Oregon State University

601: Bar-Code Inventory

Property Management Policy & Procedure Manual
Section 600: Biennial Inventory
Effective: 07/01/1986
Revised: 01/18/2012


To properly inventory capital equipment.

Background Information

Requirement for a Physical Inventory
As a recipient of federal grants and contracts, OSU is required to be in compliance with the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations.

OMB Circular A-110 states in part:  "A physical inventory of equipment shall be taken and the results reconciled with the equipment records at least once every two years.  Any differences between quantities determined by the physical inspection and those shown in the accounting records shall be investigated to determine the causes of the difference.  The recipient shall, in connection with the inventory, verify the existence, current utilization, and continued need for the equipment."  See OMB Circular A-110, Property Standards, Section 34 (f) (3).

Reporting Results of Inventories
Business Affairs, Fixed Assets is required to notify the Office of Naval Research (ONR) upon completion of OSU's biennial inventory and provide them with (1) a listing that identifies all discrepancies disclosed by the physical inventory, and (2) a signed statement that a physical inventory of all or certain classes of Government property was completed on a given date and that the official property records were found to be in agreement except for discrepancies reported.  ONR is the cognizant agency for property procedures and rates the University on its ability to protect, preserve, account for, and control Government-owned property.  An unsatisfactory rating would have an impact on OSU's ability to receive federal grants and contracts.  Every effort should be made to identify all assets on OSU's inventory during the physical inventory cycle.

Auditing the Auditors
ONR conducts an audit of OSU's property procedures each biennium, called a Property Control System Analysis.  This audit includes a review of OSU's Administrative Policies and Procedures Manuals (including this manual), a review of inventory results, and may include an on-site inspection of federally-owned assets. OSU's Property Control System is currently approved.


OSU is required by the Oregon University system (OUS) and the federal government to perform a physical inventory of all capital equipment every two years.  Business Affairs, Fixed Assets will conduct inventories department-by-department using bar code scanners, inventorying half of the campus during the first year of the biennium and the remaining half during the second year.  Unless a bar code scan inventory is scheduled, off- campus departments, Extension Offices and Agriculture Research Stations will conduct manual inventories biennially.


Barcode Inventory Procedures

Scheduling the barcode inventory
The scanning system developed by Business Affairs, Fixed Assets includes the use of hand-held scanners.  Business Affairs, Fixed Assets staff conduct the scan in conjunction with a departmental property coordinator or other departmental representative.  This independent audit is an integral part of OSU's approved Property Control System (PCS).

Conducting the barcode inventory
The inventory process usually consists of six stages:

  1. Initial Scan
  2. Final Scan
  3. Reconciliation
  4. Fixed Asset Condition Code Update
  5. Department Head Sign-Off
  6. Master Inventory File update
Responsible Party Action
  Initial Scan

Business Affairs, Fixed Assets

Contact each department and set up an appointment to conduct the initial scan.

Business Affairs, Fixed Assets & Department Rep.

Scanner, with department representative, will make a first pass scan through every room in a department's area of responsibility containing current assets held by the department.  All equipment with a barcode tag should be scanned, even if it does not belong to the department (borrowed).  (Each barcode scanner has current information from the University's inventory in its memory, so fields can be verified, and corrections and exceptions noted.)  Business Affairs, Fixed Assets will provide the department with a Fixed Asset Condition Code Update form for completion as part of the inventory process.

Business Affairs, Fixed Assets

Prepare a list of all equipment that was not scanned.  This "Assets Not Scanned" report will be provided by Business Affairs to the departmental inventory coordinator within one week of the initial scan.


Locate remaining assets within a 2-week period and contact Business Affairs, Fixed Assets to schedule the Final Scan.

  Final Scan

Business Affairs, Fixed Assets

At the end of the two-week period, contact the department for the second scan appointment. If department does not respon or is not prepared for final scan after 30 days from receipt of “Assets Not Scanned” report, the Department Head will be contacted directly. After 45 days, if still no response from the department, the Dean of the College will be contacted by the Business Affairs Director.

Business Affairs, Fixed Assets & Department Rep.

Scan all the available items on the "Assets Not Scanned" report.


Business Affairs, Fixed Assets

Upon completion of the final scan, Business Affairs, Fixed Assets will again provide a final "Assets Not Scanned " report to the departmental inventory coordinator within 48 hours.


Use the final "Assets Not Scanned " report as the reconciliation report.  State the reason why each asset was not scanned in the blank field to the right of each asset.  Submit the reconciliation report to Business Affairs, Fixed Assets with back-up documentation to support this information.  Back up documentation includes:

  • Copy of a loan agreement
  • Print out of email confirming location of asset and responsible parties
  • Copy of Surplus Pick up Request for items sent to surplus
  • Property Disposition Request form for items cannibalized or salvaged
  • Property Disposition Request form for missing items
  • Fixed Asset Transfer form for items transferred to another department

Note: See PRO 903: Reporting & Inventories for necessary actions regarding missing federal property.


Complete and submit a Fixed Asset Condition Code Update form to Business Affairs, Fixed Assets (received above).  This form lists the department’s assets in numerical order including basic information from the inventory record.  Complete the two sections on the right side of the form.  The first section lists the various condition codes that may apply – A1, A2, A3, A4, A6 A7 and ML.  The description of these keys is at the top of the form:

A1 – Excellent
A2 – Good
A3 – Fair
A4 – Poor
A6 – Useable
A7 – Non-functional
ML – Missing/Lost

Circle the code that most closely describes the current condition of the asset.

Note the "date of last use" to the right of the Condition Code in the 2nd section.  This can be an approximate date if the asset is used irregularly.

  Department Head Sign-Off

The Dean, Department Head or Director of the unit should review both the Reconciliation form and the Fixed Asset Condition Update form.  Sign and date each form on the line provided on each form.  Submit both forms together to Business Affairs, Fixed Assets within five working days of the final scan.  This finalizes the physical inventory process for the department.

  Master Inventory File Update

Business Affairs, Fixed Assets

The inventory scan data will be uploaded to FIS Banner periodically.  The upload will correct the location of the asset (if necessary) and add the date the asset was scanned to the Fixed Asset Record’s ‘Last Inventory Date’ field.  Other corrections to asset information or condition will be input as departments submit their inventory reconciliation's.  Property Disposition Requests and Fixed Asset Transfer Forms will be processed as they are received.

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