Frequently Asked Questions


I don’t know whom I should call in the Property Office when a piece of equipment in my office is replaced under warranty or returned in a trade-in for newer equipment?

Contact Jo-Anne Chute with the details. She will arrange to have a new tag number placed on the equipment or make sure the traded-in equipment is removed from the property records.

I’m told surplus equipment can be made available. I want to provide furniture for a student office. How do I find out about anything available?

Surplus furniture is available for transfer at WW15 or you may contact Mike McCarthy with specific requests.

How do I report a piece of equipment that has been stolen or damaged?

Notify Richard Janus in Property. He can help identify the equipment and provide information regarding reporting the loss to campus police and the MIT Insurance Office.

Does MIT donate equipment to charity?

After internal needs are met, MIT equipment may become available for donation to non- profits. Visit our WW15 Equipment Exchange or contact Mike McCarthy.

Does Property have any computers for sale?

After internal needs are met, MIT surplus computers may become available for sale. Please check the Bid Sale or contact Mike McCarthy.

Can I get a report of my department’s computers?

You can request a report by contacting Mike McCarthy. Let him know your department number (or cost centers) and how you wish the report to be sorted (location, person, account, equipment type, etc.).

How do I report that I will be taking a computer for work at home?

In order to keep the inventory accurate and up-to-date, the movement of equipment to authorized individuals homes can be reported by sending email to Mike McCarthy. You can also use the Report Movement of Property function from the home page. Report all equipment location changes, including home, that are not of a temporary duration.

I see a red DEACTIVATED sticker on a piece of equipment in my laboratory. Just what does that mean?

A DEACTIVATED sticker means an item has been reviewed and determined by Property to be no longer accountable to the inventory. Once an item has been deactivated, DLCs may dispose of these red-tagged items with no further action from Property. Consideration should be given to proper disposal practice as required. For example, equipment such as monitors may be considered hazardous -- more information. To remove deactivated equipment, please work through Facilities. If the item is still usable or may be good for parts, it is recommended that you make it available for reuse. Reuse is an informal recycling mailing list.

I recently received some new equipment. It has not been tagged. Do I have to notify the Property Office to come and tag it?

No. Normally the Property Office will come and tag all newly received purchased property that requires tagging within 30 days of the last invoice payment. If the equipment needs to be tagged sooner than that for reasons of risk or availability, contact Jo-Anne Chute, Property Manager, to make arrangements. She should also be contacted if, after 30 days, the equipment has not been tagged or if you have received equipment that was acquired by MIT but not purchased.

Is software considered equipment?

No. All computer software, whether operating systems or applications, is expensed and should be assigned 421925. The only exception is the original purchased operating system of the computer, which should be assigned either 421827 or 421818 depending on the unit cost of the main item.

I know that G/L 421818 is capital equipment and not subject to overhead. Can you explain when upgrades to equipment also may carry this G/L account?

The best answer is to look at the Property Office Home Page under Property Procedures- Coding Of Equipment Purchases. What you will find there are certain conditions that need to be met regarding upgrades and components. Briefly summarized:

  • The minimum cost for the upgrade must be at least $2,000;
  • The purchase requisition must carry the property number of the existing equipment to be upgraded;
  • The existing unit must be capital equipment (value greater than or equal to $5,000).

If these conditions are met, then the upgrade should be assigned 421818 capital equipment.

I’m sure my requisition is equipment, but I’m still confused about which general ledger account to assign to an item. What is the rule?

The full rule set for assigning G/Ls is available on the Property Office homepage under Policy and Procedures- Coding Of Equipment Purchases. Briefly stated:

  • If the net cost of the item is less than $1,000 assign 420226 Materials and Services or 421900 Computer Supplies and Peripherals;
  • If the net cost of the item is between $1,000 and $4,999, assign 421827 Minor Equipment;
  • If the net cost is $5,000 or greater, assign 421818 Capital Equipment.

I understand that equipment purchases require certain general ledger account assignments. How do I know if my requisition is considered to be equipment?

Any item that will last more than a year, is operationally complete and can be identified as stand-alone is considered equipment. Purchases from the following product categories are normally considered equipment: furniture, computer, laboratory, scientific and test equipment, office and service equipment. The difference between Capital and Minor equipment is determined by cost. Computer equipment at MIT is controlled by property record beginning at a cost of $1000 or greater. All Captial equipment is controllered by a property record.