There are several types of inventories, but when it comes to the University of Houston, the annual inventory means accounting for every capital and controlled item in operation.
And the items range in everything from technological equipment to vehicles and office furniture. Complete descriptions and definitions of capital and controlled items are available here.
The responsibility of taking and keeping inventory falls under the purview of the Property Management Department. Minhthu Pham, the property manager for the Property Management Department, said the total amount of capital and controlled equipment the department keeps track of is approximately 41,017.
How does the Property Management department keep track of so many pieces of equipment?
When capital and controlled assets are purchased, Property Management creates a tag number for the equipment that allows the department to keep track of it.
The Property Management department began the annual inventory process in January with a completion date no later than August 31st.
Minhthu said every university department – approximately 294 -- has a dedicated property custodian who handles the inventory process for their respective department.
At the beginning of each fiscal year, university departments must send a PRP-6A (Designation of Property Custodian Form) to Property Management informing them who their respective property custodian will be. If there is a change of property custodian during the fiscal year, departments must submit a PRP-6B (Change of Property Custodian Form) and send it to Property Management.
When the inventory process starts, the property custodian checks out a barcode scanner from the Property Management department.
The property custodian also receives a Departmental Inventory Listing that tells them what assets to scan in their respective department. The property custodians have until the end of March to complete their respective inventory.
Once property management receives the scanner, they extract the data and then send a Scanned Results Report to the property custodian. The scanned items report must match the Department Inventory Listing.
If items are deemed lost or misplaced, departments need to submit a missing/stolen report to the Property Management department during the annual inventory cycle. If the items are located after the cycle, departments should notify Property Management.
“Missing property will continue to display on the departmental property listings for two consecutive years before it is deleted,” said Minhthu. “At the end of two years, Property Management may request that the fixed asset be deleted.”
Doing inventory at the University of Houston is a painstakingly time-consuming task but make no mistake, it is of the utmost importance. The next upcoming date in the inventory process for FY2022 is to submit the PRP-9 Inventory Confirmation Form to Property Management by April 15, 2022.