A Division of Business Services
Materials Management - Fixed Assets

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Materials Management - Fixed Assets

What is Fixed Assets Responsible For:

Fixed Assets, a unit within the Department of Materials Management, is tasked with maintaining accurate records, reporting, performing annual inventory, and tracking of University equipment from the time it is purchased until it is disposed of in accordance with State rules and regulations.

The purpose of tracking fixed assets is for financial accounting, preventive maintenance, and internal control including theft deterrence.

Fixed Assets Threshold:

  • Equipment with a purchase (or donation/gift) cost of $5,000 or more and useful life of 2 or more years.  Any newly purchased equipment that was tagged by the Fixed Assets Office and sent back to the supplier for warranty purposes will need to be re-tagged.  Please contact the Fixed Assets Office @ 328-9941 or Laura Williams by email to williamsl@ecu.edu PC’s and Laptops with a purchase cost of $2,500 or more.

When equipment is purchased new Fixed Assets will email the department to determine what department will be assigned ownership of the equipment.  It’s not uncommon for a department to use their funds to purchase equipment for another department.  This process will be utilized when transferring equipment from one department to another as well.

It is recommended that departments have an internal tracking procedure for equipment under the aforementioned dollar thresholds for accountability purposes. A suggested Inventory Tracking form can be found under forms on the Fixed Assets Home Page. University property not recorded in the Fixed Assets System should be tracked at the departmental level.


  • Equipment purchases with Federal dollars cannot be sold or transferred without approval by the Grants & Contracts Office.
  • Grant equipment is tagged and tracked in the Fixed Assets system.  This equipment is not capitalized as university property unless the detail of the grant gives the university ownership. This information is obtained from the Grant’s office once the piece of equipment is paid for. If this equipment will be the property of the university, it is capitalized at this time even if the grant is not closed.
  • Equipment requesting to be transferred with a PI must be approved by the Office of Grants & Contracts.  If the grant has closed the property can be sold at fair market value to the transferring PI.  A request to purchase by negotiated sales will be submitted to State Surplus Property for approval by the Fixed Assets Office.  This process takes approximately 2 weeks.
  • PI’s transferring equipment from another Agency must complete an Inventory Control Form.  This form identifies the equipment(s) being transferred to the university.  Fixed Assets will tag the equipment with an ECU grant property tag according to the equipment value.

Equipment Status Changes:

Moving Equipment - within ECU

Equipment may be moved from one ECU department to another or may relocate equipment within their department after the appropriate paperwork is filed.  The following steps should be taken to ensure ownership and location are updated in the Fixed Assets’ System appropriately:

Step 1:  Enter a Work Order Request to have Moving Services pick up items to be moved via the Facilities Services’ WEB Asset/Work Management System.  When completing the Work Order Request, each item for pickup should be listed in detail in the “Work Requested” area including where the items are to be picked up and where they are to be delivered.  The quantity and ECU tag number should be listed along with the item description.  Once the Work Order Request is submitted, the requester should maintain a copy of the moving request and request number.  Facilities Services will batch and send the original copies of moving requests to the Fixed Assets Office on a weekly basis.

Step 2:  After a Work Order Request number is obtained, complete an Equipment / Furniture Relocation Request Form to be submitted to Moving Services.  Make sure when completing this form that the ECU tag number, new room number and building numbers are included.  Without the ECU tag number included on the Equipment / Furniture Relocation Request, the equipment information will not be updated in the Fixed Assets system.  Therefore the changes will not be seen on your departmental inventory report.

These steps will insure the location of equipment in the Fixed Assets’ System is changed appropriately and accurately. Also, departments should keep a copy of the EFRF form and work order for their inventory records.  Keep in mind, no equipment can be transferred or given to another State Agency (or anyone else) without authorization.

Transferring Ownership - within ECU

Occasionally a department may have an item that is tagged by Fixed Assets that they would like to simply transfer ownership of or responsibility for the item to another department.  The item may be small enough to carry from one department to another or the location of the item may not need to be changed at all, only the owner is being updated.  In this case, a Moving Services work order request or the EFRF form is not needed. 

