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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 obfsuafrproperty@uillinois.edu. 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

Do you wish there was a better way than paper and pen to complete the biennial equipment inventory observation and certification? We listened and are 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.

When will the new tool be available? 

Plans for testing and piloting the new system are expected to begin late calendar 2017 and early calendar 2018 with full implementation scheduled in calendar 2018.

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

Biennial Equipment Inventory Project in the Spotlight

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.

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

Given current resources, OBFS is expecting to be able to test and pilot the system in late calendar 2017 and early calendar 2018 with full implementation scheduled in calendar 2018.

For more information, please contact Jeff Weaver at jweaver2@uillinois.edu.

Last Updated: April 13, 2017

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