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Handbook of Business Procedures

Date published: 
Last revised: 
Issued by: 

Feb. 17, 2005
July 7, 2014
Inventory Services


Part 16. Inventory Control and Property Management - Table of Contents


A. Introduction

Inventory Services is responsible for maintaining adequate controls over The University of Texas at Austin equipment and intangibles, and assisting with the accounting for and preparing of related financial reports for internal and external reviewers for capital and controlled items. Departments are primarily responsible for maintaining control over their units’ inventory in accordance with established inventory policies and procedures. 

The associate vice president and controller is the president's designated property manager for The University of Texas at Austin. Inventory services finance manager is the alternate property manager. The property manager is responsible for maintaining property records and prescribing reports required from unit administrators. Unit Administrators are responsible for all university property in their care. They are also responsible for ensuring the annual physical inventory of university property assigned to their department is completed each year. The annual physical inventory process and timeline are prescribed by the property manager and Texas state law. Refer to Texas State Government Code, Responsibility for Property Accounting, Chapter 403.272, and Property Manager; Property Inventory, Chapter 403.273.

Property is categorized as either capital, controlled, or non-capital (expensed). Capital inventory consists of non-consumable items having a value of $5,000 or more and meet specific class code descriptions. Controlled inventory are items that the State Comptroller requires agencies and institutions to report to the State Property Accounting (SPA) system. Controlled inventory consists of non-consumable items having a value of $500 to $4,999.99 per unit and meet specific class code descriptions. Firearms are also controlled at any amount less than $5,000 and capital at or over $5,000. Capital and controlled items are placed on the University's inventory system and are accounted for each year by a physical inventory. New acquisitions costing less than $5,000 that do not meet the criteria for capital or controlled equipment are considered non-capitalized. Department heads are also responsible for the custody, safekeeping, and proper use of such non-capitalized items.

B. Accountability and Responsibility for University Property

University property is State property and may be used for official purposes only.

The president of The University of Texas at Austin has assigned the responsibility for property accountability to the department heads as inventory custodians. The unit administrator or custodian may delegate the responsibility for the proper care, maintenance, and safekeeping of university property assigned to his or her custody. To ensure adequate separation of duties a non-custodian or inventory contact should be appointed to assist the unit administrator in fulfilling their responsibilities. Unit administrators should establish internal controls that ensure the following:

  • Assets are kept physically secure at all times.
  • Capitalized and controlled equipment is tagged with a university barcode tag and federal equipment is tagged with a federal tag for identification and tracking purposes.
  • Inventory is taken periodically with documented changes (e.g., location, barcode, condition, etc.), reconciliation, and annual physical inventory certification.

C. Inventory Contact Training Requirements

  • All contacts new to inventory are required to attend the mandatory training class, DE 437 - Inventory Policies and Procedures.
  • Inventory contacts, who have attended the mandatory training class DE 437, must meet yearly compliance requirements by completing the training course CW 536.

D. References

State and University
SPA Process User's Guide
Texas Government Code Chapters 403.271 through 403.278.
The University of Texas at Austin HOP policies 4-1120-PM and 3-2020-PM

E. Related Offices

Board of Regents

Surplus Property

Inventory Services

Legislative Budget Board

Office of Institutional Research

U.S. Department of Defense

U.S. General Services Administration

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Part 16. Inventory Control and Property Management - Table of Contents