If at least one physical inventory cycle has been completed, this item should be on the department’s inventory tracking list.  Ownership can only be changed if it is agreed upon by both departments.   The department transferring ownership in conjunction with the department accepting ownership should complete a Fixed Assets Transfer Form.  This form must be attached to the department’s annual inventory report and submitted to Fixed Assets for updates to be made in the Fixed Assets’ System.

Note:  It is highly recommended that departments use the Fixed Assets Transfer Form to transfer, track, and account for items that are not tagged by Fixed Assets, but are on a department’s internal inventory list.  This can be helpful when an ECU department has a chair, for instance, that they are going to allow another ECU department to have.  Internal inventory lists should be updated annually and are subject to audit.

Surplus of Equipment and Other Departmental Items

All equipment and supplies purchased with University funds is the property of East Carolina University and the State of NC (regardless of funding source) until the appropriate approvals and disposition processes are followed.  Under no circumstances should State property be simply thrown away, given away, traded in, or taken home.  Fixed Assets and the Surplus Property Department are responsible for the disposition or transfer of all surplus property in accordance with State policies and procedures.  Departments that have excess property or items that are no longer of use must surplus those items.  Items can only be surplused via the ECU Property Equipment Tracking System (PETS).  The following steps should be followed:

Step 1 Ensure that you or the appropriate person in your department has access to PETS (Property Equipment Tracking System).  The registration process and access information is available on the PETS Home Page at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/purchasing/surplus/PETS.cfm.

Step 2:  Enter a Surplus Pickup Request in PETS.  Complete step-by-step procedures for entering a Surplus Pickup Request are available on the PETS Home Page under PETS Training Procedures at                                                      http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/purchasing/surplus/PETS.cfm. 

2.1:  Computer CPU’s, Laptops, and Servers should be entered on a separate Surplus Pickup Request from other department items and equipment due to sanitation requirements.  Monitors, printers, keyboards, and mice do not require sanitizing and should be entered on the same Surplus Pickup Request with routine surplus items. 

2.2:  If the item(s) being surplused has a Fixed Assets’ tag number, this number must be entered in the Asset # field on the Surplus Pickup Request in PETS.  The full 9-digit number must be entered (6-digit ECU tag # plus three zeros ‘000’ at the end).  If the correct Fixed Assets’ tag number is entered, information from the Fixed Assets’ system such as serial number and model number will automatically populate on the Surplus Pickup Request.

2.3:  Each item needs to be listed individually with a complete description.  Items cannot be entered in “lots”.  For example, if you have 5 chairs to surplus, each chair must be listed including the condition and description.  If any items are damaged or are in non-working order, please denote this in the description field.  A miscellaneous box of small items is acceptable; however, a quantity and description of the miscellaneous items must be entered in the description field (i.e. 2 staplers, 3 wood desk trays, 2 keyboards).  The only exception is a box of cords.  A description of each cord is not necessary; just enter one box of miscellaneous cords. 

The Surplus Pickup Request must be approved at the department level by the PETS administrator or user that has been granted approval authority.  Upon authorization, the user or administrator is verifying that all conditions as listed in the PETS system have been met.  Once the Surplus Pickup Request is completed and approved, it is submitted electronically to the Surplus Property Office.  The Surplus Office will review and schedule pickup for each request.  Temporary pickup tags and a pickup schedule/manifest are printed by Surplus and delivered to the department by Central Stores’ personnel.  A copy of the pickup schedule is printed and emailed to Moving Services.

Each Surplus Pickup Request is assigned a Disposal Request # (i.e. DR# 10274) by the PETS system.  This number will be needed to complete the Moving Services request in step 4 below.

Step 3:  Once temporary pickup tags and the pickup manifest are received, the department is responsible for placing the appropriate temporary tag on the appropriate item described on the tag and the pickup manifest.  These labels are white, peel and stick labels with readable bar codes.  The labels must be placed in a visible area on the item such as the top of the desk, arm of the chair, etc. 

The manifest will show an assigned Pickup Schedule # (i.e. Pickup Schedule #182). 

Step 4:  Once all items are tagged, enter a Work Order Request to have Moving Services pick up items going to Surplus via the Facilities Services’ WEB Asset/Work Management System.  When completing the Work Order Request, it is NOT necessary to list all items from the pickup manifest on the work order; however, you are required to enter the DR# on the first line of the description of the work order so that Moving Services will be able to match your request with the appropriate manifest.  Instructions for completing the Moving Services’ request are available on the WEB Asset/Work Management System under the link titled Surplus Removal System/PETS and may be accessed by clicking https://wwwapps.ecu.edu/msworkrq_dotnet/PETS/surplusprocedure.htm and entering your ECU login information.

