Property Control Glossary of Terms


Ancillary Costs

Charges included in the capitalized cost of a fixed asset. Anciallry costs include shipping and installation fees and all costs associated with the importation of equipment from foreign countries.

Asset (or Capital Asset or Fixed Asset)

Tangible, non-expendable personal property that meets the following criteria:

  • Is not consumed in the normal course of business.
  • Has a unit value of $5,000*or more.
  • Has a useful life that exceeds one year.

*The unit cost limit does not apply in the following circumstances:

1. When an item is included as an attachment to an existing asset (see attachment).

2. When purchased on a grant or contract with a sponsor-mandated lower threshold.

Asset Maintenance Form (AMF)

A form submitted to Porperty Control when an asset has a new location or responsible department.

Asset Tag

An identifying barcode label attached to a piece of equipment.


Items that are an integral part of an existing capitalized asset, and necessary for the functionality or performance of that asset. Attachments must have the same title-to code as the parent asset. Attachments are depreciated and disposed with the parent asset. The $5,000 unit value does not apply to attachments.



Every two years.

Book Value

The original cost of an asset. In the case of donated equipment, it is the appraised or market value at the time of the gift.


Cannibalize for Parts

Taking components from a piece of (usually outdated or non-functional) property for use in one or more other pieces of equipment.

Capital Expenditure Account Code

For Service Centers and Auxilaries (proprietary funds), account codes beginning with 'A8' are used to identify expenditures for long-term assets, such as equipment, buildings, or land. For all other fund types,account codes beginning with '4' are used.

Capital Lease

A capial lease is somewhat similar to an installment purchase. Although the University does not own the fixed asset being leased, the terms of the lease are such that the University in essence "purchases" the asset. If the leased fixed asset meets the capitalization threshold and one or more of the criteria, it is capitalized and considered to be a "capital lease":

  • The ownership of the leased asset transfers to the leassee at the end of the lease.
  • The lease contains an option to purchase the leased asset at a bargain price.
  • The lease term is equal to or greater than 75% of the useful life of the leased asset.
  • The present value of lease payments is equal to or greater than 90% of the fair market value of the leased asset.

Capitalization Threshold

The minimum unit value, including anciallary costs, at which an item is defined as a fixed asset, is capitalized and added to the fixed asset system.


Collections of items such as antiques, artifacts, works of art, and historical treasures that meet the definition of a capital asset (value of $5,000 or more) should be recorded as capital assets. Collections are generally held for reasons other than financial gain, are protected, cared for and preserved, and are subject to an organizational policy requiring that proceeds from sales of collection items be used to acquire other items for the collection. Collections are not depreciated.


An asset that works with another asset and in which FIS Banner can link the records to show a relationship. Components have unit values in excess of $5,000, useful lives longer than one year and are not consumed during the normal course of business.

Construction in Progress (CIP)

Expenditures of a construction project that has begun but not yet completed. When the project is complete (i.e. asset is ready for its intended use), capitalized costs are reclassified from construction in progress (40199) tot he appropriate capital expenditure account code (Buildings, Equipment, etc.).




To remove a record from the fixed assets inventory.


The accounting process of allocating the cost of tangible assets to expense in a systemative and rational manner to those periods expected to benefit from the use of the asset. Depreciation is not a matter of valuation but a means of cost allocation. Assets are not depreciation on the basis of a deciline in their fair market value, but on the basis of systematic charges to expense based on the length of expected benefit.

The University uses straight-line depreciation with zero salvage values and useful lives that vary depending on the type of asset.


To take an asset out of service using one of the following methods:




Any asset or minor equipment or supply that is powered by a plug or battery.

Expendable Asset

An asset with a useful life of more than one year that does not meet the threshold for a capital asset ($5,000). Such assets are considered to be supplies or minor equipment.



Federally Accountable

An item acquired on a federal contract and still assigned to that contract by the sponsor.

Federal Excess

Federal property no longer needed by the owning agency.

Federal Surplus

Federal property no longer needed by any federal agency.

Fiscal Year

The 12-month sequence used for accounting purposes. The State of Oregon fiscal year is July through June.


Acronym for the accounting distribution code fields in the BANNER FIS system. These fields areFund /Organization /Account /Program /Activity /Location.

Funding Source

Where the money for a project or piece of equipment came from.




Upon disposal, each asset will produce a gain or loss, depending on whether the proceeds from the disposal are greater (gain) or less than (loss) the Net Book Value of the asset.


Something bestowed voluntarily and without expectation of any tangible compensation.

Government-Furnished Property (GFP)

Property furnished (loaned) by the federal government for use on a specific sponsored research project.



High-risk Items

Please refer to our page onHigh-risk Items.

Historic Property

Three-dimensional objects including furnishings, art objects and items of personal property which have historic significance. This designation does not include paper, electronic or other media that are classified as public records.



