Chapter 3: Acquisition and Receiving


Capital equipment may be purchased when the equipment is essential, contractually authorized, and not available or accessible from existing inventory.


Screening should be made prior to new purchases, contact Financial Services and Operations to check for available existing equipment prior to purchase.  If shareable equipment is identified, and use is allowable, an agreement may be negotiated between the two departments.

External screening is a requirement specified in some government sponsored agreements. Details regarding what needs to be screened can be found in each individual contract. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI) to ensure that external screening has been fulfilled prior to the purchase of property.

Capital Equipment Account Codes 

Purchase requisitions should contain accurate descriptions of capital equipment to be acquired.   When purchasing capital equipment, it is important for the requestor to ensure the appropriate account code is used.

E036          Communications Equipment
E037          Furniture and Fixtures
E042          Computer Equipment
E048          Office Furniture & Equip
E050          Other Equipment
E051          Boats/Marine Equipment
E052          Technical/Scientific
E053          Vehicles

Receipt of the property is recorded in Financial Services and Operations (Accounts Payable) when the vendor invoice payment is processed. The entry of payment initiates a flow of data through Banner creating a capital asset equipment record.

Split Funding - Capital Equipment Purchases 

  • University Funding:  Departments may purchase equipment from multiple University funds.  When an equipment purchase is funded from multiple sources, the equipment becomes the inventory of the first or prominent funding department.
  • University / Sponsored Funding: To satisfy cost sharing requirements of a project, equipment may be purchased using both sponsored project and University funds. However, University funding may be lost if the sponsor retains title or reserves the right to request title to the equipment upon termination of the project. 
  • Multiple Sponsored Funding:  Capital equipment funded from two or more sponsors may present conflict with the title-holder.   Shared funding of equipment from more than one sponsoring agency may not be permitted without prior agreement from the sponsors.

Sponsor-Funded Equipment 

Contracts and grants must state equipment to be purchased in the proposal and approved in the budget.

Sponsoring agencies may have specific requirements and restrictions on purchasing new equipment. This includes general purpose equipment and special purpose equipment.

  • General Purpose Equipment is defined as equipment, which is not limited to research, medical, scientific or other technical activities. Examples include office equipment and furnishings, modular offices, telephone networks, information technology equipment and systems, air conditioning equipment, reproduction and printing equipment, and motor vehicles.
  • Special Purpose Equipment is defined as equipment which is used only for research, medical, scientific, or other technical activities. Examples of special purpose equipment include microscopes, x-ray machines, surgical instruments, and spectrometers.