Back to Top
Equipment Management

Biennial Inventory

University and state regulations require each unit to complete and certify a physical inventory of University movable equipment every two years.

The biennial inventory process verifies the accuracy of the FABweb record and assures that the item is physically present.

For step-by-step instructions, consult:

If you have questions about the inventory process, contact University Property Accounting and Reporting (UPAR) at If your unit would like to use an alternate method to upload equipment updates directly into Banner, consult with UPAR to confirm your method will work before proceeding.

Important Information to Remember

The Physical Inventory Certification Letter must be signed by the unit head (or authorized delegate and by the person responsible for conducting the inventory). It must then be sent to UPAR by the due date given in the physical inventory notification.

Any discrepancies identified during the physical inventory verification must be reconciled, resolved, and related updates recorded in Banner Fixed Asset by the date given in the physical inventory notification.

If a unit fails to comply with the inventory and "pending resolution" deadlines, the appropriate Vice President, Vice Chancellor or Provost to whom the unit reports will be notified and asked to assist the unit in resolving the discrepancies.

Unit Contacts

The Property Accounting Contact Change Form should be updated when the Unit Property Contact or Department Head changes. Inaccurate contacts lists will negatively impact units receiving correspondence and reminders in a timely manner. Check your Unit Contacts here Department Property Contacts

Biennial Inventory Dates

Extensions to the due dates below cannot be granted based on Illinois State Regulations and University Policy.

  • UIC - Certification Letters due March 31
    • Pending Resolution updates completed by June 30
  • UIS - Certification Letters due May 31
    • Pending Resolution updates completed by August 31
  • UIUC - Certification Letters due August 31
    • Pending Resolution updates completed by November 30

Biennial Inventory ITPC Project - Status Update

When can I expect implementation of this new system and related tools?

The project is nearing completion and the system is currently scheduled to be ready for use in May 2018.  Based on this timeline, Urbana-Champaign units completing biennial certifications on August 31, 2018, will be the first units scheduled to use the new system.  The new system will be available for all subsequent biennial certification cycles at all locations.

Will there be training available and who should attend?

Instructor-led training classes for Unit Property Accounting Contacts and unit staff involved in the physical inventory will be scheduled in early May at UIUC. The instructor-led training will be scheduled at each university and campus as subsequent biennial cycles are begun. OBFS will be updating the FA105 Physical Inventory of Equipment participant training guide including creation of new job aids for the new system functionality. These materials are expected to be ready in early May 2018 and will be posted online. Additional communications will be sent when the new materials are available and the instructor-led training classes are scheduled.

Will there be a charge or cost for my unit to use the system?

The system will include both a web-based system and optional mobile apps for use on both Android tablets and iPads. The systems and apps are free to all University of Illinois System’s units. However, hardware purchases to utilize the web-based system and the optional mobile apps are the responsibility of the units.

What should I do if my UIC unit is currently completing the biennial due March 30, 2018?

Unfortunately, the new system will not be available for conducting the physical inventory or for online certification during the Chicago 2018 biennial certification cycle. UIC units certifying inventory in 2018 will use the current process utilizing the Eddie Inventory report and completing the paper certification form previously emailed to their Unit Property Accounting Contact and Department Head.

Instructor-led training courses will be scheduled at UIC beginning in the fall of 2018 to assist UIC units completing their biennial certification in the new system in 2019.

What should I do if my UIUC unit needs to start the physical inventory process before the system is available in May for my UIUC 2018 Biennial?

If your unit typically begins the Biennial process early in order to complete a physical inventory, please begin your Biennial as you normally do using the Eddie Inventory report as your source to complete the inventory observation and verification. Units will be allowed to complete their physical observation outside of the new system. Units will be required to use the new system to complete the certification online within the new system on or before August 31, 2018. The online certification will require data entry regarding the count and value of items verified and the count and value of items that are unfound (not the detail just count totals). Units not using the new system for verification will also be required to upload supporting documentation into the system as evidence of completion of their observations and updates to records.

When will the new system be available at UIS?

Springfield units will use the new system for their scheduled May 31, 2019, biennial certification completion. Instructor-led training courses will be scheduled at UIS beginning in the fall of 2018.

Will the new system impact the process and timing of my System Office (SO) unit? 

If your SO unit is currently scheduled to complete the biennial certification with the UIC March 30, 2018, certification due date, your unit should complete the biennial cycle using the current Eddie Inventory report and paper certification forms consistent with guidance to UIC units noted above.