A separate Work Order Request is required by Moving Services for each Disposal Request # (you cannot put multiple DR #’s on the same Work Order).

Moving Services has requested a two week lead time in picking up your items.  Special needs should be referred directly to James Sutton at 328-6080 or suttonj@ecu.edu.

Step 5:  With the appropriate Work Order and copy of the pickup manifest in hand, Moving Services will verify the items for pickup, verify and note the quantity, and will ask a department representative to sign off in the “Authorized by” section of the pickup manifest, which denotes the department’s approval of the items going to Surplus.  Moving Services’ personnel will also sign the pickup manifest denoting they are receiving/moving the property.

NOTE:  The department is responsible for the safety and security of all University equipment and supplies until Moving Services has taken possession.  We do not recommend you sit items in the hallway or other unsecured areas where items may easily be removed by Faculty, Staff, Students, or visitors.

5.1:  Moving Services can ONLY pickup items that have been tagged with the temporary tags and included on the pickup manifest.  Items not tagged CANNOT be picked up.  If you have additional items that need to go to Surplus, a new Surplus Pickup Request must be entered.

Step 6:  Moving Services will deliver the items to Surplus Property.  Surplus Property will accept delivery by signing the pickup manifest, will scan the bar codes, and will update inventory.  When items are received by Surplus Property that reference an ECU Tag #, departmental Fixed Assets’ inventory records will be updated accordingly. 

6.1:  Departments can view the history of items that have been surplused via the PETS system.  This history may be printed at a later date should it be needed to update Fixed Asset or internal department records.

REMEMBER:  Property is not considered surplus until it’s received by the Surplus Property Department.  In addition, property can only be surplused via the PETS system following the steps listed above.  Example:  If your department purchases new computers for several staff members and an older computer is given to another staff member within the department, the computer would not be considered surplus.  Ownership of the computer is still the responsibility of this department and should be tracked as such.  If we are unable to confirm receipt of your equipment it will not be removed from your inventory and your department will be contacted.

Equipment (not moved within ECU or transferred to another government agency) is placed on a list and bid through State Surplus Property in Raleigh. Individuals may bid on these items. For information regarding the bid process, go to http://www.doa.state.nc.us/ssp/index.htm Item(s) not sold via the bid process with State Surplus Property may be sold in the ECU Surplus Retail Store or are dispositioned in accordance with the guidelines set forth by State Surplus Property.

Obtaining Surplus Property for Campus Use

University departments are offered the use of equipment which has been turned into the Surplus Property Warehouse. There is no charge for this equipment. Departments should contact the ECU Surplus Property Department at 328-9941 and arrange a time to inspect surplus items for possible use by a department.  The Surplus Property Department does not pick out or put property on hold for departments.  If the equipment was tagged with an ECU tag number previously, this equipment will be re-assigned back on campus to your department inventory for future tracking.  It is not recommended that departmental personnel use their personal vehicle to pick-up property that is taken back on campus for departmental use.  We recommend you utilize Moving Services for transporting University property whenever possible.

Departments interested in surplus property items should visit the warehouse and inspect the material to ensure suitability. Since the material is on a “first-come first–served basis”, the item selected will be tagged for the department and held for 10 business days. The department is responsible for submitting a Moving Services work order request for the item(s) to be delivered to their department. The department is responsible for contacting the Surplus Property Office to extend the 10 day deadline.

Lost Equipment

Management is responsible for implementing procedures for maintaining control over and the safeguarding of assets.  Equipment is considered lost when a department reported having equipment on the prior year physical inventory verification report, but can no longer locate the equipment.  If there is no documentation for the equipment being surplused or stolen, the equipment is considered lost. The equipment will be placed on the Lost Inventory Report Listing for two years.  It is requested that each department with lost inventory confirm their listing annually.  The department at that time will have a chance to change the status of the equipment if the item(s) has been located.

