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Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

12.1.3 Determine the Value of Equipment or Property

Policy Statement

The University of Illinois System conforms with the Illinois State Property Control Act (30 ILCS 605) and the State Comptroller's requirements for valuation of its property and equipment. The valuation of property is based on total cost, but which specific costs to include vary depending on a  property's classification and how that property was acquired. Therefore, classifying property is part of the valuation process.


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To determine the value of equipment or property:

  1. Consult 12.1.2 Classify Equipment and Property to determine the classification of equipment or property being valued.
  2. Review the information below to determine how to value your equipment. Click on a link to open or close it:
  Moveable Equipment

Purchased Equipment
Moveable equipment can be purchased by:

Requisition-Purchase Order
Standing Order
Direct Pay

To value, include installation costs, freight, transit insurance, initial inspection, testing, and trade-in allowance. Do not include finance charges or the maintenance contract.

Non-cash Additions

Found - To determine the value of found equipment, first research unit records. If you cannot find a record of the purchase, estimate the value based on similar items acquired during the same period. Estimate the current fair market value based on the remaining life of the item.

Donated/Gifted - If equipment was a gift, the University Foundation Gift Office assigns a value to the gift based on its fair market value at the date of acquisition.

To value equipment that is constructed within the university, include the cost of drawings, designs, labor, component parts, materials, and supplies used in construction.

Lease - Because the system does not own leased equipment, it is not listed in Banner Fixed Assets. It does not need to have a value placed on it.

Finance Purchase - Property Accounting will determine the value based on the contract and payment schedule.


Museum Collections
Museums maintain their own records of individual items, including each acquisition value. If an item was donated or given, the University Foundation Gift Office assigned an appraised value. The value of a collection recorded in Banner Fixed Assets is the total of the individual values in museum records.

Library Collections
Libraries maintain their own records of items. Collections are valued based on the purchase cost or estimated values of donations, minus disposals.

Costume Collections
Costume collections are valued according to the cost of purchasing or constructing items, including pattern designs, labor, component parts, materials, and supplies used in construction.

Auxiliary Unit Equipment
Units maintain their own records of items. The value of an auxiliary unit collection is based on the total cost or value of the individual pieces.

  Intangible Assets


Purchase - Include purchase, implementation, and initial licensing costs. Do not include maintenance and service agreements or annual license renewals.

Development - Include software design, coding, installation, and testing. Include consulting fees, travel, salaries, and interest incurred before deployment. Do not include equipment as it is classified separately from software even if used in the development and implementation.

Upgrades - Include the cost of an upgrade or enhancement only if it results in significant increases in functionality. Do not include routine upgrades included in maintenance agreements as they are considered an expense rather than a fixed asset.

The value of an easement is determined and provided by the University Office of Capital Programs and Real Estate Services.

Intellectual Property
The valuation includes the costs incurred in establishing the copyright, trademark, or patent.

  Real Property


Acquired by purchase - The valuation includes the price of the land itself and any costs incurred in its acquisition. This cost includes such items as legal, title, and broker fees. It is based on its cost or market value, whichever is higher.

Acquired by gift - The land valuation is the fair market value at the time of acquisition. Fair market value is usually determined by appraisals performed by outside experts, by university employees with expert knowledge about the assets, or by values established by courts for assets received from the estate of a donor. Other costs are the same as for purchased land.

Acquired by eminent domain - Value at the lower of the amount of the award made to the landholders by the court or the market value. Other costs are the same as for purchased land.

Cost of preparation for intended use - All direct costs of inexhaustible betterments to prepare land for its intended use are recorded as an inexhaustible land improvement and are included in the valuation of the land. Direct costs typically include grading, fill, and associated labor and materials. These are recorded as an asset associated with the land acquired.

Cost of demolished buildings - Demolition costs are capitalized according to the intended use of a demolished structure at the time it was acquired. The decision to demolish a building when a site is acquired results in assigning the building's value to the land parcel and assigning the demolition cost to inexhaustible land improvements. Any decision to demolish a building after site acquisition to prepare for new construction results in a write-off of the old building. In addition, the cost of demolition is added to the new construction costs. If no new construction is intended, any demolition costs should be classified as an inexhaustible land improvement.

Inexhaustible Land Improvements - When inexhaustible land improvements, such as grading and fill, are material, they are added to the cost of the land.

The cost of a building includes the cost of the structure itself plus the costs of all permanent, non-moveable internal components needed for the intended use of the structure. Buildings are accounted for and controlled as individual buildings or structures. Within each building record, costs are segregated according to the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) format for major component categories of building shell, building service systems, fixed equipment, incorporated artwork, and remodeling/renovations.

Building Acquisition

Constructed - Include all project costs when buildings are constructed: direct labor, material, and professional services. Also include insurance, interest, and other costs incurred during the period of construction to put a building to its intended use. If a building is constructed by the university's own labor force, include all labor costs.

Building shell - The building shell includes construction, design, and all other costs not associated with one of the other component categories.

Renovations/Remodeling - Renovation and remodeling expenditures are capitalized when they involve the enhancement or replacement of something within the existing structural "footprint" (foundation/number of floors, that is, gross square footage) of a building. Because the cost of building components removed during renovation will be considered fully depreciated, do not value and adjust for the cost of components removed during renovation/remodeling.

Additions - Costs of construction that materially expand the existing structural "footprint" (foundation/number of floors, that is, gross square footage) of a building are considered new construction rather than remodeling or renovation. A project materially expands a structure if it increases the structure's capacity by at least either 5,000 gross square feet or 10% of its existing gross square footage. Additions costs are added to each of the appropriate component categories of the structure receiving the addition.

Building service systems - The value of building service systems includes costs associated with utility and related service capabilities needed to operate that facility.

Purchased or donated - Acquisition of buildings by purchase or donation typically involves the simultaneous acquisition of related land.

Exhaustible Land Improvements
Exhaustible land improvements are valued at cost, at fair market value, or at an appraised value in the same manner as building acquisition valuation. They can be valued individually or as a single group of similar improvements. When land, buildings, and land improvements other than buildings are acquired together, the total cost is allocated among the individual assets on the basis of fair market value or appraisal. Improvements such as streets, sidewalks, fences, etc. are included in the cost of site improvements or infrastructure.

Construction In Progress
The costs included in construction in progress are the total direct project-to-date expenditures together with the related accounts payable, insurance premiums, interest, and other related accrued costs. The cost of buildings or other real property assets (capital projects) under construction at a balance sheet date are included on the balance sheet as "construction in progress." Construction in progress represents a temporary capitalization of labor, materials, and fixed equipment of a construction project for financial reporting purposes. Depreciation is not calculated for assets under construction. When the constructed asset is put into use, accumulated construction-in-progress costs are capitalized and depreciated within their respective component categories.

Construction in progress is accounted for by project (Accountability). Separate accounting funds must be used to record separate projects. Units constructing the asset are responsible for categorizing project expenditures according to these polices in collaboration with University Property Accounting and Reporting.

Related Policies and Procedures

12.1.2 Classify Equipment and Property
12.1.9 Determine Capitalization Thresholds
12.1.8 Add Donated, Found, and Other Non-Cash Addition Equipment to FABweb

Additional Resources

Illinois State Property Control Act (30 ILCS 605)

Last Updated: August 30, 2021 | Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance | Effective: June 2011

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