Explore UAB

The Asset Management Department serves the UAB community by providing accurate capitalization of assets and the management of the capital equipment inventory in conformance with external and internal requirements. The department maintains the official UAB property records for all capital equipment items.

  • Equipment Accounting Policy

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is required by the State of Alabama, federal grant sponsors, and good business practice to maintain a current inventory of all UAB capital equipment and any noncapital equipment held in locations beyond UAB’s campus.

  • Equipment Procedures

    Equipment Acquisitions

    For purposes of capital equipment inventory and reporting, the official UAB capital equipment information is maintained by the Asset Management Department in the Equipment Accounting System. The Asset Management Department receives information from the UAB Purchasing/Accounts Payable System regarding capital equipment purchased by UAB. Other acquisitions of equipment, including donations and grant equipment transfers, should be reported promptly to the Asset Management Department by the department/unit receiving that equipment.

    Equipment Fabrications

    Equipment fabricated into a single system resulting in capital equipment should be assigned one property number, even though the components of the system may have been ordered separately and at different times and later integrated into the system. The Accountable Equipment Officer (AEO) for each department/unit purchasing the equipment is responsible for notifying the Asset Management Department of any fabricated equipment resulting in capital equipment so it can be recorded properly in the Equipment Accounting System.

    Remote Equipment

    Remote equipment for Off Campus/Alternate work locations are to be reported by the Department/Unit (Steward Org) to the Asset Management Team. A Remote Asset Form is available to enter all information needed to set up the Remote Equipment in our Asset Management system. The Asset Management team will manage the tagging of the equipment with the AEO of the Steward Org. The steward org are responsible for making updates when there is any change due to employee separations, equipment upgrades or additions. The steward org will be responsible for a yearly inventory followed with an audit by Asset Management.

    Equipment Inventory Verification

    The Asset Management Department conducts an Inventory of all Capital assets every two years. The AEO of each steward org will verify the accuracy of the Inventory list and return any updates to the Asset Management Department.

    Equipment Disposal

    Disposal of UAB equipment is strictly regulated by state law and also is controlled by legally binding restrictions of donors or sponsors as well as by UAB policy. UAB equipment may not be transferred, loaned, or leased to another organization or individual, including a departing faculty or staff member, except with advance written approval from UAB’s Controller. UAB equipment may not be sold other than through UAB’s official surplus property auctions, traded in, scrapped, cannibalized, or otherwise disposed of by any UAB department, unit, or individual, except with advance written approval from UAB’s Asset Management Department.

    Stolen Equipment

    Stolen equipment must be reported immediately by the AEO to the UAB Police Department, and the UAB Police Department will report it to the Asset Management Department.

    Misplaced/Lost Equipment

    In the circumstance in which equipment cannot be located by the department/unit, it is considered to be misplaced or "lost." Missing equipment that is reported to the UAB Police as stolen is not considered to be "lost." Misplaced equipment should be reported/identified by the AEO to Asset Management using the Inventory Form provided.

  • Capital Equipment

    University Capital Equipment

    Capital equipment for the University must have an individual cost of $5,000 or more and have a useful life of one or more years, provided sufficient individuality and size exists to make control feasible.

    Hospital Capital Equipment

    Capital equipment for the Hospital must have an individual cost of $2,000 or more and have a useful life of one or more years, provided sufficient individuality and size exists to make control feasible. Major computer software is capitalized when its cost is $5,000 or greater.

    All Capital Equipment

    Hospital and University equipment is accounted for separately. Therefore, the cost of a capital equipment item cannot be split between Hospital and non-Hospital account numbers.

    Expenditures for capital equipment or major computer software must be charged to the proper sub-codes 8908051-8908059 in the Oracle Accounting System.