Lost inventory reports are subject to audit.  The department should make every effort to locate the equipment or the proper paperwork documenting the disposition of the equipment prior to marking an item as lost.  Any item marked as lost inventory requires a brief, reasonable explanation by the department as to why the equipment cannot be found. 

Stolen Equipment

If equipment is stolen, the proper authorities (ECU Police, PCMH Security) are to be notified so that a police/security report can be completed. ECU Police and PCMH Security forward copies of police/security reports involving University owned equipment to the University Attorney's Office.  An SBI report is generated and forwarded to the University Internal Auditors and to the Fixed Assets Office for updating the University Inventory System. The employee discovering the theft must report the theft to his/her supervisor.  State guidelines require the supervisor notify the head of the department immediately. 

If ECU property is stolen while off campus, the appropriate Police Department should be notified and a police report filed.  The University Attorney's Office, Fixed Assets Office, the employee’s supervisor, and Department Head should also be notified of the situation.  This should take place for all University property regardless of cost.

Cannibalized Equipment

If equipment becomes irreparable, but certain parts or components can be used to maintain other similar pieces of equipment the irreparable item can be cannibalized. A Cannibalization Form must be completed and forwarded to the Fixed Assets Office.  We will need to be informed of which property the cannibalized equipment will be used to support. 

Please note that computers cannot be cannibalized. 

Equipment - taken off campus

Permission for removal of University-owned property may be granted only for University business and not for personal use. Any time faculty or staff members take University-owned property off campus a Going Off-site Equipment Tracking Form should be completed with the appropriate Department Head’s signature granting permission for this property to be moved to an off-campus location. This Form indicates the period of time the property is to be off campus, a justification, ECU tag number if appropriate, and the description of the specific items involved.  If this property is to be off campus for over a week, this form must be sent to the Fixed Assets Office for tracking.

Departments who are taking a list of equipment off-campus for use in field projects, may attach a list to the Going Off-site Equipment Tracking Form and state “Per Attached”.   

The same process can be utilized for equipment (example: laptop computer) checked out to faculty on an annual bases using the Annual Off Campus Equipment Tracking Form.

Note:  Departmental Heads are responsible for reporting any misuse of State property to the State Bureau of Investigation according to GS_114-15.1 and GS14-91 for Embezzlement.  In addition, if the Department Chair is requesting to take State Property off campus, the next in authority would sign the Equipment Tracking Form granting permission.

Equipment Traded-In

When equipment is requested to be traded-in, a requisition should be transmitted to Materials Management via PORT for the new equipment along with a description of the item(s) that are being traded-in.  In addition, a Property Trade-In Form must be completed and submitted to the Fixed Assets Office.  The trade-in must be approved by State Surplus Property.  Fixed Assets will communicate with a purchasing specialist in Materials Management to confirm that approval has been granted and appropriate documentation has been obtained for the trade-in.  Fixed Assets' processing time is approximately  one week.  The purchase order cannot be processed until the approval is obtained. 

Note: This property cannot be removed from the University campus until prior approval is received from State Surplus Property and Materials Management issues a purchase order.

Equipment Transfer / Negotiated Sales - outside ECU

Transfer of state-owned equipment within the State: 

The transfer of any state-owned equipment to another North Carolina state-supported institution or agency requires prior approval from the State Surplus Property Office. The user requesting approval to transfer equipment should contact the Fixed Assets Office.  Fixed Assets will request the appropriate State approval. State institutions or agencies shall not transfer any personal property owned by the State without written authorization by State Surplus Property.  Property being transferred is sold at fair market value to the State Agency.  Under no circumstances can state–owned equipment be donated, traded-in, or given to another entity without approval of the State Surplus Property Office.  State owned equipment cannot be transferred out of the country.  Transferring equipment out of the State is in violation of State guidelines.

Transfer of state-owned equipment outside the University System:

State-owned equipment cannot be transferred to an institution outside the University of North Carolina system without prior approval from the State of N.C. Department of Administration. To obtain such approval, a detailed letter of justification must be submitted to the Fixed Assets Office. This letter must be supported by approvals from the department head, the dean, the Grants Office and the Office of Sponsored Programs (if the equipment was originally purchased in whole or in part with Contract or Grant funds). Except for equipment originally purchased with Federal funds, reimbursement will be required from the receiving institution or organization at fair market value.  Please allow 30 to 60 days for processing of out-of-state transfers.  If the equipment is supported by a grant, please review Grants and Contracts’ Policy 19:  Equipment Management found in the ECU Business Manual at http://www.ecu.edu/business_manual/.

