Effective December 26th, 2014, OMB Circulars A-21, A-110 and A-133 will be replaced by regulations under the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (also known as the Uniform Guidance). Please refer to the University’s Uniform Guidance website http://spa.columbia.edu/uniform-guidance for
further details that may supersede information outlined in this policy. Revised policies will be posted once they are available.
This policy is intended to provide assistance in determining the proper accounting for moveable capital equipment (also referred to as capital equipment) owned by Columbia University (the University or CU), titled to the University, under the custody of the University, or for which the University is accountable to the federal government and other sponsors. The University is responsible to account for all capital equipment acquisitions, including capital equipment acquired with grant or contract funds, and capital equipment which may be in the possession of a subcontractor. Relevant procedures are contained in the Property Manual.
Reason for the policy
This policy provides the guidelines for the acquisition of moveable capital equipment.
Primary guidance to which this policy responds
This policy responds to good business practices and Financial Accounting Standard Board (FASB) and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) requirements for recording and reporting capital assets and depreciation expenses. The federal regulations to which this policy responds include:
Roles and responsibilities
1. Controller’s Office
The Columbia University Controller’s Office is responsible for the maintenance of this policy and for responding to questions regarding the policy. Responsibility for the accounting and reporting on capital equipment management is shared by two groups within the Controller’s Office: Capital Asset Accounting (CAA) and Research Policy & Indirect Cost (RPIC). This structure is designed to ensure compliance with both financial and government policies and procedures regarding equipment.
2. Custodial Department
Chairpersons, deans and directors have general stewardship responsibilities for the maintenance and control of all capital equipment in their custody and control. A departmental equipment coordinator or equivalent is responsible for managing capital equipment at the department level. Principal investigators are responsible for the acquisition of capital equipment under their sponsored agreements or during the course of research they are conducting.
3. Procurement Services
Three areas in Procurement Services are involved in the capital equipment cycle: the Purchasing Department, Accounts Payable Department and the P-Card program.
This policy was originally distributed in January 1983.
Who is governed by this policy
This policy applies to all individuals who have custody, use or control moveable capital equipment owned by the University, titled to the University, under the custody of the University, or for which the University is accountable to the federal government and other sponsors. Covered individuals include, but are not limited to, faculty, staff, students, contractors, consultants, those working on behalf of the University and/or individuals authorized by affiliated institutions and organizations.
Who should know this policy
Anyone who has custody, uses or controls moveable capital equipment owned by the University, titled to the University, under the custody of the University, or for which the University is accountable to the federal government and other sponsors.
Exclusion or special situations