    For an accessory or component to be included in the original acquisition cost of a piece of equipment, it should be an attached or installed option, which as assembled is expected to operate as a single unit for the remainder of its life. Some examples of such equipment are given below, but this is not an exhaustive list:

    • PC computer systems – PC computer systems are capitalized as a single unit, but will have one or more property numbers depending on how they are priced. If the system is ordered together on the same purchase order, all components of the system will be assigned one asset ID number and treated as a single asset. If individual components external to the CPU case meet or exceed the capitalization threshold ($5,000 for the University, $2,000 for the Hospital), these items will be tagged separately.
    • Centrifuges – The rotor and centrifuge are often capitalized as a single unit and thus assigned a single asset ID number. However, if each component meets or exceeds the capitalization threshold separately, the two parts will be assigned individual asset ID numbers. Accessories such as buckets and adapters that are part of the original purchase of the centrifuge are included in the cost.
    • Incubators – The incubator, CO2 valves, racks, platforms, and temperature control are identified as one item.
    • Microscopes – The entire microscope and all of its original components are identified as one item.

    Capital Upgrades to Equipment

    A capital upgrade occurs when an equipment item is acquired that will become an integral component of another piece of capital equipment currently owned by UAB. The newly acquired item must meet standard University or Hospital Equipment Capitalization Criteria.

    The cost of the upgrade is charged to the equipment sub code and added to the original equipment item's total cost.

    • Only UAB-owned equipment can be upgraded with items purchased by UAB.
    • All upgrades to Hospital owned equipment must be paid from hospital accounts.
  • Non-Capital Equipment/Remote Equipment

    Non-Capital Equipment/Remote Equipment

    Equipment that does not meet the definition of capital equipment is considered to be noncapital equipment. If a piece of equipment was classified as "capital equipment" at the time it was purchased but later falls under the threshold for capital equipment because the threshold has been raised, the equipment no longer is considered to be capital equipment.

    "UAB remote equipment" is a subcategorization of noncapital equipment that relates to noncapital equipment located at an employee's residence or alternative work location (off-site) for the purposes of conducting UAB business.

    Remote Inventory Equipment Forms

  • Equipment Life Cycle

    Equipment Life Cycle

    The equipment lifecycle: aquisition, inventory life, surplus.

    • Acquisition

      UAB acquires equipment in a variety of ways, detailed below.


      Equipment is purchased by initiating either an Oracle Purchase Order Requisition or a Payment Request Form. The Equipment Purchase Information Form (EPI) is required for every capital equipment purchase. Purchases that involve trade-ins also require a completed Equipment Disposition Form.

      Capital Equipment Object Codes and Useful Lives

      Sub Code
      Equipment Type
      Useful Life

      8908051: Light Transportation Vehicles

      Passenger Cars, Vans, Station Wagons, and Pickup Trucks with a total weight of less than one ton

      4 Years

      8908052: Heavy Work Vehicle

      Heavy Trucks, Busses, Tow Trucks, Fork lifts, Tractors, Bulldozers, and Trailers with a total weight of 1 ton or more

      8 - 10 Years

      8908053: Computer Software

      Computer Software costing $5,000 or more

      3 Years

      8908054: Computer Hardware

      Personal Computers, Disk Drives, Color Monitors, Printers, Mainframe Computers, and other Computer Hardware costing $5,000 or more for the University and $2,000 or more for the Hospital

      3 - 5 Years

      8908059: Other Equipment

      Scientific Equipment, Patient Care Equipment, Office Furniture, and any other Equipment that does not fit in the above categories costing $5,000 or more for the University and $2,000 or more for the Hospital

      5 - 15 Years

      Note: If the correct sub code is not known, please use sub code 8908059 (Other Equipment). Asset Management will correct the sub code if necessary.

      Equipment Donated to UAB

      When an individual or entity donates equipment to UAB, the individual receiving the equipment must notify the department's Accountable Equipment Officer (AEO). The AEO is responsible notifying, via email, both Asset Management (FA-ead@uab.edu) and the Gift Records Office (J.P. Berthold at berthold@uab.edu or gifts@uab.edu). Please include:

      • the donor's legal name,
      • description of the equipment donated,
      • the planned location of the equipment,
      • the UAB organizational unit to which the gift was made, and
      • department contact name, phone number, and email address.

      Submit the following additional documentation to Asset Management:

      • a completed Equipment Disposition Form (using Transaction Code 8),
      • a letter from the donor listing the equipment item(s) donated with a dollar value for each item (as estimated or appraised by the donor), and
      • any other documentation that would be helpful in recording the equipment.

