Click on a question to show the answer.
Click on a topic (right) and/or add a search term (below) to limit results.

Physical Inventory

Why am I getting multiple reports?

We run 10-digit organization (org) codes, instead of 9-digits. This means every sub-org code will have its own inventory.

Can we convert the multiple files into one file?

Multiple Excel files can be merged for ease of use; since they can be sorted by location, or custodian, large departments may especially benefit from this.

We ask that you do not merge PDFs. These are your official inventory documents. If you make your annotations on a document, or merge it after you’ve made your annotations, the information may be lost. If you send us a merged PDF, we will be required to separate it on our end and, again, changes might be lost.

How do you import the .csv file into Excel? How do you merge Excel files?

You will need to save your .csv file onto a computer or server to format it. Double click to open; select ‘save as,’ name the file (we recommend using the org code as the name), select as ‘Save as type:’ ‘Excel Workbook’ (file extension ‘.xls’), and then click the ‘Save’ button.

To Format your Excel Spreadsheet:

  1. Click on it to open.
  2. Then at the upper left hand corner between the 1 and A column, put your curser and click; this will turn the entire sheet gray.
  3. While your sheet is gray, double click on the line in between columns A and B.  This will expand your information to full view.   At this point save this file to your desktop.
  4. After saving you are ready to format and sort. If for example, you want to sort by custodian, highlight the custodian data by clicking on the letter above its column, then right click with you mouse and chose ‘format cells,’ then ‘text’ and click ‘OK.’
  5. Next highlight your data again, and at the top of your excel menu on the right side, second to last, you will see ‘AZ sort and filter;’ click on this with your data field highlighted, and click ‘A to Z’ to sort by custodian.
  6. You would repeat the above to sort by room / building.

To combine the contents of multiple spreadsheets, highlight and copy the contents of one sheet, and then paste them into the other one.

Here is the link to a how-to video showing you the various steps involved.

What is the due date – is it still August 31st?

The due date for the 2016 inventory cycle is May 31st; you will have 4½ months to complete this inventory.

Can I send back a paper copy?

No. If you are having issues with returning your inventory electronically, please contact EIO for assistance.

How do I update the fields in the PDF file?

You will first need to save your PDF to a computer or server to make annotations to it. To do this:

  1. right click on the attachment
  2. select ‘save as’
  3. choose a location
  4. click ‘save’

To Edit Your PDF Using Acrobat Reader:

  • You will need to use the ‘Add Text’ function:
  1. In the upper right hand corner, select the ‘Sign’ tab.
  2. Select ‘I Need To Sign.’
  3. Select ‘Add Text’ (next to the ‘T’); if you use this mode, you will not need to create an Adobe ID.
  4. Next to the font box is a ‘T’ with a little color box next to it; please click on that. A dropdown menu should appear, allowing you to change the color of the font. Please select red, or some other color that is dark enough to read easily but different enough from black that your marks will be easily found.
  • If information needs updating (custodian, location, tag number), please do the following:
  1. Select the ‘Highlight Text’ tool (the highlighter);
  2. Double click on the text you wish to change;
  3. On the ‘Sign’ panel, select the ‘T’ for Add Text;
  4. Write the correct information
  • Note: If there is a lot of text to add to an asset, you may also use the Sticky Note tool – again, highlight the text you wish to change, then select the Sticky Note tool from the tool bar (the yellow speech balloon); a pop up text box will appear, and you can enter text in there without typing all over the document

To Edit Your PDF Using Acrobat Pro:

You can use the same three tools as described above; the only difference will be how you access them.

