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 capitalization of 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. Relevant procedures are contained in the Property Manual.
Reason for the policy
This policy provides the guidelines for the capitalization 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 capitalization of moveable capital equipment 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 both financial and government policies and procedures regarding equipment are addressed.
2. Custodial Departments
A departmental equipment coordinator or equivalent is responsible for the initial determination of the equipment as capital equipment.
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. It was revised in January 1990 raising the capitalization threshold from $500 to $2000 and in July 2008 to $5,000.
Who is governed by this policy
This policy applies to all individuals who have custody, use or control 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 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
Real property (land & buildings), land and building improvements, building components, fixed assets (equipment affixed to real property), software, or minor equipment with a total acquisition cost of less than $5,000 are not covered under this policy.