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Compliance protocols MUST be approved and linked in SeRA to a SPO project record prior to award acceptance. 

See ORA's Award Acceptance Resources for additional information.

3.3 Records

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Policy Contact

Scott O. Ray, CPPM
Assistant Director
Property Management Office

Accurate and comprehensive property records are a required component of a successful property management system. Records are the repository for compiling the basic identification elements and tracking day to day activity of equipment and material for which Stanford is accountable. Information contained in the property record is the basis for depreciation, audit, reporting, inventory, and stewardship throughout the life of an asset. At the end of the asset life cycle, the property record reflects the disposition and retirement outcomes and provides a historical picture of the asset.

1. Key Policy Statements

  • Sunflower (SFA) database combined with the Oracle Fixed Assets (FA) system constitute the official on-line property records for capital assets.
  • Asset accounting and depreciation functions are performed in FA.
  • Accountability, stewardship, inventory, agreement management, and disposition actions are performed in SFA.
  • SFA record entry should be completed by the Department Property Administrator (DPA) within 30 days of receipt of the asset.
  • Financial reconciliation of the asset record in Oracle Fixed Assets (FA) is performed by the Property Management Office (PMO).
  • SFA record entry for non-capital equipment is encouraged but not required.

2. Official Records Systems

Property records are necessary to:

  • Ensure consistent, complete record keeping
  • Comply with sponsor and government agency requirements
  • Track accountability, movement, utilization, status, and disposition of equipment
  • Mitigate risk, maximize accuracy of insurance, and tax reporting
  • Allow for accurate accounting, budgeting, and planning for the University
  • Provide information from which depreciation, indirect costs, and other financial determinations are made
  • Facilitate redeployment and reutilization of property
  • Support accurate system analyses and audits

3. Equipment Records

The official data repository for the recording of equipment at Stanford is the on-line Sunflower (SFA) database. The following classifications of equipment are required to be entered into SFA by a DPA within 30 days of receipt of the asset:

  • Stanford-owned capital equipment
  • Federal or sponsor-owned equipment (capital and non-capital)
  • Leased equipment when lease meets both of the following criteria:
    • Lease amount is greater than $5,000
    • The lease extends longer than one year
  • Equipment loaned to Stanford
  • Capital equipment donated or transferred to Stanford

The SFA record includes data from Oracle Financials (iProcurement, Accounts Payable and FA). Detailed steps for creating or uploading asset records are available in the Sunflower User Guide. 

Recording and tracking of non-capital equipment in SFA is encouraged— particularly for those items, which are of critical need for the work being performed, subject to potential theft, contain sensitive data, or those which may need additional control due to the value of the information they may contain.

4. Records of Sponsor-Owned Material

Material generally consists of component parts, precious metals or other consumable goods. Records of Federal or sponsor-owned material are maintained in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award(s) under which they were acquired. When necessary, material that is not immediately consumed at the time of acquisition is recorded and tracked in the Sunflower database.

5. Property Record Data Elements

The property record includes a variety of data elements which support compliance and business operation needs related to equipment. Records for Federally-owned and other Sponsor-owned equipment or material have additional record data elements requirements specific to the sponsor requirements. Serial numbers are required for all devices with a manufacturers serial number. Asset records should be maintained routinely to ensure the data is current, accurate, and complete.

Mandatory data elements in each property record are listed below:

Required Data Elements for All Property Records in Sunflower (Capital or Non-Capital)

Items in bold are entered by DPA. Other elements are added by PMO throughout lifecycle

  • SU ID Barcode Tag Number
  • Taggable/Untaggable Flag
  • Manufacturer
  • Model Number
  • Description
  • Serial Number (essential for all devices with a manufacturers serial number)
  • Acquisition Document Number (when creating a record from scratch)
  • Acquisition Method
  • Acquisition Date (A.K.A Date placed in service)
  • Acquisition Cost (when creating a record from scratch)
  • Condition
  • Activity Status
  • Business Unit
  • Department
  • Ownership
  • Custodian
  • Location
  • Year of Manufacture
  • Asset Category
  • Net Book Value (NBV)
  • FA ID Number
  • Retirement/Final Event Date
  • Disposition Method
  • IDC Allowability
  • Inventory Resolution Information

Additional Required Data Elements for Sponsor-Owned Equipment Records

  • Sponsor Agreement
  • Sponsor ID Number, if applicable
  • National Stock Number, if applicable
  • Unique Item Identification , if applicable
  • Quantity, if consumable material
  • Unit of Measure, if consumable material
  • Unit of Issue, if consumable material
  • Balance on Hand, if consumable material

Additional Helpful Data Information Elements

In addition to the above required record elements, the following data elements are helpful information to include in the property record:

  • User name
  • Attachments, photos
  • Department ID tag number
  • Maintenance records
  • Fleet garage ID number, if applicable
  • Other descriptive information
  • Additional comments
  • Other descriptive flags

6. Supplemental Documentation

In addition to creating and maintaining the Sunflower property record, the DPA is also responsible for supplemental documentation including:

  • Equipment off-campus forms
  • Untaggable record files
  • Stanford equipment loan forms
  • Government transfer/movement forms

Supplemental forms are considered a part of the complete property record for the asset, and as such should be kept up to date and readily accessible.

