General Accounting

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Policy No.: 3000
Effective Date: 10/25/02
Revised Date: 10/25/02
Reviewed Date: 10/25/02

General Accounting Policy

Basis for Accounting Policy

Accounting is the means through which financial data necessary for the efficient administration of our university is recorded, classified and reported. Our financial management system must meet the dual requirements of our institution while still being governed by the principles and concepts of institutional accounting and finance. These generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) have developed over time and gained acceptance throughout our industry allowing the consistent presentation of financial results and comparability to other institutions. Many of our policies currently in practice today are today taken from the "Fundamental Concepts" from the latest edition of College and University Business Administration as well as the basic principles and changes mandated by the AICPA Audit Guide, Federal Regulations of the Office of Management (OMB) Circulars A-21, A-110 and A-133 along with the statutes of the State of Nebraska comprise the basic accounting policies currently driving the operation of our financial management system.

Various legal and regulatory bodies have required special treatment for some accounting transactions. Listed below are these transaction types requiring special handling.


All leases will be recorded in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Statement No. 13. The purchasing department will coordinate the proper classification for new leases with General Accounting. Refer to the Accounting Informational Manual for distinction between leases as capital additions and leases as operating expenses.

Capitalization of Plant Assets

Equipment acquisitions will be recorded in accordance with the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, OMB Circular A-110 and generally accepted accounting practices. The assignment of estimated years of life for equipment will be based on both IRS and American Hospital Association guidelines.

Control of Capital Assets

All equipment traded in, transferred, housed off UNMC grounds, surplused, or sold will be coordinated through General Accounting and General Supply/Furniture Stores.

Department managers are responsible for coordinating capital asset activity. Equipment belonging to UNMC must be located and properly secured on the UNMC grounds. It is against UNMC policy for any such equipment or property to be used by employees for their personal use or be located in their residences without proper authorizing documentation.

If equipment will be housed off-campus for more than 30 consecutive days, a letter signed by the department head authorizing the employee’s use of the equipment should be sent to General Accounting. All equipment items must have the UNMC equipment tag placed on the equipment before it leaves the campus and this number should be included on the authorizing letter sent to General Accounting.

This policy does not apply to vehicles, communication equipment, or other types of equipment where the normal use necessitates an off-campus location.

Sale of equipment by public sales, auctions, or by sealed bid shall be conducted according to the procedures of the Medical Center. UNMC employees, staff, or faculty shall not receive any special consideration. Disposition of all surplus equipment shall be the responsibility of the Manager of General Supply/Furniture Stores and must be coordinated with the appropriate director or department head.

Equipment Control

Equipment shall be capitalized, tagged, and maintained in the campus fixed asset inventory system. The dollar threshold minimum for campus equipment is $5,000.

Faculty Member Transfer - Equipment Status

The ownership of equipment can vary widely depending on the source of funds utilized for acquisition. Faculty Member Transfer - Equipment Status describes in detail how decisions are reached for determination of what equipment, if any, is transferred to the new faculty or researcher's institution.

Additional Information

Please see the Accounting Informational Manual or contact General Accounting.

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