1,066: Telephone Charges

Revised: February 2016

Appropriate Use of Land Line Phones:

All accounts will be charged for toll charges on direct dial calls and equipment service charges on the basis of the telephone company's monthly billing. A computer-generated report which will reflect the information for the monthly billing will be sent to the user departments. The departments are responsible for reviewing the long distance telephone report on a monthly basis. The reports must be signed and dated when the review is completed and retained in accordance with the university's retention policy. Equipment service charges will be charged monthly to university accounts associated with each telephone extension. Telephone charges are generally considered to be unallowable as direct costs to federally funded sponsored projects. Personal toll calls must not be made from university telephone extensions.

Appropriate Use of Cell Phones:

Cell phones should only be used when a conventional telephone is not readily available. Users should be aware that, depending on the cell plan subscribed to, local calls may be charged at a per-minute rate, and long-distance calls may be more expensive than calls made through the university's land line system. While the use of cell phones can be more expensive than conventional telephones, improved efficiency resulting from the use of cellular phones may provide an overall savings. University-owned cell phones are not provided for personal use.


Cell phone service may be provided by the University under three methods as described below:

1. University-Owned Cell Phones:

University-owned cell phones may be purchased for employees based upon justification and recommendation submitted by the supervisor to the President, Executive Vice President & Provost, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, appropriate vice president, dean or designee for approval. Subscribers who wish to use a university-owned cell phone for cell service must choose their cell service from a list of university-approved cell providers.

To acquire a university-owned cell phone and plan for an employee, an approved request must be made through the Information Technology-Cell Phone Support on an Internal Purchase Order. Information Technology-Cell Phone Support will provide guidance and information regarding appropriate equipment and cell service plans; however, the final decision as to the selection of equipment and service plan is left to the supervisor.

Billing statements showing a detail of cell phone usage are available to each department on a monthly basis. Employees and their supervisors will review and indicate their approval of the monthly invoices by signing and dating the billing statements. Such statements and files must be retained in accordance with the university's retention policy.

2. Cell Phone Allowances:

A supervisor may recommend to the President, Executive Vice President & Provost, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, appropriate vice president, dean or designee approval of a monthly allowance for a cell phone plan for an employee. The allowance is intended to defray only that portion of the monthly usage attributed to business purposes, not the entire cost of the plan. The allowance does not include the cost of the purchase of a phone.

If an employee receives a cell phone allowance, the full value of the allowance for that calendar year will be reported as taxable compensation on the employee's W-2 form. 

3. Reimbursement of Business Calls Made on a Personal Cell Phone:

Should an employee elect to use their personal cell phone for business purposes, the detailed cell bill, with business-related calls highlighted, should be submitted, with a completed Request for Payment form, through their supervisor for submittal to Accounts Payable for reimbursement. The method of reimbursement is calculated as follows:

The minutes of business related calls is divided by the total number of minutes listed on the bill. The resulting percentage is then multiplied by the total cost of the bill to determine the amount to be reimbursed.