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. 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. 

See Have Your Equipment Tagged.

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?

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. 

See the Coding Of Equipment Purchases policy for more information.

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?

For the full rule set for assigning G/Ls, see the Coding Of Equipment Purchases policy.

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 Capital equipment is controlled by a property record. 

What is underrecovery?

Underrecovery may occur in a research WBS element where overhead specifications (F&A rates or direct cost base) are established at less than the current negotiated federal rates. More information can be found on the OSP website.

News and Announcements

Kathleen (Kathy) McGrath has been named VPF’s new Director of Financial Operations, effecti
VPF is launching a new series of topic-based forums to update the MIT community on finance
MIT community members are encouraged to book their travel through