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Capital Equipment Additions

Equipment is acquired by the University in a variety of ways including purchases, donations, and transfers into the University from other institutions. Only equipment costing $5,000 or more with a useful life of one year or more is considered capital equipment and therefore tagged and tracked by Accounting Services in the asset management system. Please see the section on non-capital equipment department inventory (internal link) for information on setting up a tracking system for equipment costing less than $5,000.


The Property Accountant catalogs new equipment purchases each month based on the information provided in a supply chain report and by the requester in the requisition header comments. The supply chain report displays paid vouchers for purchases that used a capital equipment account code ONLY. Other information contained in the report includes purchase order number, PO line item descriptions, shipping location and accounting information. The requester provides information such as custodian, building name and room number in the requisition header comments. Occasionally, the Property Accountant will contact the department for additional information needed to properly record the new purchase into the asset management system.

Capital and Non-Capital Accounts for Equipment Purchases

It is important to make sure that you are selecting the correct expense account when purchasing equipment. Remember, items costing $5,000 and above should be coded to a capital equipment account and items costing less than $5,000 should be coded to a non-capital equipment account. In order to determine the proper account to use for equipment purchases, refer to the Equipment Expense Accounts below:

Capital Accounts

77577 - Athletic Equipment

77545 - AV Equipment

75843 - Capital Equipment

77570 - Computers

75840 - Fixed Equipment (NIC)

75841 - Furniture

77510 - Furniture

77505 - Government/Sponsor Titled

75842 - Movable Equipment

77580 - Musical Instruments

77515 - NTG Telephone Equipment

77550 - Office Equipment

77599 - Other Capital Equipment

77572 - Quest - High Performance Computers

77560 - Scientific Instruments

77571 - Vault - Data Storage

Non-Capital Accounts

77077 - Athletic Equipment

77050 - AV Equipment

77030 – Computers

77090 – Computers

77071 - Government/Sponsor Titled

75850 - Maintenance & Misc. Equipment

75844 - Movable Equipment

77040 - Musical Instruments

77060 - NTG Telephone Equipment

77010 - Office Equipment

77070 - Office Equipment

77099 - Other Non-Capital Equipment

77020 - Scientific Instruments

77080 - Scientific Instruments

77091 - Vault - Data Storage

Item Category for Equipment Purchases

Requestors need to also make sure that when purchasing capital equipment, the correct item category is selected on the “Add Items and Services” page. Capital equipment item categories always end with the word “Asset”. Below is a list of the categories that should be used for capital equipment purchases:

  • Artwork Asset (not capitalizable)
  • Athletic Equipment Asset
  • Audio-Visual Equipment Asset
  • Computer Equipment Asset
  • Computer Hardware Asset
  • Elevator Building Supp Asset
  • Food Service Equipment Asset
  • Furniture Asset
  • Furniture Classroom Asset
  • Furniture Dorm Asset
  • Furniture Office Asset
  • HVAC Asset
  • Laboratory Equipment Asset
  • Laundry Service Equip Asset
  • Maintenance Equipment Asset
  • Musical Instruments Asset
  • Office Equipment Asset
  • Scientific Equipment Asset
  • Shelving, Seating, and Lights Asset
  • Shop Equipment Asset
  • Telecom Equip Asset
  • Vehicles Asset


When a unit of the University receives a donated piece of capital equipment, Gift and Record Services (, 847-491-4591) within the office of Alumni Relations and Development should be notified so that the equipment will be properly valued and a University gift receipt issued. Gift and Record Services will issue a gift receipt to the donor and also prepare a gifts-in-kind transmittal form providing necessary information for Accounting Services to enter the donated equipment into the NUFinancials asset management system.

Donated items that are non-capital in nature (e.g., having an individual item value less than $5,000 or useful life shorter than one year) will not be recorded into the NUFinancials asset management system.  Please contact Gift and Record Services (, or 847-491-4591) if the donor requests a gift receipt.

Transfers into the University from Other Universities

Occasionally, when a faculty member transfers to the University from another institution, he or she will bring equipment. In such cases, the new faculty member’s department should send a list of those items having an estimated fair market value of at least $5,000 to the Property Accountant. The list should include the following information: description, serial number, model number, purchase date, original cost, transfer date, fair market value, age at the time of the transfer, remaining useful life, and new location along with any other pertinent information for each transferred item. The Equipment Transfers Form serves as a template with all the required information and is recommended for use in evaluating equipment transferred into the University. The Property Accountant will use this information to update the equipment inventory and tag the equipment, if necessary.