NOTE:  It is recommended that a physical inventory of capitalized assets and inventoried items be taken each time there is a change at a management or supervisory level that has responsibility for the assets.  The out-going and in-coming supervisor/manager should sign the physical inventory reports.  The signatures indicate they both know where the assets are located and that the count is accurate.  It is kept on file in accordance with internal policies.

Donations / Gifts

  • REMEMBER:  All gift(s) to the University must be recorded in the Office of Gift Records at the Greenville Center.  Please contact them at 328-9571.
  • Forward the following information to the Fixed Assets Office along with a completed Inventory Control Form
    • Vehicles - Certificate of origin, bill of sales, letter of donation, odometer reading.
      • If donor will have title completed we will need the following:
        • Title made to East Carolina University
        • Letter of donation 
    • Equipment - The Inventory Control Form will provide Fixed Assets with the needed information to initiate the tagging process.  

Obsolete, Unserviceable and Unnecessary Equipment

It is recommended that all equipment not being utilized should be cannibalized or sent to surplus.  State guidelines require that all equipment active in the Fixed Assets’ system be depreciated each year.  Depreciation is the allocation of the total acquisition cost of a capital asset over the entire life of the equipment.  Therefore, each department is required to report the estimated number of year(s) the equipment will continue to be used to the Fixed Assets’ Office annually.  Equipment surplus will be posted by State Surplus Property for other agencies that may have a need for the asset. 

Replacement of Defective Equipment Under Warranty

If an equipment item(s) assigned an ECU tag# becomes defective while under warranty and the item is replaced by the vendor/manufacturer, the Fixed Assets’ Office will need to be notified.  Send an email to Laura Williams at williamsl@ecu.edu.  Provide the following information for the equipment that was replaced:  ECU tag #, item description, and the serial number.  Provide a copy of the packing slip for the replacement part with the description and serial number.  Fixed Assets will provide the new/replacement equipment with another ECU tag # and remove the old equipment from your departmental inventory listing.  If you have question place contact Fixed Assets at 252-328-9941.

Vehicles, Boats, Trailers, Modular (trailers)...

License plates and registration for university-owned vehicles, boats, trailers, etc. (not Motor Fleet) are obtained through the Fixed Assets’ Office.  Fixed Assets will notify the ECU Automotive Shop supervisor after obtaining the plates and registration by email to initiate processing of the gas card, garage records, key duplicating, and insurance.  Also, Fixed Assets maintains the monthly-updated University-Owned Vehicles List.

The following information is needed to obtain license plates and registration:  COA (certificate of origin), Sales Invoice, Title Application, PO#, and FOAP code.  The PO# and FOAP information is needed to request a check from the Accounts Payable department.  Once all paperwork is in place the process will take approximately 2 weeks.  For more information contact Laura Willams @ 328-9931 or send an email to williamsl@ecu.edu.

Fixed Assets
Reference Information

Annual Equipment Inventory

Departmental Lost and Physical Inventory Verification reports are posted in E-print in October of each year.  Departmental Inventory Control staff will need Fixed Assets Inquiry access in Banner to pull the two reports.  Fixed Assets requests that Physical and Lost Inventories are verified at the same time.  Both reports are due back to the Fixed Assets’ Office by the end of November.  All updates must be made in writing directly on the printed report(s) according to the Physical Inventory Verification Guidelines Departmental Inventory Report(s) will not be considered certified without the department head’s signature.  Building codes may be found on the Fixed Assets’ homepage.

Departmental Inventory Control staff needs to review the Physical Inventory Verification Guidelines to ensure inventory reports are completed accurately.