Improvements Other Than Buildings (IOTB)

Non-building structures that include:

  • Fountains
  • Bleachers
  • Dugouts
  • Goal posts
  • Scoreboards
  • Other similar improvements not part of the land or building itself

Indirect Cost

The administrative and overhead costs associated with a sponsored research project and not charged as direct costs to the contract or grant fund.


Long-lived capital assets that can be used for a significantly greater number of years than most capital assets and that are normally stationary in nature. Examples include:

  • Roads
  • Bridges/Culverts
  • Sidewalks/Curbs
  • Alleyways
  • Street lighting systems
  • Traffic lights/signs
  • Fire hydrant
  • Drainage systems
  • Gas/electric/fiber optic distribution systems
  • Tunnels and conduit systems
  • Dams
  • Wells

Installment Purchase

Some fixed assets are acquired and owned by a university but not immediately paid for. The payments occur over multiple years. OUS accounting policy for installment purchases (that exceed the capitalization threshold) is to capitalize the fixed asset and to create a liability in the accounting records for the principal portion of the installment purchase. The university must maintain a loan amortization schedule for each installment purchase. ORS 283.085 - .092 requires approval of the Department of Administrative Services for financing arrangements in excess of $100,000.

Intent to Construct Capital Equipment Form

Form used to notify Property Control of projects thier department is undertaking that are about to begin.






The cost of real property excluding the cost of any constructed assets on the property. Land is a non-depreciable asset.

Land Improvement (Non-Depreciable)

Improvements that prepare land for its intended use and produce permanent benefits. These improvements are included in the value of the land, however they are non-depreciable. Examples include:

  • Excavation
  • Fill
  • Grading
  • Landscaping

Land Improvement (Depreciable)

Improvements to land that deteriorate with use or the passage of time: Examples include:

  • Parking lots
  • Fencing and gates
  • Paths
  • Retaining walls
  • Tennis courts
  • Athletic fields
  • Golf courses


An agreement for the right to use property for a specified period at a specified cost. Title remains with the lessor. At no time does the lessee build equity in the property.


An agreement for the right to use property for a specified period at a specified cost. During the term of the lease, the lessee builds equity at a specified rate so that, at the end of the lease period, the lessee has the option of purchasing the property at a specified amount. Title to the property remains with the lessor until the lessee exercises the option to purchase.

Loaned Equipment

Property provided by an outside party for use by the institution for sponsored project or research-related activities; title to the property does not pass to the university.

Location Code

The Banner FIS code from the chart of accounts that identifies building and room number.



Minor Equipment

Equipment that does not meet the capitalization threshold and/or is not an attachment.



Net Book Value

The original cost of an asset less accumulated depreciation.




Acronym for Office of Management and Budgets (U.S. Government).

Organized Storeroom

A segregated and controlled storeroom for supplies distributed outside the department; annual expenditures of $150,000 or value at any time of $50,000.


Origination tag. A unique identifier for the temporary master record created in Banner for an asset. This record is either converted to a permanent asset record or is attached to a permanent record.


Personally Owned Equipment

Equipment owned by a university employee or other private party from whom the university employee has received proper and valid authorization for use.

Personal Property

Property that is not real property (meaning real estate): movable or fixed equipment, minor equipment, supplies, etc.

Physical Inventory

A periodic inspection of everything in an inventory for equipment/fixed assets; physical inventory includes reconciling to the asset records.

Principal Investigator (PI)

The primary person under whose name a grant or contract is awarded; the person responsible for the research and the appropriate management of award funds.

Property Disposition Request (PDR)

A form used to request approval to remove an asset from the inventory.




Real Property

Land and permanently affixed buildings and improvements.

Responsible Org or Organization

The departmental organization code used to identify what department and/or sub-group within a department is accountable for an asset.




The entire set of programs, procedures, and related documentation associated with a system, particularly a computer system. The Oregon Executive Department ruled in 1992 that software purchases should be considered a license, not a tangible asset. Software is only inventoried if the actual source code is purchased, and the value is above the asset threshold of $100,000. The only exception is software purchased for auxiliary or service departments, although the amortization schedule for these 'licenses' should be two to five years (depending on the expected useful life) instead of the standard five years.

A research project funded by a sponsor outside of UO.

Sponsoring Agency

The organization, usually a federal agency, that has supplied funds for sponsored research.

Sponsoring Organization

An organization supplying funds to UO for a sponsored research project.


Expendable property, non-capital assets, and other minor equipment not meeting the capitalization threshold.

Surplus Property

Property not needed by a department within the University. Surplus property includes all excess items and materials other than items that would be typically disposed of in a wastebasket, such as scrap paper, consumed pencils and pens, etc.




A permanent identifying label or decal attached to a piece of equipment


Legal ownership of property


Providing a vendor with a piece of used property in return for a credit on the purchase of a piece of new property.


The act of changing what department or organization is responsible for an asset.





A boat, ship or craft that is made to float or travel upon the water and is greater than 25 feet in length. It may or may not be powered by a marine egine. For anything less than 25 feet (e.g. canoes or rafts) is considered to be equipment.




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