If you have questions regarding this information, call us at (989) 774-3917.



Q. What is the purpose of Annual Departmental Equipment (Physical) Inventory?
A. The purpose of a physical inventory is to account for all equipment belonging to the university. Individual departments or cost centers are responsible for verifying the physical location and condition of their assets. The State of Michigan, the Fixed Asset Office, and the Internal Audit Office may review the results of each department’s equipment inventories.

Q. When will our department need to conduct its equipment inventory?
A. All university departments shall conduct an equipment inventory once per year. The Fixed Assets department will send a request to all university departments asking them to conduct an equipment inventory. The request will include instructions and the equipment inventory completion deadline.

If your department has questions concerning the equipment inventory process contact  Fixed Assets at (989) 774-6784.

Once your department has completed its equipment inventory and returned the updated inventory information to Fixed Assets, your results will be reconciled with current records and the department equipment inventory records will be updated.

Q. What are the basic steps of conducting a departmental equipment inventory?
  1. Visually, verify the equipment items listed on a departmental equipment inventory list.
  2. Place a check mark beside the verified equipment item. Record any changes such as current equipment location.
  3. Record any additional tagged equipment items not listed. Include: Tag Number and all demographic information such as building, room number and responsible department. If you find equipment that is not tagged please record the Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number, method of purchase, and any other pertinent information related to the equipment item. Please capture this information and include it with your completed report.
  4. Please complete the equipment inventory in the stated timeline.
  5. Please indicate the person responsible for equipment inventory in your department, the account director for the cost center, and keep a copy of the completed report for your files.
  6. Return the updated and verified equipment inventory report to Fixed Assets. The preferred method of return is via email at assets@cmich.edu. The office location is Combined Services Building, Room 204.
Q. When conducting my department's physical inventory, does my department need to find all items on its equipment inventory report?
A. Yes. University policy and State regulations specify that the University must inventory equipment based on its original acquisition cost. Even if the equipment is very old, the university must inventory all tagged assets. Items that cannot be found should be noted on the inventory records. Fixed Assets, Internal Audit, and the responsible cost center may need to work together to investigate the cause of missing item(s).

Q. What does the term tagged equipment mean?
A. The Fixed Asset office supplies the university with its official equipment identification tags. The equipment identification tags are made of white vinyl material and have black lettering with Central Michigan University printed on them, a serialized identification number, and a pressure sensitive high tack adhesive on the back of them. Once the tags are affixed to equipment or assets correctly, they are difficult to remove.

All equipment or assets with a purchase price greater than $1,000.00 must be tagged and inventoried. Technology related items with a purchase price of less than $1,000.00 are also tagged. Typical items that fit this definition are some desktop & laptop computers, digital cameras, audiovisual equipment, televisions, DVD – Blue Ray players, printers, hand held computers, tablets etc. These items are tagged because they are very portable and a common target for theft.  If your department has items that you would like tagged and added to your equipment inventory please contact Fixed Assets at assets@cmich.edu​ or 989.774.3917.

If equipment is purchased with grant money does it need to be tagged and inventoried?

A. Yes. All capital and some non-capital equipment must be tagged and inventoried.
All items purchased for use by the university, regardless of the source of purchase funds (department funds, grant funds, donation, and loans) must be identified, inventoried, and tagged for property management purposes. Asset and equipment purchases made with grant money are treated no differently than other methods of payment. Keeping accurate and complete equipment inventory records is in the best interest of the university and individual departments.

Q. I have an old computer in my office that I no longer need. Can I give it away?
A. Either the Provost or a Vice President must approve all equipment donations to parties other than Central Michigan University. If you have equipment that you are considering donating each case must be reviewed and approved independently. Please contact the Fixed Assets Office at (989) 774-3917 for information related to the donations of equipment.

Q. I found a vendor who will allow me to trade in my current computer equipment for a discount on new computers. Can I trade my old computers in?
A. The answer to this question can be complicated. Some equipment can be traded in and some equipment cannot be traded in toward the purchase of new equipment. Contact Fixed Assets to discuss the items being considered for the trade in and contact Contracting & Purchasing Services for guidance regarding the trade in agreement and its legalities.

Q. With the prevalence of personal and laptop computers, it has become quite common for employees to take equipment home. Can I take university equipment off campus?
A. This decision is up to each department. If your department allows employees to take equipment to their home this practice should be documented and the items taken must be accounted for. Two methods of documentation are recommended, the first; is to keep a log of all equipment taken home by employees. The log must include the employee's name and address. It must also contain the tag number, serial number and a brief description of the equipment. The second method is to ask Fixed Assets to update the departmental inventory with a record of the equipment being used at the employee's home. This method should only be considered for items that will be in use at the employee's home for long periods of time. Fixed Assets will record this location in the equipment record for the department and it will become part of the department's permanent inventory records.

Q. Our department is in need of furniture and equipment, but cannot afford to purchase new. Where can we obtain furnishings?

Fixed Assets can supply your department with information on available surplus items held in storage. Surplus equipment and furnishings are available to university departments on a "first come, first serve" basis at little or no cost.

Contact us at assets@cmich.edu or (989) 774-3917.


Central Michigan University • 1200 S. Franklin St. • Mount Pleasant, Mich. 48859 • 989-774-4000