Capital assets purchased or constructed by Glen Ellyn Public Library represent a major investment by the taxpayers. The purpose of this policy is to set forth the accounting policy as to how capital assets are to be accounted for and reported.
Capital Asset Definition
Capital assets are major assets that benefit more than a single accounting period. They are considered real or personal property that have a value equal to or greater than the capitalization threshold for the particular classification of the asset and have an estimated life of greater than one year. They include such items as land, buildings, improvements other than buildings, furnishings and equipment, infrastructure, construction or development in progress, and vehicles.
The library will capitalize all assets with an estimated useful life in excess of one year and a cost of $20,000 or more. With regard to asset repairs and improvements, costs incurred in the amount of $20,000 or more will be capitalized if the repair or improvement extends the useful life of the asset or significantly increases the service capacity or usefulness of the asset. The Business Manager bears the responsibility for recording new additions of capital assets. Additions will primarily be substantiated through paid invoice files and will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis or as additions are procured.
Estimated Useful Lives
“Estimated useful life” means the estimated number of years that an asset will be able to be used for the purpose for which it was intended when purchased. Estimated useful life is used to allocate the cost of the asset over the period of time in which the library is expected to receive benefit from the asset. The periodic charge of the benefit is called depreciation expense and is reported in the government-wide financial statements of the library. The following table sets forth the useful life of each category of capital asset that is depreciated.
Capital Asset Classification
Assumed Useful Life
15 – 25 years
5 – 15 years
10 – 15 years
8 – 10 years
Recording Capital Assets
Capital assets are to be reported and depreciated in the government-wide financial statements. All assets that meet the above definitions and thresholds will be recorded at historical costs or estimated historical cost. In the case of a donated asset, it shall be recorded at its estimated fair value at the time of acquisition. The following parameters further refine the recording of capital assets:
Land is recorded at historical cost and is not depreciated.
Expenditures classified as construction in progress will be recorded at historical cost and will not begin to be depreciated until the construction is complete and the expenditure is reclassified to another capital asset classification.
Depreciation is the allocation of the total acquisition cost of a capital asset over its estimated useful life. Glen Ellyn Public Library will use the straight-line method of depreciation, with an assumed salvage value of zero. Maintaining and recording depreciation will be the responsibility of the Business Manager.
Glen Ellyn Public Library will maintain an accurate, complete, and up-to-date record of all capital assets. Each inventory record will include: description, year of acquisition, method of acquisition, funding source, cost or estimated cost, and estimated useful life. The library will ensure completeness and accuracy of its inventory records through physical counts, review of purchase records, and other methods deemed necessary.