  • When equipment has already been assigned to a department and we have at least one physical inventory cycle completed by the department, ownership can only be changed if it’s agreed upon between the two departments.  To transfer ownership, a Fixed Assets Transfer Form should be completed and signed by both departments, and a copy attached to the department’s inventory report.
  • Any equipment that cannot be located by a department will be moved to the department’s lost inventory report if no documentation is provided (No Exceptions).  Equipment will remain on the lost inventory report for 2 years.
  • Departments will need to provide an explanation of why equipment cannot be located or provide proof of the disposition of the equipment.  The following are examples of acceptable documented proof:  a copy of the work order, packing slip on equipment returned or replaced, copy of police report for stolen property, etc.
  • Each year Fixed Assets will need an estimated number of years equipment will be used before replacement.  This information is crucial in order for the University to remain in compliance with State guidelines.
  • Computers cannot be cannibalized.
Please note that the University Business Manual states that the administrative head is responsible for the custody and proper care of capital equipment within his/her unit.  A Going Off-site Equipment Tracking Form should be completed for all university equipment being taken off campus and forward to the Fixed Assets' Office if equipment will be off campus for more than 7 days.   It’s the department’s responsibility to update this information annually.  Also, note that each unit’s inventory is subject to audit by State and Internal Audit at any given time.  Forms needed to maintain accurate records to keep our department apprised of any equipment changes can be found on the Fixed Assets’ Home Page.  Please utilize these forms to support the accurate tracking of University equipment.

Departmental Internal Inventory Tracking Guidelines

Each Department Head is responsible for safeguarding all assets purchased by his or her department regardless of cost or funding source.  This includes the tracking and security of all goods under a department’s control.

ECU Fixed Assets Office is responsible for tracking, tagging, and reporting on capitalized assets.  A capitalized asset is equipment costing $5,000 or more and has a useful life of two (2) or more years.  ECU also tags and tracks computers costing $2,500 or greater.  Fixed Assets’ staff conducts a physical inventory of capitalized items annually.  

Departments need to account for items, supplies, and equipment that are not tracked in the Fixed Asset’s system.  These are items that fall below the Fixed Asset’s threshold.  It is recommended that Inventory Control Clerks for each department adapt use of an asset tracking spreadsheet such as the Inventory Tracking (less than $5,000) provided on the Fixed Assets Home Page.   The listing shall include a description of the item, date purchased, location/responsible person, and cost.

Materials Management does not advise departments to track supply items that are used up quickly.  Expendable supplies include items such as pens, pencils, toner, paper, staples, etc.; however, the University does expect reasonable safeguarding of these types of items and actions should be taken to avoid misuse of any University resource.

Tangible items should be tracked internally by each department.  This includes equipment and portable electronic devices.  Examples include, but are not limited to the following: 

Equipment: “Equipment” is defined as an asset that is not consumable or expendable; it is movable, even though sometimes it is attached to other objects or buildings. Equipment may fall into one of these categories:

• Furniture - desks, cabinets, chairs, tables, and bookcases

• Office – calculators, fax machines, telephones, and shredders

• Electronic Data Processing (EDP) - computers, printers, and scanners

• Educational - scientific, medical, laboratory and classroom, as well as recording studio and audiovisual 

• Other - athletic equipment, lawn mowers, etc.

Portable Electronic Devices: Portable Electronic Devices include personal digital assistants (e.g., Palm Pilots, etc.); voice recorders; laptop computers; digital cameras; projectors and other items especially susceptible to theft.

Fixed Assets recommends that departments review and update their internal inventory tracking logs annually when Fixed Assets disseminates inventory verification checklists. 


·         Do not use capital Account codes if the item does not meet the capitalization threshold

·         Equipment that has been taken off-campus must be accounted for and should be verified annually; a Going off-site (Off campus sign-out form) or Equipment Tracking (Annual form) should be on file and maintained at all times

·         Internal inventory is subject to audit

·         Internal inventory spreadsheets are not to be submitted to Fixed Assets

·         Department Heads are responsible for ensuring University resources such as voice recorders, and laptops are returned upon an employee’s separation from the University

Spot Inspections

Fixed Assets performs spot inspections of departmental equipment annually. The results of all spot inspections are forwarded to the Office of Internal Audit for their records.  Any areas of concern will be followed up with additional review by the internal auditors during their annual checks.  All information will be communicated to the Division Heads.

Request for Insurance

To have equipment insured or to receive additional information regarding insurance, please contact Risk Management at 328-2010.



ECU Business Manual, Materials Management Section, Policy Statements 62 – 70 http://www.ecu.edu/business_manual/MATINDEX.HTM

Office of State Controller – Capital/Fixed Assets Policies