      Federal Surplus Property

      Departments may obtain Federal Surplus Property through the Alabama State Agency for Surplus Property. A representative from the acquiring department must secure an official letter of authorization from the UAB Purchasing Department prior to going to the state surplus warehouse in Montgomery. The department should contact the UAB Purchasing Department purchasing@uab.edu or (205) 934-4515] for information on pursuing this method of equipment acquisition.

      Transfer of Grant and Contract Equipment from another institution to UAB

      When equipment is transferred to UAB in conjunction with the transfer of a grant or contract, Asset Management must be notified of the items that are received so they can be recorded in the Asset Management system. Complete an Equipment Disposition Form (using Transaction Code 9) with the description, serial number, current location, and department information. Attach any other pertinent documentation, and submit to Asset Management. The recipient department is solely responsible for notifying Asset Management of any equipment received by grant or contract transfer.

      Lease and Lease/Purchase

      Equipment meeting the equipment capitalization requirement under the capital lease review criteria will be recorded in the Sunflower Asset Management System as inventoried equipment. Contact the Controller’s Office (Ruvy Viljoen at rviljoen@uab.edu) for details on Capital Leases.

      Purchase for Use at a Non-UAB Facility

      Asset Management will review the Equipment Purchase Information form justification, with a Non-UAB Facility as a primary location, to determine if the purchase is permitted.

      If approved, the equipment will remain the responsibility of the ordering department and will remain on the department's inventory until the equipment is sent to surplus or otherwise retired.

    • Inventory Life

      Tagging of Equipment

      When payment for new capital equipment is processed, Asset Management creates a new equipment record in the Sunflower Asset Management System. A UAB property tag must then be applied for identification and inventory purposes. A Property Inventory Officer will contact the owning department to make arrangements with a department representative to assist in locating the new equipment and affix a property tag.

      Pre-tagging Equipment

      In many cases, new equipment is delivered to UAB before Asset Management has been notified of the purchase. On occasions where equipment may be difficult to locate once deployed, it is beneficial to “pre-tag” equipment as soon as it arrives at UAB. If the department needs equipment to be pre-tagged, please contact Asset Management [FA-ead@uab.edu or (205) 934-5144]. A Property Inventory Officer will arrange to visit the department to tag the equipment as soon as possible. To assure accuracy in pre-tagging equipment please provide the P.O. number, description, and location of the equipment item.

      Physical Inventories

      The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is required by the State of Alabama, federal grant sponsors, and compelled by good business practices to maintain a current inventory of all UAB capital equipment. UAB conducts its' physical inventories biannually on a fiscal year basis, i.e. 10/01/2018 - 09/30/2020.

      The Equipment Accountability Policy addresses some aspects of physical inventories conducted at UAB. The major points of the policy, as it relates to the physical inventory process, are as follows:

      University and Hospital Inventory Process

      Asset Management is responsible for scanning and updating Inventory Reports returned by individual departments. The departments are ultimately responsible for the equipment affiliated with their department/unit.

      Review of Capital Equipment Inventory
      • Found in/Not Found in Inventory Reports are sent to organization's Accountable Equipment Officer for review or resolution of unaccounted for Capital Equipment
      • Necessary changes are sent to Asset Management for update in the Sunflower system
      Approval of Capital Equipment Inventory
      • Asset Management generates final inventory packet for organizational signature and approval
      • Accountable Equipment Officer is responsible for electronically signing and approval of the capital equipment affiliated to his or her organization

      Any Capital Equipment not located during the physical inventory will be updated to a status of “Temporarily Misplaced” at the end of the inventory cycle. The Sunflower Asset Management System will automatically write off as lost any equipment that remains in this status for two consecutive inventory cycles.

      Equipment Retirement

      UAB equipment may be retired, disposed of, or otherwise removed from inventory in a variety of ways, as detailed below.


      Any UAB-owned equipment, supplies, furniture, or other property no longer needed or used by the department should be sent to the UAB Surplus Warehouse. Refer to the Surplus section on this page for details about sending items to the Surplus Warehouse.

      Transfer of Ownership of UAB Property

      The State of Alabama considers all UAB property to be State property. UAB is therefore limited in terms of transferring ownership to other institutions. UAB property includes:

      • Capital and noncapital items purchased, in total or in part, out of UAB funds. This includes purchases from federal or non-federal grant/contract accounts.
      • Items donated to UAB.
      • Items transferred to UAB on active grants/contracts.
      • Any property for which ownership has otherwise been transferred to UAB.

