Inventory Control Over Property

Summary: 

Procedures for inventory control over property purchased or assigned to the campus to ensure that such items are properly recorded and valued in the inventory systems, and safeguarded against theft or loss. Property consists of assets, furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Policy document: 

Body: 

1.0 PURPOSE and SCOPE 

It is the policy of the State University of New York College at Old Westbury (the College) to establish guidelines for inventory control over property purchased or assigned to the campus. Property consists of assets, furniture, fixtures and equipment. The fundamental objective of this policy is to ensure that such items are properly recorded and valued in the inventory systems, and safeguarded against theft or loss.

2.0 RESPONSIBILITIES 

2.1 The Property Control Manager (PCM), under the direction of the College’s Senior Facilities Officer (currently the Assistant to the President for Administration), has overall responsibility for administration of this policy. The PCM must maintain centralized inventory systems to assure that property is properly recorded, valued and accurately reflects the physical assets at each location. 

2.2 The Departmental Inventory Coordinator (Coordinator), in conjunction with the PCM, must maintain records of all departmental inventory items. The Coordinator is also responsible for identifying surplus or underutilized items and for reporting items that require repair or may create a hazardous working condition to appropriate personnel. 

2.3 The area Vice President or Department Head is responsible for safeguarding and properly using all assigned divisional assets. He or she must designate a Departmental Inventory Coordinator and support the Coordinator’s efforts to properly manage the property inventory. In addition, the Vice President or Department Head is responsible for authorizing the off-campus use of property and ensuring that all College property is returned in case of an employee’s termination. 

2.4 The Purchasing Department, in conjunction with other departments, is responsible for procuring all College assets. Documentation of purchases must be sent to the PCM and the Central Receiving Department to properly record the purchase in the inventory systems. In addition, the Purchasing Department must notify the PCM of all property scheduled to be shipped to a location other than the Central Receiving Department. 

2.5 The Accounts Payable Department is responsible for assigning and providing fixed asset numbers to the PCM once documentation is received from the Central Receiving Department acknowledging receipt of fixed assets. 

2.6 The Business Compliance Office within the Division of Business and Finance is responsible for conducting periodic reviews of property and performing internal control reviews of compliance with this procedure. 

2.7 The Human Resources Department, by use of the “Human Resources Department Exit Interview” form (Exhibit 1), is responsible for confirming that property assigned an individual (including equipment authorized for off-campus use for state purposes), has been returned prior to termination of the employee’s services to the College. 

3.0 DEFINITIONS 

3.1 The Property Control System (PCS) is a State University of New York (SUNY) inventory system that tracks assets from purchase to relinquishment. This system records the values of existing inventory, identifies surplus items and provides various reports for operational and managerial use. All items valued over $1,499.99 with a life expectancy of at least two years should be recorded in the PCS. 

3.2 The College’s Supplemental Inventory System (CSIS) is the College at Old Westbury’s internal system that records and monitors assets valued between $500.00 and SUNY’s threshold of $1,499.00. All items in CSIS must have a life expectancy of at least two years. This system is maintained by the campus. 

3.3 Property – used interchangeably with assets, inventory and furniture, fixtures and equipment throughout this document to denote an item of value owned by the College. 

3.4 Fixed Asset – a particular piece of property valued at $5,000.00 or more. 

3.5 A Vice President, for the purpose of this policy, is any of the following: the VP of Academic Affairs; the VP of Enrollment Management Services; the VP of Institutional Advancement; the VP of Student Affairs; the Executive Assistant to the President; the Assistant to the President for Administration; and the Chief Financial Officer. A Department Head, for the purpose of this policy, is any of the following: the Director of Public & Media Relations; the Chief of University Police; and the Chief Information Officer. '

4.0 PROCEDURE 

4.1 RECEIPT OF PROPERTY All assets purchased, unless otherwise specified, will be received in the Central Receiving (CR) Department. Upon acceptance from the carrier, CR completes the receiving documents and records pertinent information from the purchase order and shipping documents on the “New Equipment Property Receipt” form (see section 4.11). 

4.2 The Purchasing Department will coordinate the scheduled delivery of property with CR and the user department. In those rare instances where property is shipped directly to the user’s location, the user must contact CR immediately so that the property can be timely inspected. The “New Equipment Property Receipt” form acknowledging receipt of the property will be completed during the inspection by the Coordinator and forwarded to the PCM. 