  • You will need to use the ‘Add Text’ function. In the upper right hand corner, click on the tab that says ‘Comment.’
  1. There are several options; click on the plain ‘T.’
  2. You should see a box that says, ‘Add Text Comment.’ Place your pointer somewhere on the document, and click; your cursor should appear. Doing this allows you to format the text you use on your pdf.
  3. Next to the font box is a ‘T’ with a little color box next to it; please click on that. A dropdown menu should appear, allowing you to change the color of the font. Please select red, or some other color that is dark enough to read easily but different enough from black that your marks will be easily found.
  • If information needs updating (custodian, location, tag number), please do the following:
  1. Select the ‘Highlight Text’ tool (the highlighter);
  2. Double click on the text you wish to change;
  3. On the ‘Sign’ panel, select the ‘T’ for Add Text;
  4. Write the correct information
  • Note: If there is a lot of text to add to an asset, you may also use the Sticky Note tool – again, highlight the text you wish to change, then select the Sticky Note tool from the tool bar (the yellow speech balloon); a pop up text box will appear, and you can enter text in there without typing all over the document

Acrobat Pro has more functionality; if you wish to take advantage of other options under the Annotations’ menu, you can do the following:

  • The ‘T’ with the red line through it can be used to strike through incorrect/out of date information. To use this, just click on the strikethrough ‘T’, and then with your mouse highlight the word/number you wish to eliminate.
  • There is a rubber stamp in the ‘Annotations’ box. One of the stamps in there is a check mark. You can use that stamp to indicate an asset has been located, instead of typing an ‘X.’

 

Here is the link to a how-to video showing you all the steps above.

How do you electronically sign a PDF?

Using the ‘Add Text’ options described in the above question, you will type in your name in the appropriate field.

 

Here is the link to a how-to video showing you steps outlined in the previous question.

Is my department's inventory due this year?

Physical inventories of University-owned equipment must be completed by University departments every two years and are distributed during January. The listings are sent to the departmental inventory contacts, as listed with EIO (Equipment Inventory Office). Physical inventories of Federal-owned and Agency-owned equipment must be taken annually. Audits of the physical inventories taken by departments are performed annually by various state, federal, private, and internal auditors. Additional inventory information can be found at Physical Inventories or by contacting EIO at eio@uw.edu or (206) 543-4663

Do you offer training on the physical inventory process? If so, when?

EIO will be conducting Brown Bag lunch sessions for the 2016 Physical Inventory cycle. In addition to that, we have how-to information available on our website, and here in the FAQs.

How long should I keep my department copy of the physical inventory?

Please refer to the University of Washington's records retention policies for information (found here).

Do I have to do the inventory?

Yes. A physical inventory of Agency and Federal equipment is required yearly by federal regulations. Physical inventories of University equipment are required every two years ('biennially') by state regulation.

Why is this old asset still on my physical inventory?

Government accounting practices include accounting for the depreciation of an asset. However, the 'Total Cost' on all assets remains at the purchase price for the entire time that the item is in use by the University. We are accountable to the tax-paying public for all assets and cannot drop them off the system when they have fully depreciated. Assets are only removed from the inventory system when they are disposed through an approved disposal method.

What are these odd assets at the end of my physical inventory?

Pending assets are listed at the end of your inventory. These assets start with a 'P' and have a number such as 'P03118002'. This number is a temporary number assigned to a payment for an asset that has not been properly reported to EIO. Any pending asset represents a problem for your department and must be 'cleared' immediately. You need to find the asset, tag it, and report the model, serial number, custodian, building and room number, and date received to Equipment Inventory so that we can convert it to

Can I send it to you electronically?

Yes. Begining with the 2016 Physical Inventory cycle, we have gone electronic, and urge departments to return electronic documents to us. See the FAQs for the 2016 Physical Inventory cycle for more information.

I'm running behind. Can I have an extension?

No. There is no such thing as a 'due date extension'. If your inventory will be late for any reason, you need to communicate the delay and reason to Equipment Inventory. We will track this information closely and work with you in any way possible, but any inventory turned in after August 31st is Past Due and may be reported to Internal Audit.

What do I do if several people work on the inventory?

When this occurs, transfer all information from your working copy (or copies) to the original inventory.

What do I do about equipment used at home? And equipment located out of state?

You need to verify equipment used at home or out of area with a written document, such as email or a letter. When the person using the asset sends you a written confirmation, you can mark the asset as 'Located'. Keep the written verification in your inventory files for audit purposes.