      The State of Alabama only permits UAB to transfer title to State property when legally required to do so. Such transfers usually involve grant-funded equipment and are usually associated with a UAB faculty member resigning from UAB to take a job at another university. However, in cases that do not involve grant-funded equipment, the principles and procedures are fundamentally the same.

      Transferring Equipment Affiliated with an Active Grant

      When a transfer is associated with a UAB faculty member resigning from UAB to go to another institution, UAB is permitted to transfer ownership of property to the new employer only when:

      • the property was purchased exclusively by a grant,
      • that particular grant is still active,
      • the grant agreement legally requires UAB to relinquish title to the property, and
      • the sponsor is legally transferring that particular grant to the other institution.

      The transfer of property begins with a request for approval from Asset Management, as outlined below. No UAB property may be physically removed from UAB for transfer of ownership without official authorization from the UAB Controller’s Office (Ruvy Viljoen at rviljoen@uab.edu). This authorization is subject to the relinquishment of the associated grants before the property may be removed from UAB. The State Examiners and the State Attorney General Offices have consistently taken the position that failure to comply with these requirements may result in legal prosecution of the departing faculty member for misappropriation or theft of State property. Therefore, faculty members and administrators are advised to be extremely diligent in supervising the packing and moving of UAB property.

      Requesting Approval to Transfer Property

      A request for release of ownership should be initiated no less than 4 - 6 weeks in advance of the scheduled move date to allow enough time to obtain all necessary approvals. The process can become quite complicated and lengthy, particularly if a large number of items are involved or if purchase information is not readily available.

      Property may only be transferred to the institution receiving the associated grant, never to the individual PI.

      To initiate a request for legal authorization to transfer ownership of UAB property to another institution, the department should complete an Equipment Disposition Form (EDF) and indicate that it is a request for "Release of Ownership" (Transaction Code 7) to the designated future owner institution. This form should be used for all capital and noncapital property items, including supplies or other property. The department should also attach a letter on UAB letterhead indicating which grants are being transferred and the intended grant transfer date.

      The EDF should include the item description, property tag number, serial number, and current location (building & room) for each item. If the item does not have a UAB property tag, the department must note the applicable purchase order number on the form. A copy of the vendor's invoice and a copy of the Oracle Account Statement Transaction Report identifying the payment of that invoice must also be provided. Invoices can be found in Opti-Web. Accounts Payable [UABAPinvoices@uab.edu or (205) 934-4146] can assist the department in locating the invoice documents. An item will not be considered for transfer if it cannot be specifically identified and/or if its purchase accounts cannot be identified. Improper or insufficient identification of property will significantly delay the transfer process.

      The EDF must be signed by an Authorized Signor for the Org to which the equipment is assigned. Because this is a Release of Ownership request, the signature of the applicable department head and the applicable dean is also required (either on the form itself or on a cover memo attached to it). The signatures of the department head and dean do not authorize the transfer; they only indicate their concurrence with the request. If the dean's sign-off is not submitted with the request, the departing faculty member will need to obtain the dean's approval after receiving his/her copy of the letter from the Controller’s Office authorizing the equipment transfer.

      The EDF and all applicable documentation should be submitted to Asset Management where the request begins its Financial Affairs review. Once the Financial Affairs review is complete, the Controller’s Office will issue an official letter to the applicable dean (copying the departing faculty member, dean's fiscal officer, department chair, department fiscal officer, Office of Sponsored Programs, Financial Accounting, and Asset Management) specifically identifying those items which are approved for transfer.

      The departing faculty member should keep the authorization letter with his/her personal records, should he/she encounter any unforeseen legal or regulatory issues. The faculty member should also give a copy of the letter to the individual(s) supervising the packing of the property to ensure there are no misunderstandings as to which items are authorized for transfer. The faculty member will likely be required to provide a copy of the authorization letter to the Controller at his/her new employer institution as well.