4.3 IDENTIFYING, RECORDING AND TAGGING PROPERTY There are three categories of property that will be recorded, each with a life expectancy of more than two years. Upon receipt by either Central Receiving or directly by the user at another location, the PCM will apply the following procedures according to the specified category: 

  1. For items valued between $500.00 and $1,499.99: Tags without tracking numbers are to be attached to the items that identify the College, and inventory is to be maintained on the CSIS.
  2. For items valued between $1,500.00 and $4,999.99: Tags with tracking numbers are to be attached to the items that identify the College and inventory is to be maintained on SUNY’s PCS.
  3. For items valued $5,000.00 or more: Tags with tracking numbers are to be attached to the items that identify the College, Fixed Asset numbers are to be assigned by Accounts Payable and affixed to the items, and inventory is to be maintained on SUNY’s PCS.
  4. For items valued below $499.99, the PCM, after assessing the item’s future usage and the risk of theft, may tag such items as a precautionary measure. 

4.4 Based on the applicable category, the PCM will enter purchasing information, identification data and the location of the property in the appropriate inventory system. 

4.5 CONDUCTING PHYSICAL INVENTORIES OF PROPERTY

  1. Physical inventories are required biannually for Fixed Assets (items valued at $5,000.00 and above) and annually for property valued between $500.00 and $4,999.99.
  2. Physical inventories will be scheduled by the PCM. Each Coordinator will conduct the inventory under the supervision of the PCM. A test and review of the physical count will be performed by the Business Compliance Office upon completion of the inventory.
  3. The PCM will distribute inventory schedules and detailed instructions to Coordinators approximately one month before the date of the physical inventory.

4.6 TRANSFER OF PROPERTY AMONG DEPARTMENTS

When a department has property it wants to transfer to another area, the “Inventory Control” form (see section 4.11) must be completed by the Coordinator and forwarded to the PCM. The PCM will then contact the requesting Coordinator with a delivery schedule and any other additional information. 

4.7 REPLACEMENT OF DEPARTMENTAL COORDINATOR

  1. When a Coordinator is transferred from one location to another or terminates service with the College, the area’s Vice President or Division Head assumes responsibility for the area until another Coordinator is named. The inventory must be verified by the Vice President or Division Head, before the responsibility is transferred to the new Coordinator. Differences in records must be reconciled and reported to the PCM.
  2. Once the transfer is completed, the new Coordinator then prepares the bottom portion of the same form and forwards it to the PCM. 

4.8 REMOVAL OF PROPERTY

When a department has property it wants to remove (as either scrap or surplus), the “Inventory Control” form must be completed by the Coordinator and forwarded to the PCM. The PCM will then contact the requesting Coordinator with a schedule and any other additional information. 

4.9 LOST OR STOLEN PROPERTY

  1. If an item is stolen, the theft must be reported to the University Police as soon as possible. A copy of the police report must be retained by the Coordinator and a copy forwarded to the PCM.
  2. Lost property must be reported to the Coordinator in writing. A copy is then forwarded to the PCM.
  3. Theft or loss of assets in excess of $1,000 will be reported to the NYS Office of the State Comptroller by the PCM. 

4.10 OFF-CAMPUS USE OF PROPERTY

  1. Authorization for an employee to remove equipment off campus for business related purposes must be obtained from the Vice President or Division Head. The “Property Off Campus Use Authorization” form (see section 4.11) must be completed to evidence approval to remove the equipment off site. The original form will be filed by the Coordinator with a copy forwarded to the PCM.
  2. The employee is required to bring the equipment to campus during the periodic physical inventories. The Coordinator will verify the equipment’s existence or condition during each physical inventory.
  3. The employee is ultimately responsible for the equipment once the form is signed. Should the employee transfer to another department or terminate service with the College, the equipment must be returned to the Coordinator. The Coordinator will also sign the Human Resources exit form verifying return of the item if the employee’s service terminates. 

4.11 INVENTORY FORMS

The “Human Resources Department Exit Interview” form appears as Exhibit1 and can be obtained from the Human Resources Department. All other forms are being developed and will be distributed by the PCM when completed. Contact the PCM for copies as needed. 

5.0 REFERENCES

The following authoritative documents were used in the preparation of this policy:

  1. NY State Accounting System User Procedures Manual, Volume IX: Internal Controls – Equipment Control; Section # 3.0400, dated 1/16/01
  2. NY State Accounting System User Procedures Manual, Volume IX: Special Procedures – Theft/Loss/Misuse of State Assets; Section #7.0200, dated 6/12/02
  3. NY State Property Control System - Introduction, Revision #1, dated 3/24/99

6.0 APPROVALS

This policy was reviewed by the College’s Property Control Manager, the Chief Information Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the Assistant to the President for Administration and the Executive Assistant to the President prior to approval by the President.