Property Management Overview

Property Management (PM), located within the Office of the Vice President of Financial Affairs Comptroller department of Research Financial Operations , develops and implements policies, procedures, and a system that enables effective management of equipment for Boston University. Property Management provides support for all matters regarding moveable capital equipment-related issues from pre-purchase considerations through the retirement of assets. Property Management staff members can assist with purchase & sale, accounting for, and disposal of moveable capital equipment. Property Management should be consulted and can facilitate equipment matters throughout the entire lifecycle from purchase planning to asset disposition.

The primary responsibilities of Property Management are:

  • Maintain a detailed record of all moveable capital equipment, either owned by or in the custody of Boston University
  • Physically tag all moveable capital equipment
  • Conduct an inventory of physical equipment every two years
  • Provide training and guidance relating to Property Management procedures.

Department Assistance

Property Management can assist with many areas of information including:


  • Assisting in pre-purchase decisions by supplying current equipment information throughout the University
  • Classifying equipment as either expendable or capital
  • Identifying and tagging equipment

Records and Documentation

  • Recording all moveable capital equipment within the Asset Accounting Module
    • Any department possessing leased, rented, or loaned equipment must notify Property Management upon receipt of this equipment for it to be identified in the Asset Accounting Module)
  • Documenting the movement of equipment to other departments within BU
  • Authenticating use and verifying the value of donated and leased equipment
  • Performing and reconciling physical inventories of department equipment
  • Reporting property issues to University management, sponsors, and donors
  • Transferring title of equipment between BU and other institutions


  • Assisting departments with the proper disposal paperwork for moveable capital equipment
  • Screening (before disposal) excess equipment
  • Facilitating the disposal of moveable capital equipment having hazardous materials

Sponsored Projects

  • Reconciling equipment expenditures on sponsored projects
  • Requests for use of equipment in research participation agreements
  • Assisting with fabrication procedures

 Government Interaction

Per the terms and conditions of various grants and contracts, Property Management is available to assist Research Accounting in filing reports with government agencies. These “equipment reports” are generated from information that is contained in the Asset Accounting Module. The reports detail award spending including dates of purchase amounts paid, and the purchasing department’s title to the equipment.

All government-furnished equipment, regardless of its value, must be reported to Property Management and included within the equipment reports. Physical inventories, disposition requests for material purchased under the award, and issues about contract closeouts are also detailed within these reports.

Equipment titled to the government may never be dismantled, cannibalized, or sold without prior permission from the contracting agency. This equipment remains titled to the government from acquisition to disposition. Tampering with government-titled equipment can result in the loss of future sponsored grants and/or financial repercussions.