      Requesting Grant Relinquishment

      The Office of Sponsored Programs defines the grant relinquishment process, but has no authority to authorize the transfer of State property. The grant relinquishment process generally requires completion of a grant relinquishment form, which lists the major equipment items being transferred. Equipment may only be transferred to the recipient institution after the Office of Sponsored Programs has approved relinquishment of the associated grants. Please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs [osp@uab.edu or (205) 934-5266] for more information regarding the transfer of grants.

      Packing and Moving

      Under no circumstances should UAB property be removed from campus without the authorizations described above.

      UAB property items should not be packed prior to receiving official written authorization from the Controller’s Office. Often, the items must be inspected to resolve questions concerning the requested transfer and/or be inventoried by the department, Asset Management, or auditors prior to transfer.

      The cost of moving the property should be borne by the institution receiving ownership of the property, not by UAB. Since ownership is considered transferred at the point of shipment, the receiving institution is also responsible for insuring the property while it is en route and thereafter.

    • Surplus

      The Surplus Warehouse is the legal disposal point for scrap and surplus items. All UAB-owned equipment that is no longer wanted, needed or useable must be transferred to the Surplus Warehouse for disposal. (See the exception for vehicles.)

      Please note that the paper Equipment Disposition Form (EDF) is no longer used or accepted for sending items to the Surplus Warehouse. Surplus requests must be submitted and processed through the Surplus Property System (SPS).

      When sending items to surplus, please include any associated parts and operating manuals. Remove any papers or supplies from cabinets that should not go to surplus, especially any documents or material protected under FERPA and HIPAA guidelines. For computer hard drives and other digital media, please follow departmental guidelines for the disposal of these items. Any hard drives or digital media received at the Surplus Warehouse will be destroyed.

      Hazardous Materials

      For the protection of UAB staff and the public, any biohazardous or radioactive equipment must be cleared through the Environmental Health and Safety Department [(205) 934-2487] before being sent to the Surplus Warehouse. Surplus not cleared by Environmental Health and Safety will not be picked up or accepted into the Surplus Warehouse.

      Sending Property to the Surplus Warehouse

      When completing a Disposal Request in the SPS, users must select a Pickup Type. The options available are UAB Movers, Self-Delivery, or Non-UAB Mover. For all three options, call (205) 934-8474 to confirm the delivery date.

      • UAB Movers – Choose UAB Movers if you would like the UAB Surplus Warehouse to coordinate the removal of your surplus property.
        The UAB Surplus Warehouse now contracts with Armstrong Relocation as the UAB Movers.
        Once the Surplus Warehouse receives the approved Disposal Request, a representative will contact the Contact Person designated on the Disposal Request to schedule pick up of the items. Property pick-ups will generally be scheduled to occur within 10 business days.
      • Self-Delivery – Select Self-Delivery if a representative from the department will be delivering the surplus property to the Surplus Warehouse. It is the department's responsibility to unload and transport the surplus into the warehouse. Please contact the Surplus Warehouse to schedule a delivery time.
      • Non-UAB Mover – Departments are free to contract a moving service of their choosing to pick up and deliver surplus property to the Surplus Warehouse. The department or the moving service is responsible for contacting the Surplus Warehouse to schedule delivery. As with self-deliveries, the moving service will be responsible for unloading and transporting the property into the warehouse. UAB Departments should contact UAB Purchasing for a list of approved vendors.
      • Internal Moves – The Surplus Warehouse does not handle internal moves. Please contact UAB Purchasing for a list of approved vendors to conduct internal moves.

      Disposition of Vehicles

      Departments desiring to turn in a vehicle as surplus must contact Automotive Services [(205) 934-2174].

      Surplus vehicles are sold by auction on govdeals.com

      Department Sales – Redeployment from UAB Surplus

      Items held in the Surplus Warehouse can be transferred to any UAB department free of charge. Department representatives may go to the second floor of the Surplus Warehouse to view items available for transfer.

      Items held in the Surplus Warehouse may not be transferred to an employee’s offsite/home work location.

      Transferring Surplus UAB Property to Other State Institutions

      UAB surplus property may be transferred to other state institutions such as local public schools and other agencies. The institution or agency must submit a written request to UAB Asset Management on appropriate letterhead detailing the specific items they wish to transfer from UAB surplus. The requesting institution will be required to pay for the items they are to receive.

