University of Rochester

Administration & Finance

Finance Home

Asset Accounting and Financial Reporting

What constitutes a piece of capital equipment?
A piece of capital equipment is an item of equipment or furnishing having a useful life of more than two years and an acquisition cost of $1,000 or more per unit. A unit consists of the cost of the asset plus the cost of any modifications, attachments, accessories, or apparatus necessary to make it useable for the purpose for which it is acquired. 

Expenditures for the replacement of component parts that do not extend the unit's original life and expenditures to maintain, restore, or repair an asset to normal operating conditions are not capital.
The University property control tag cannot be placed on the actual piece of capital equipment, so what should I do with the tag?
For capital equipment that is sensitive in nature, the University property control tag should be placed on the paperwork associated with the purchase of the equipment, such as the invoice or purchase order. The paperwork should also include all the pertinent information necessary to identify the piece of equipment, including the serial number and room location. The paperwork should be maintained within the department for the duration of the equipment's existence in the department.
When can I dispose of a piece of equipment?
Adisposition formshould be completed for equipment meeting any one of the following criteria: traded-in, scrapped, sold, transferred, stolen, returned to vendor, reused as repair parts, or otherwise no longer in use (waiting to be scrapped, sold, or used for parts).

For old equipment still in use or used occasionally; dispose only if purchased on a non-ledger five account and it has been fully depreciated for two or more years and original cost is less than $5,000. If these items have not been disposed of via the disposition form, they will automatically be deleted at the end of the second year after which the asset is fully depreciated. For all equipment purchased on a ledger five account or equipment with an original cost over $5,000, it must meet one of the above criteria to be disposed.

The disposed equipment should be physically removed from your department or labeled as inactive.

Endowment Accounting

What is the market value for a specific endowment fund as of a particular date? What is the book value or contributed value for a specific endowment fund as of a particular date?
Authorized staffers should contact Endowment Accounting at x5-5585 for that information.
What is the difference between book value and contributed value?
Book value is equal to the sum of gifts contributed by the donors and income that has been reinvested. Contributed value is the value of the gift on the gift date.
What is the market value of a specific gift annuity fund, life income fund, or charitable trust on a particular date?
Contact Endowment Accounting at x5-5585 for that information.
How do you compute payment amounts for life income funds?
The earnings of the investment pool are distributed quarterly to one or more income beneficiaries named by the donor based on the life income fund's proportional share of the pool.

Sales and Use Tax

How can I find out if the University is tax exempt in a certain state?
The Finance Department currently has an Excel chart on the Web site for each state's tax-exempt status as it pertains to the University: tax_exempt.xls.
Whom should I contact in regard to obtaining sales tax exemption forms?
Contact Financial Reporting at x3-5371.
Where should I send vendor requests for Form W-9's and sales tax exemption forms?
These forms should be sent to Financial Reporting, Brooks Landing, 2nd Floor, Box 278958 or faxed to Finance at (585) 271-3316.
Does the University need to collect sales tax on disposed equipment sold to a third party?
Yes, if the third party is not tax exempt. In addition, a disposition form for the equipment needs to be completed. When the proceeds are collected, the 8.25 percent sales tax collected should be deposited to 0-15004-2425. If the entity is tax-exempt, the purchaser needs to provide a copy of its tax-exempt form for the University's records. For more detail on this policy, see Property Transfer and Disposition: Policies and Procedures.