Financial Services

Capital Asset Management

Arizona State University relies on a wide variety of capital assets ranging from buildings, land, and infrastructure to lab equipment and library books to support its research and academic goals. The Capital Asset Management team is responsible for ensuring that all ASU capital assets are appropriately tracked, safeguarded and accounted.

These responsibilities include:

  1. Coordinating the tagging of all movable equipment with a value of $5,000 or more.

  2. Coordinating a biennial inventory of all capital equipment per PCS 601-02.

  3. Maintaining capital asset records in Workday and tracking capital assets from inception to retirement.

  4. Completing annual and ad hoc asset reports.

  5. Responding to auditor and sponsor requests.

These tasks require the ongoing cooperation of the entire ASU community.

An approved Property Control System is critical to ASU's research future. Our cognizant auditing agency, the Office of Naval Research, approves or denies our property system each year. Without the annual approvals, CAM has achieved since 1989, ASU would not be permitted to purchase capital assets on our contracts and grants, significantly affecting our research opportunities and future. Review additional information below for further details.

Visit the ASU Surplus Property webpage for surplus information.


Assetworks is an internal system used to track asset information for both capital and noncapital assets and to enter equipment disposal requests once the equipment is deemed surplus.

Reports have been created in Assetworks that allow departments to review asset records assigned to their department's cost centers. Additionally, departments can use Assetworks to make changes to existing asset records such as location transfers.

Email CAM for the following reasons:

  • Assistance in updating asset records. 
  • Information regarding Assetworks access and use.
  • Unable to access specific equipment records in Assetworks.

CAM provides barcode tags free of charge for normal circumstances to departments requesting to track sensitive noncapital equipment. Email CAM if you need tags. Include in your email your department name, mail code and the number of tags needed. Then, use Assetworks to add, update and track your noncapital equipment.

Descriptions and policies

Capital Equipment — PCS 102 details what constitutes capital equipment. Generally, capital equipment consists of movable items with an acquisition cost of at least $5,000 per unit and a life expectancy of greater than a year. Computer software must be at least $5,000,000.

Disposal of equipment that is no longer needed

  • Email CAM for instructions if the equipment is owned by a sponsor — government or not. The sponsor may have provided specific instructions on disposal that ASU must follow.
  • As explained in PCS 1002-10, gifted equipment cannot be disposed of within three years of the donation because of IRS tax policy. If you must dispose of gifts within three years of the donation, notify the Financial Services tax unit and the ASU Foundation director of gift processing the property disposition's details so the required IRS Form 8282 can be filed.
  • Per PUR 205, all equipment no longer needed must be disposed of through ASU Surplus Property. Surplus retirements are requested through Assetworks. Suppose you do not already have access to Assetworks, email CAM for information regarding access and use. Records of your department's disposals should be maintained for at least three years. If you are unable to locate your equipment in Assetworks, please contact CAM.

Donated equipment — Per PCS 206 and PCS 1002-10, all donated equipment must be processed through the ASU Foundation. Donated equipment must remain in ASU's possession for at least three years because of IRS tax regulations.

Equipment transferred from another Institution — Per PCS 207, email CAM immediately and forward all pertinent documentation, including a valuation of the equipment to be properly tagged and recorded.

Fabricated equipment — PCS 004 defines fabricated equipment and when it is capitalized. If the final fabrication cost is expected to be at least $5,000, complete a fabrication data sheet and email CAM to set up a fabrication number. After the number is assigned, include it on all supplier invoices, p-card transactions, and journals related to the purchase of the equipment and use fabrication spend category Fabricated Equipment Capital for ordering all components of the equipment.

Government-furnished equipment — Per PCS 204, when receiving government-furnished equipment, the PI should inspect the equipment to ensure the equipment's description, quantity, and condition is recorded correctly. If any discrepancies are noted, the PI should work with CAM and the sponsor to resolve them after the GFE is properly received; email CAM, and forward all pertinent documentation, including the equipment's value and the expected return date. CAM will tag the GFE and record it in Workday. Per PCS 1007, once the equipment is returned to the sponsor, CAM must be notified.

Inventory of capital equipment — Per PCS 601-02, CAM will coordinate the inventory of each asset once every two years. The department head and an inventory coordinator are identified in Workday as the point of contact. Equipment whose title does not rest with ASU will be inventoried annually or as requested by the sponsor. Various auditing agencies also verify equipment records periodically.

Off-Campus use of equipment — PCS 505 defines the permissible use of university equipment off-campus. Generally, equipment may be taken off-campus only for university or sponsored project use. Before removing equipment from campus, departments should complete the top portion of an off-campus loan form and submit it to CAM. The lower portion should be filled out and submitted when the item is returned. For permanent or extended off-campus use, the form must be renewed every two years to satisfy inventory requirements.

    Researchers transferring to another universityPCS 1004-01, PCS 1004-02, and PCS 1004-03 relate to the transfer of equipment to other institutions. The transferring equipment process may vary depending on who owns the equipment and how it was originally funded. To ensure the transfer is completed correctly and appropriate approvals are received from sponsors, departments should include CAM in the outset transfer process. To begin the process, email CAM a list of the transferring equipment with tag numbers. CAM will prepare transfer documentation that includes a list of the equipment and its value. The department head must approve the transfer before the equipment can be removed from ASU. ASU property control tags should be removed from the equipment before departure and all shipping and freight charges are paid for by the receiving institution.

    Purchasing capital equipment — Per PCS 401, once CAM reviews a purchase in WD or is otherwise notified of an acquisition, CAM will contact the department that purchased the equipment to coordinate tagging the equipment with an ASU barcode tag, obtain a picture of the equipment and document the serial number, location, model number, and other needed information and enter the record into Workday. The equipment will then be included in the department's biennial physical inventory. If a department becomes aware of the equipment that meets the capitalization criteria but is not tagged, please email CAM as soon as possible.

    Purchase of equipment when retiring from ASUPCS 1009 allows employees to purchase the equipment they wish to keep when they retire from ASU. Email CAM to obtain a sale price for the equipment that is based on fair market value. Approval of the sale by the department head must be obtained once a sale price is determined. The transaction must be completed before removing equipment from ASU.

    Trade-ins — PCS 1006 allows for the trade-in of university equipment. Sponsor-owned equipment cannot be traded in, and trade-ins should not be made substantially less than market value. Before committing an asset to an external vendor, departments should email CAM to confirm that the equipment is titled to ASU. Once verified, complete a trade-in authorization form and submit it to CAM. Departments should also let the ASU buyer know that there is a trade-in involved and provide the ASU Property Control barcode number.


    The following are helpful property control forms:


    Mail Code:
    General Information

    Tempe Mailing Address
    Property Control
    PO Box 875812
    Tempe, AZ 85287-5812