Special Handling

- Gifts of capital equipment (“capital gifts-in-kind”)

These are recorded in the University’s ADVANCE gifts system as a gift-in-kind, and in the e-PRAIS® inventory system if the equipment meets the University’s capitalization threshold of $5,000 or more with a useful life of two (2) or more years.

- Fabrications

Capital equipment is treated as a fabrication if it meets the definition of an asset being constructed, has a defined development period, and meets the University’s capitalization criteria.

Fabricated equipment is not capitalized until the fabrication period is complete.

- Transfers from other Institutions

CU occasionally receives property from other universities when faculty members transfer their research.  Title is vested in the University for each item of equipment transferred unless grant regulations dictate otherwise. If the fair market value of the equipment is $5,000 or more, the capital equipment must be recorded in e-PRAIS®.

- Government owned equipment

Unless otherwise specified, title to capital equipment purchased or fabricated with government grant or cooperative agreement funds will vest with Columbia University upon acquisition. However, in special situations the grant may require that title to capital equipment purchased, acquired or fabricated pass directly to the government. In these cases. 

The capital equipment will be tracked in the e-PRAIS database, but will be noted as GO/GFE and thus will not be included in the University’s annual depreciation calculation.


- Loaned Capital Equipment


The Capital Equipment custodial department must complete the EIA Form form and send to the CAA Property Manager when:

Capital equipment is loaned by one CU department to another department, and

Capital equipment loaned to a faculty member, staff member or student for use at an off-campus location (also requires advance written approval from the department chairperson or an administrative officer).


The loan of capital equipment to an external organization or individual must have the prior written  approval of the department chairperson or administrative officer

The borrower must furnish a certificate of insurance or statement of liability to cover the cost of the capital equipment

All loaned capital equipment must be reported to the CAA Property Manager using the Equipment Inventory Adjustment Form


- Motor Vehicles

The Office of Risk Management will furnish the CAA Property Manager with all information necessary to record University owned or leased vehicles.


- Surplus Government Equipment

Request for acquisitions of capital equipment from government surplus or excess sources must be processed through the CAA Property Manager.


- Found Equipment

The value of found capital equipment will be estimated by CAA and the date found will be used as the date received.


- Lost, Stolen or Damaged Equipment

Lost/Stolen/damaged/destroyed equipment must be reported to the CAA Property Manager by filling out an Equipment Inventory Adjustment form.


- Minor Equipment

Minor Equipment includes any item that falls below the University capitalization threshold of $5,000. Such items are considered supplies and are not recorded in the University capital asset database.