      Surplus Auctions

      The UAB Surplus Warehouse currently disposes of all items through a public auction site, govdeals.com. Anyone may view the auctions by going to the site and searching for the University of Alabama at Birmingham. There are two ways to search for UAB listings:

      • Location Search with zip code 35233.
      • Advanced Search: click on the arrow in the Seller field for a list of sellers and select the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

      The site is open to everyone and free to register. There are new auctions each week. All items are sold "as is” with no warranty.

      The auction site charges an administrative fee in addition to the winning bid. Payments are made to GovDeals; please see the site for payment options. When payments are complete, contact the Surplus Warehouse at (205) 934-3344 to schedule a pickup time. UAB does not ship or deliver items to winning bidders.

    • Equipment Disposition Forms

      Departments must complete an Equipment Disposition Form and submit it to Asset Management for approval before taking any action regarding equipment (Except Surplus). All equipment disposals are reviewed with respect to original funding sources that may affect the disposition of the equipment. Departments may request forms by contacting Asset Management at FA-ead@uab.edu or (205) 934-5144.

      The types of actions that should be reported on the EDF are explained below. The back of the form also contains instructions on how to complete the form.

      1. Move/Transfer — Select this code if equipment is moving to a different location or the owning department is transferring stewardship to another UAB department. Note that if the equipment is being transferred to another UAB department, an authorized signor for the receiving and relinquishing department must sign the form before routing it to Asset Management.
      2. Storage — This Transaction Code is no longer used. List items moving to departmental storage areas under Transaction Code 1 - Move/Transfer, indicating the specific building and room to which the items are moving. Items placed in departmental “storage” remain active on the department’s inventory until the equipment is sent to Surplus or otherwise retired from inventory.
      3. Surplus — The EDF is no longer used or accepted for sending items to the Surplus Warehouse. Surplus Disposal Requests must be submitted and processed through the Surplus Property System (SPS). Please call (205) 934-8474 to confirm your request was recieved and to confirm the delivery date.
      4. Trade-in — To trade in UAB capital equipment for other UAB equipment, departments must complete an EDF including the description, property number, serial number, and current location of the equipment, and email the form to Asset Management in, FA-ead@uab.edu. Asset Management will return the department’s copy via email after approval. The department must then scan the approved EDF with a completed Equipment Purchase Information Form (EPI) for the new equipment to the requisition collection in Opti-doc, along with any other supporting documentation for the new purchase. Requisitions referencing a trade-in of equipment will not be approved unless the approved EDF, EPI form, and quote are included in the back-up documentation.

        Note: Certain factors such as donor or grant restrictions may prohibit the trade-in of equipment. Approval from Grants and Contracts Accounting is required if grant purchased items are being traded in.
      5. Temporarily Misplaced/Stolen — When capital equipment is lost or stolen, the department must report the loss/theft to Asset Management. The EDF should include the description, property number, serial number, and location at the time of loss or theft. If the item is believed to be stolen, the UAB Police Department should be informed and a police report filed. Please list the police report case number on the disposition form and attach a copy of the police report to the form.

        If Asset Management receives a police report, the equipment will be noted as stolen in Sunflower and removed from the department's inventory. All other equipment will be coded "Temporarily Misplaced."
      6. Scrapped/Cannibalized — Any capital equipment cannibalized for parts should be reported to Asset Management. Include the equipment’s description, property number, serial number, and current location. After the piece of equipment is cannibalized, send it or any unneeded parts to the Surplus Warehouse utilizing the SPS.
      7. Release of Ownership — Specific rules apply to the process of releasing ownership of UAB property to other institutions. Please refer to the section “Transfer of Ownership of UAB Property” under the Inventory Life section above.
      8. Donation to UAB — Specific rules apply to donated equipment. Please refer to the section, “Equipment Donated to UAB” in the Acquisition section above.
      9. Transfer to UAB — Capital equipment transferred to UAB via a grant, contract, or other means should be added to UAB's equipment inventory. It is the responsibility of the recipient department to notify Asset Management of any equipment received. Include any pertinent correspondence from the granting or contract agency. Include a full description of the equipment, the serial number, location, and an estimated current value.
      10. Other — For all other equipment transactions not covered by codes 1-9, use transaction code 10.

Back to Top