Skip to main content

Cornell University

Facilities Inventory: Best Practices for Reporting of Organized Research

Last updated:  April 25, 2024

Back to Organized Research links

Back to Facilities Inventory Documentation

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

Tracking Occupants

Develop a method to track faculty, staff and student space use.  Generally this work is done outside the facilities inventory in an Excel spreadsheet or local database.  Beginning in 2024, there is no place in the facilities inventory system itself to store information about research grants for a room occupant, and so all such records will be kept outside the facilities inventory.  

The process of identifying faculty, staff and student space use 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.

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


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.