Equipment Management Basics

Please note that as of the new Asset Management System (AMS) implementation in June 2017 this guide is no longer up-to-date. This section has been flagged for a future update.


Who Needs to Know About Equipment?

If you are an Equipment Custodian (Property Administrator), Principal Investigator, or Department Head, you need to know how to properly manage the equipment in your department. If you are the Departments Equipment Custodian please use this website as a resources to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to fulfill your job duties.

Purpose of Equipment Management

Equipment Management establishes and maintains procedures that bring the University in compliance with Federal, State, and agency regulations that are requirements of the Universities awarded contracts and grants. Equipment Management reviews all transactions relating to the acquisition, modification, transfer and disposition of inventorial equipment assets in order to assist departments with the accuracy and maintenance of inventorial equipment records while adhering to University policy.


Equipment Management is an important function at UCR because the university must:

  • Report expenditures for equipment to federal, state, and private funding agencies
  • Record the inventory value, including depreciation, of equipment located at UCR
  • Make records of equipment transactions available to UCR's auditing agencies

What is Inventorial Equipment?

Inventorial Equipment

All Inventorial Equipment items owned by or in the custody of UCR must be tracked through the EMS (Equipment Management System) and UCR's financial system. To qualify as Inventorial Equipment the property must meet the following criteria at a minimum:

  • Have an acquisition cost of $5,000 or greater (including sales tax, shipping and any installation costs)
  • Is not disposable or consumable
  • Stand alone
  • Have a useful life of at least one year
  • Qualify as tangible personal property (can be appraised for value)

Non-Inventorial Equipment (Other Property)

Non-Inventorial Equipment items are those that do not meet the above criteria to qualify as Inventorial Equipment. They typically have an acquisition cost that is less than $4,999. Although these items are not actively monitored by Equipment Management and not generally required for reporting purposes a local department policy should be developed to monitor department Non-Inventorial Equipment and supplies.

Department Responsibilities

The Department Head and the Principal Investigator are ultimately responsible for the care, maintenance, financial records, physical inventory, disposal, and control of equipment. A department's Equipment Custodian (Property Administrator) takes care of the actual identification and tracking of Inventorial Equipment within the department.

Equipment Custodians are responsible for the following duties:

  1. Manage, Maintain & Monitor Inventorial Equipment

    The Equipment Custodian is appointed by his or her department to actively monitor all of the departments inventorial equipment throughout the capital asset life cycle, from the point of acquisition and until final disposition.

  2. Locate & Tag New Equipment with Property Tags

    The Equipment Custodian is the contact person for the department. When new equipment is added to a department's inventory Equipment Management will forward property tags and an Inventory Information Sheet to the department's Equipment Custodian. Upon receipt the Equipment Custodian will proceed to locate the new equipment, verify that the information on the attached Inventory Information Sheet is accurate, and attach the property tag to the new equipment. The Equipment Custodian will also obtain the serial number and room location for the equipment and later use this information to complete the equipment record in the EMS online database.

  3. Processes Inventories

    The Equipment Custodian performs departmental inventories by physically locating the departments inventorial equipment and updating the EMS online database. An online verification of the accuracy of the records in the EMS online database is required annually by Equipment Custodians. Additionally every two years the department's Equipment Custodian must complete a physical inventory in which they locate and verify the entire departments equipment inventory.

  4. Records & Reports Transfers and Disposition Transactions

    The Equipment Custodian submits Online Equipment Inventory Modification Request (EIMR) to report appropriate transfers and disposition of equipment. Please note that often these transactions will require approval by the Outside Funding Agency, Equipment Manager, Surplus Administrator, Sponsored Programs Administration, or other involved parties.

  5. Records & Reports Changes in Equipment

    The Equipment Custodian records or reports changes to equipment data in the EMS online database as the result of known changes, inventories, or sample audits.

  6. Control Agency Equipment

    The Equipment Custodian coordinates with Equipment Management to tag new agency equipment. The Equipment Custodian coordinates any change in activity for agency equipment with Equipment Management or Sponsored Programs Administration and obtains the sponsor's prior approval for any disposition or transfer action.

Purchasing Inventorial Equipment

When purchasing inventorial equipment it is important that departments ensure that the equipment is placed on an appropriate account code. The account codes are utilized both by the Equipment Management and Accounting in order to determine when new equipment is acquired through a campus procurement. Please reference the Inventorial Equipment Accounts page in order to gain an understanding of where equipment expenses should be allocated. Not assigning these codes properly will contribute to administrative slowdown throughout several departments and likely result in additional paperwork for your department to process.

The Asset Management System (AMS)

As part of campus Organizational Excellence and Lean thinking processes, Business & Financial Services and Computing & Communications developed and deployed a new web-based Asset Management System (AMS) to replace the aging IBM mainframe Equipment Management System (EMS) in June of 2017. The AMS is used by the University of California, Riverside campus to manage the campus-wide inventory of all Inventorial Equipment assets titled to or under the custodial control of the University. This tool provides campus departments with a user-friendly and readily accessible tool to facilitate the accurate monitoring and reporting of equipment assets. The AMS is an R'Space authorized application that is signed into via the UCR Net ID single sign-in (CAS). The AMS roles are assigned by Systems Access Administrators (SAA) via the Enterprise Access Control System (EACS).

For further information on the AMS and its usage please refer to the AMS User Guide that is available on this website.