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Financial Accounting for Local and State School Systems: 2009 Edition
NCES 2009-325
June 2009

Appendix E—Criteria for Distinguishing Equipment From Supply Items — Distinguishing Between Built-In and Movable Equipment

Should a school district find it useful to classify certain equipment into built-in and movable categories, the following criteria should be used, unless the school district is otherwise bound by federal, state, or local law.

A built-in equipment item meets these criteria:

  • It is an integral part of a building; that is, it is permanently fastened to the building, functions as a part of the building, and causes appreciable damage to the building if it is removed.
  • It is permanently attached to a site and functions as part of the site (except buildings or other structures).

Built-in equipment may be incorporated into a building at the time the building is erected or at a later date. Built-in equipment is sometimes referred to as fixed equipment.

Movable equipment consists of items that meet these criteria:

  • They are transportable from one location to another without appreciable damage or change to the location from which they are removed or to the location where they are installed.
  • They do not function as integral parts of the building or site and are not permanently fastened or attached to the building or site.

A piece of equipment that is simply bolted or screwed to the floor, such as a heavy lathe or desk, and that can be moved as a unit once these fasteners have been removed is movable equipment. The term movable refers to the permanency of installation and not to size or weight.

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