Skip to main content

Cornell University

Best Practices for Facilities Inventory Reporting of Organized Research

Back to Organized Research links

Back to Facilities Inventory Documentation

These best practices are based on recommendations from the Cost and Capital Assets office in the Division of Financial Affairs and from experienced inventory users.

Tracking Occupants

Develop a method to track faculty/staff/student space use.  Generally this work is done outside the facilities inventory in an Excel spreadsheet, Outlook calendar, or local database.  A single method cannot be recommended because the type of research differs across colleges and divisions.

This process may require working with Human Resources, grant coordinators and lab managers to understand how space is used.

Visit the rooms and their occupants.

Consider space use over the full fiscal year from July 1st through June 30th so that it can be appropriately prorated.

Run a "Sponsored Projects" report from the Kuali Data Warehouse, KDW, to obtain account numbers, project names, and expiration dates of accounts.

Review the space at the end of each semester to catch appropriate changes.

Complete inventory updates toward the end of inventory cycle in June or July, so that the room data is most accurate and can be appropriately prorated.  See the instructions for adding room occupants and research information.


Customize communications for each principal investigator, PI, and require verification of their space use.

See the sample email message to a researcher for ideas on how to compose these communications.


Keep accurate documentation for audit purposes. It is essential to keep backups of supporting documentation in an accessible location. Audits by a granting agency or by a federal cost reviewer will typically occur a few months to a few years after the conclusion of the inventory, so make sure others can access and understand your records.