7. Untaggable Records

Untaggable records are created and maintained for items that are physically incapable of holding a barcode property tag (i.e. due to size, shape, environment, etc.). They are also used for equipment that is inaccessible, inside another piece of equipment or in cases where the equipment would be damaged if a barcode tag were affixed.

A SFA record is created for an untaggable asset, and the tag is affixed to a printed copy of the SFA record. The printed records must be routinely reviewed and updated, and kept on file by the DPA for review by the PMO or other internal compliance department within the University.

8. Stanford Equipment Loan Forms


Equipment being loaned to other institutions requires an equipment loan form to authorize and document the equipment, the borrowing entity, the purpose and other specific terms and conditions of the loan. All loans must have demonstrable benefit to Stanford, and require PMO approval.


For equipment items being loaned to Stanford, please see Acquisitions in Chapter 2.4.

9. Government Transfer and Movement Forms

Unless otherwise specified in the accountable contract, a Standard Form DD1149 is used for movement (shipping/receiving) of government owned equipment when it is used off-campus. A DD1149 can also be used to document a transfer of accountability from one contract to another, or a final delivery. 

A Standard Form DD250 is used for final deliverables on federal contracts. 

Contact your PPM for additional information as needed.

10. Equipment Off-Campus Forms

Off-Campus Equipment Verification Worksheet forms are required for any non-federally owned capital asset that is housed in a location not listed in the Stanford Space Inventory (iSpace) system.  This includes private residences, businesses, other institutions and remote sites.  It is highly recommended that the form be used for non-capital equipment that is off campus as well.

The form can be filled out by the official custodian or the Department Property Administrator (DPA), but must be signed by the custodian.  The DPA must verify and initial the form and maintain a copy in the department’s property management files.  The document must be verified, updated as needed and re-initialed annually by the DPA.  Specific instructions are included on-line with the form.

Note:  The official custodian is the Stanford University employee who is responsible for the equipment.  If the item is federally-funded, the Principal Investigator (PI) should be listed as the custodian.

11. Record Transfers

Equipment records are associated with a single accountable department within the Sunflower system. When equipment transfers from one department to another, the accountable department in the SFA record must be updated by a PPM in the Property Management Office. Once the transfer is complete, the DPA of the receiving department is responsible for updating the location and custodian as needed.

12. Maintaining Asset Location Information

Maintaining accurate location information for capital assets is important for several reasons.  The location of an asset has implications in the following areas:

  • Indirect cost recovery
  • Use
  • Audit
  • Inventory
  • Compliance

It is, therefore, very important that the correct location information for an asset be accurately maintained in the property record.  It is very common for an asset to change location to meet the needs of research, instruction and other university activities.  A location change of less than 30 days is considered temporary.  If the location of an asset will change for more than 30 days, it is considered a permanent change, and the new location must be updated in the Sunflower record.

For items with frequent movement (e.g. checkout laptops, projectors, etc.) a sign-out log should be maintained by the department owning the asset.

If an asset is located off-campus in non-Stanford space (at a business or a private residence, for example) an Off-Campus Verification Worksheet must be completed and signed by the custodian per instructions with the form. See the section on Equipment Off-Campus Forms earlier in this chapter for more information.

The asset location is recorded in the Sunflower property record by entering the complete quad/building/floor/room as listed in the university space registry (iSpace) for Stanford locations.  There are also specific quad/building/floor/room designations to enter in the record  for assets located off campus and overseas.  The Sunflower database contains a list of values from which to choose the correct information.

See the Sunflower User Guides for more information and instructions on entering and updating location information in the Sunflower property record.

13. Vehicle Records

All vehicles, including golf carts, are to be recorded in the Sunflower (SFA) database.  The Fleet Garage will place the Stanford barcode tag on the vehicle.  It is the responsibility of the owning department DPA to create and maintain the property record in Sunflower. 

Use the main administrative office of your department as the location on the record.  Enter the Vehicle ID #, assigned by the Fleet Garage, into the appropriate field in SFA.

14. Record Retention

Property records should be kept on file by departments and central offices per the University policy for records retention as specified in Administrative Guide Memo 3.1.5. Retention policies apply to on-line records such as SFA and Oracle FA as well as all associated and supplemental paper records.