We must record a value for all registered assets so we can determine their economic benefits to the University.


We assign the value of an asset based on the purchase price or fair value. We use fair value for assets we've acquired at nominal or no cost, such as donations. You must keep documentation of how you determine fair value for GST and audit purposes.

The most common way to determine fair value is using the purchase price of similar items, which you can search for online on sites like eBay, Trading Post and Car Sales. For items that are one of a kind, such as artworks, we use management’s best estimate of the value.

An asset’s value can change over its lifetime through wear and tear, damage, maintenance and improvements.

For more information about:

Selling assets at fair value

To help determine fair value of assets you're selling, you can ask Assets (Corporate Finance) for:

  • their purchase price
  • any depreciation that has been charged against them
  • the written-down value of the assets after depreciation. The written-down value is not an indication of the actual current value of the assets.

Assets (Corporate Finance) don’t provide valuations.


For property assets like land, buildings, infrastructure and land improvements, we engage an independent valuer to carry out:

  • a comprehensive revaluation every 4 years
  • an interim revaluation each year in between.

For library and museum collections, Assets (Corporate Finance) coordinate revaluations every 4 years. They ask the relevant organisational units to nominate a valuer with appropriate professional qualifications. The valuer can be an independent valuer or an internal expert.

See section 3.5.3 of the Assets Procedures [9.20.19].

Depreciation and amortisation: allocating costs over time

For most assets over $5000 we spread the cost over the useful life of the asset using either:

  • depreciation, for tangible assets that can wear out
  • amortisation, for intangible assets.

Portable and attractive items are not depreciated, as their full cost is expensed in the year we purchase them.

You don’t necessarily need to replace an asset when it reaches the end of its useful life for depreciation purposes.

After depreciation is charged against an asset, it has a written-down value. The written-down value is not an indication of the actual current value of the asset.

For more information about:

Account reconciliation

Assets (Corporate Finance) reconcile all plant and equipment balance sheet accounts each month.

They also perform monthly reconciliations and reviews for all plant and equipment, and portable and attractive profit-and-loss accounts:

  • proceeds on sale
  • purchase
  • depreciation
  • gain or loss on sale.

If they identify any problems, they’ll contact the stocktake contact in your area to suggest solutions.

Finance staff