When the new system is implemented and future biennial cycles are begun, all SO units will move to the annual August 31 certification due date vs. the past practice of following either the UIC or UIUC certification due date. However, for all future biennial cycles using the new system, all SO units will have access to the new system and cycle beginning December 1 of the year prior to their due date. So, the new system will be available December 1, 2018, for all SO units scheduled to complete biennial certification in 2019. This will allow SO units that have historically filed certifications in the UIC March timeframe the opportunity to complete the biennial and certify during their usual timeframe, if desired.

Additional Information available online

All university units can and should review their scheduled biennial cycle timeframes, along with their listed Unit Property Accounting Contact and Department Head for accuracy. Please review the “Department Property Contacts” spreadsheet located under the Helpful Documents section at Equipment Management - OBFS.

Biennial Inventory Mobile Apps

To request access to the mobile Biennial apps and for Biennial troubleshooting or suggestions, please send email to

Mobile Application & Minimum Hardware Requirements *

* - mobile devices used must be University owned with tablets recommended based on screen content

Android Tablets

Item       Minimum Requirements

Operating System Android version 5.0 (Lollipop)

Screen size 7"

Bluetooth Required for optional Bluetooth barcode scanner

Make/Model Personal preference


Item       Minimum Requirements

Operating System iOS 10

Screen Size 9"

Make/Model Any iPad model updated to iOS 10

Optional Bluetooth scanners (to use vs. tablet's camera)

‚ÄčItem       Minimum Requirements

‚ÄčOperating System must support either Android 5.0 or iOS 10

Modes must support HID (Human interface device) mode

Make/Model Personal preference 


Stay tuned for updates!  And read more about the project below:

Biennial Equipment Inventory Project in the Spotlight (initially posted April 2017)

What is the Biennial Equipment Inventory Project?

Our customers said they wanted a better way than paper and pen to complete their biennial equipment inventory observation and certification.  We listened and have created a project team which is currently developing a web-based system to assist units in completing their equipment certification. 

The project includes creating a mobile device app for both Android and Apple platforms which will provide units the option to complete physical observation using bar-code label scanning.  The mobile apps will also provide a tool to more efficiently and effectively document and track updates to equipment records.  These new tools will assist units with making the process more efficient, reducing the unit’s time spent on biennial inventory, and easing the burden on University faculty and staff.  The system will also streamline asset management processes by providing a more efficient path to process updates to item records, and assist in subsequent equipment transfers and disposals.

Beyond creating a more efficient and effective process at the unit level, we expect the new system and tools to drive improvements in timely unit certification and result in fewer annual audit findings regarding equipment records from the University’s external auditors.  Improved compliance and fewer audit findings allows the  University to continue obtaining funding from external funding sources, which will now have greater assurance of appropriate management of their investment in the University of Illinois.

Who is a part of this project?

Given the scope of this project, Advisory Groups have been formed, which include individuals from each of the major Universities (Urbana-Champaign, Springfield and Chicago).  OBFS Business Solutions and Support (BSS), University Accounting and Financial Reporting (UAFR), and Administrative Information Technology Services (AITS) are tasked with managing the project and developing the software and project deliverables.  The Advisory Groups are essential to ensure the system design and available tools are the best possible fit for use by all University units.

Pat Patterson and Janet Ford, Project Sponsors, highlight how this project will bring value to the University…and make your life easier!

What’s great about the new system?

It automates functions that have been historically labor intensive and involved using paper and pen.  The new system and tools will allow units to be more efficient and effective in the critical process of observing, updating, and certifying their equipment inventory.

Top five improvements with the new system:

  1. Provides units with a web-based status page and automated email reminders to better manage the entire process to completion.
  2. Provides improved data collection and data retention, including integration between mobile device apps and the web-based system.
  3. Provides new system tools to search and find updates for difficult equipment related attributes, including location codes, custodian, and equipment manager.
  4. Provides a path to more efficiently capture and complete equipment record updates, including transfers and disposals.
  5. Provides document upload capability for any unit observation work papers, improving compliance and easing the burden of record retention.

The two biggest challenges faced:

  • Preparing for the necessary changes.  Advisory Groups will provide guidance to OBFS relative to the needed training materials to facilitate implementation of the new system and tools.
  • It’s the first mobile app developed and integrated into a web-based system by OBFS.  Although we would like to implement the system ASAP, significant time is needed to design and develop the system and to ensure the system and tools are functioning as designed before releasing the new system University-wide.

For more information, please contact Jeff Weaver at

Last Updated: May 1, 2018

Give us feedback about this page Submit Feedback