In a recent blog, Grant Management: Supplies and Equipment on a Sponsored Project – Part 1, we elucidated the typical differences between supplies, equipment, and their respective procurement processes. In Part 2, we expound upon the management, tracking and dissolution of grant funded equipment, and issues to take into consideration when opting for an equipment management software solution.
Capital Equipment Approval
In an effort to reduce waste and abuse, the federal government requires pre-approval of capital equipment purchases made with federal funds. By approving a purchase for capital equipment with federal funds, the federal government has assumed your institution has done its due diligence in determining the necessity of this equipment and that the equipment is not already readily available or accessible for use through existing resources. Every institution will have its own process for how it meets this federal requirement, many of which are posted on their institutional policy and procedures websites.
Capital Equipment Purchasing
Once grant funded equipment is approved for purchase, both internally and by the sponsor, and the grant has been awarded, the terms and conditions should be reviewed to identify the sponsor provisions and to ensure they are acceptable to your institution. Unique circumstances might dictate special handling of the equipment aside from the standard provisions typically found in a grant agreement. While an institution of higher education will have its own rules governing the treatment of equipment, i.e. retaining ownership, inventory controls, the loan of equipment or sharing practices etc., so too does the federal government. Regardless of whether or not you need to track grant funded equipment for internal compliance, external compliance or both, equipment details can be easily parsed, tracked and reported on within the IT Works software.
Capital Equipment Management
At a minimum, the data tracked for inventory and reporting purposes on a piece of capital equipment are:
- serial number
- function or purpose
- physical location
- date of purchase
- original quote
- applicable discounts
- ongoing maintenance costs
- warranty information
- other costs associated with the acquisition and setup
Capital Equipment Tracking and Reporting
To make inventory control and reporting efficient and manageable, grant funded equipment is usually affixed with either a barcode or sticker that can be scanned or tracked through a software application like the IT Works Space and Equipment Management module. In addition to performing a physical inspection, using software designed specifically to track and report on all aspects of your equipment from the funding source to the estimated life and salvage value, will provide real-time and robust report capabilities for both internal and external reporting requirements.
Aside from the standard property management requirements such as the frequency of inspection and reporting, there may be unusual circumstances such as if it will be used in a service center, loaned out, or committed to multiple projects.
IT Works software systems can help you manage every aspect of property, inventory and space management as well as your other grants management needs.