title is officially transferred. Equipment Administration will create UCSC property tags and forward the tags along with a Property Tag Attachment Form to the Equipment Custodian.

    1. Affix the property tags and inventory sticker to the equipment.
    2. Record the serial number of the equipment and the date the equipment was received.
    3. Sign, date and return the Property Tag Attachment Form to:
      • Equipment Administration
        1156 High Street
        Santa Cruz CA 95064
      • Mailstop: Accounting Office
      • Phone: 831-459-2355
      • Fax: 831-459-3747

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  • Fabricating equipment

    Check the definition in the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with the term Fabrication.

    1. If this is a fabrication, complete the following information on a Fabrication Tracking Equipment Inventory Modification Request (EIMR).
      • the principal investigator's name, unit name, and contact information
      • the FOAPAL for tracking fabrication costs
      • a description of the item to be fabricated
      • the estimated cost
      • the estimated completion date
    2. Send the completed Fabrication EIMR to Equipment Administration.
      • Equipment Administration will assign a fabrication number and notify you via a returned copy of the Fabrication EIMR.
    3. Purchase the components for the fabrication.
      • Use a purchase requisition to buy fabrication components.
      • Include the fabrication number (EIMR number) in the text on the requisition.
      • Use account code 007050 for all fabrication component purchases.
    4. Keep a record of all shop, labor, and materials charges to be reported at completion of fabrication.
    5. When the item is placed "in-service", provide the following information using the same Fabrication EIMR form noting the "in-service" date in step 2.
      • The total cost and date of completion. Itemize the cost, specifying either supplies, labor or material for each item. Send to Equipment Administration who will provide the Property Number and tag for the completed fabrication. Affix the property tag to the equipment.
    6. When disposing of fabricated equipment refer to the Disposal Guide.
      Note: If a fabrication is cancelled after a property number has been received, attach a note to the original Fabrication EIMR indicating that the fabrication will not proceed. Send it to Equipment Administration.

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  • Purchasing equipment from Bay Tree Bookstore

    When you purchase equipment through the campus recharge process follow the steps below to record the equipment.

    1. Check with your department's financial administrator to be sure you are authorized to recharge for your department.
    2. Use only the Bay Tree Bookstore Recharge Purchase Form to place your order. (Available for purchase)
    3. Provide your custody code and building code on the recharge form, as well as complete FOAPAL information (fund, organization and account code) and an authorized signature.
    4. Bay Tree Bookstore will send a copy of the recharge to Equipment Administration.

    When Equipment Administration receives the recharge information from the bookstore, they will create UCSC property tags and forward the tags and a Property Tag Attachment Form to the Equipment Custodian.

    1. Affix the property tags and inventory sticker to the equipment.
    2. Record the serial number of the equipment and the date the equipment was received.
    3. Sign, date and return the Property Tag Attachment Form to:
      • Equipment Administration
        1156 High Street
        Santa Cruz CA 95064
      • Mailstop: Accounting Office
      • Phone: 831-459-2355
      • Fax: 831-459-3747

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  • Examples of inventorial and non-inventorial equipment

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  • Inventorial account codes

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  • When inventorial equipment is received

    Equipment may be received either at Central Receiving or at the campus unit.

    For information on services provided by Central Receiving, visit the Receiving Services Website

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  • Assigning/updating equipment custodian and custody codes

    Department managers whose units have inventorial equipment need to assign custodial responsibility for the equipment to a staff member. This individual will be responsible for performing the biennial inventory and handling or assisting with other equipment related matters, e.g. transfers, loans, and disposal in compliance with related equipment policy.

    Complete the Custody Code & Custodian Maintenance Form and obtain approval of the completed form to:

    • Request a new custodian
    • Remove an existing custodian
    • Request a new custody code
    • Discontinue an existing custody code

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  • Policy references

    Useful Life Schedule - Depreciation schedule and salvage percentages (includes a list of equipment by classification code)

    BUS 29 - Management & Control of University Equipment

    BUS 38 - Disposal of Excess Material and Transfer of Federally Funded University Owned Material

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  • Where to get help

    Contact Equipment Administration:

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  • Equipment loan documentation

    * If UC does not hold title, the equipment may not be loaned without prior written approval of the titled agency.

    Loan Time Line Lender Borrower Documentation Required* Prior Notification to EQ Admin
    <1 Yr UCSC Dept UCSC Dept Internal memo signed by both Unit Heads. Memo retained by Lending Dept. No
    >1 Yr UCSC Dept UCSC Dept EIMR Form to Equip Admin signed by Lending & Receiving Depts Yes
    <1 Yr UCSC Dept Other UC Campus EIMR Form to Equip Admin signed by Lending & Receiving Depts Yes
    >1 Yr UCSC Dept Other UC Campus EIMR Form to Equip Admin signed by Lending & Receiving Depts Yes
    >1 Yr Other UC Campus UCSC EIMR Form generated by Lending Campus with their Prop#, signatures & sent to UCSC for signatures. SC keeps copy Yes
    Any UCSC External Entity Loan_to_Agency Agreememt Form Yes
    Any External (Non-Fed) UCSC *Demo Only - Loan agreement (Loan_from_Agency Form) Yes
    Any External (Non-Fed) UCSC Loan Agreement (Loan_from_Agency Form) Yes
    Any External (Federal) UCSC Loan Agreement (Loan_from_Agency Form) Yes

    *Equipment which is for demonstration, trial or approval purposes only requires an Equipment Loan Agreement but is not tracked in the Fixed Asset System.

    Policy source: UC Bus-29, Section IV E & F

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