Alfred University Cellular Phone and Data Plan Policy (Revised August 2013)
Effective August 1, 2013, the University is adopting a new policy regarding payment of cell phone and data plan services. Use the information in the options outlined below to assist you in determining whether these services are allowable business expenditures and if so, to select the appropriate payment method(s).
Each divisional vice president, using a standard set of criteria, will determine the need versus convenience of cell phone or data plan usage.
Eligibility for University Reimbursed Cellular Phones
- Cell phone expenses paid by the University are generally disallowed unless required by the department for the employee to complete his/her job responsibilities. Consider business necessity versus convenience: who needs to be reimbursed for their personal cellular phone.
Eligibility Criteria for a Reimbursement
- The position requires the employee to be mobile and to need simultaneous access to the phone, calendar or email. Consider need versus convenience when making access determination.
- Employees who are mobile and who provide emergency support and back up to critical campus operations
- The position continually requires timely, business-critical, two-way communications for which there is no reasonable, less costly alternative technology (such as two-way radios, pagers, etc.)
- Employees that currently use their personal cellular phones for periodic University business would continue to receive reimbursement for business calls but will do so under more specific guidelines for receiving payment (calls must be itemized to support reimbursement for business use). See Option A below.
Cell Phone Reimbursement Options
Option A: Reimbursement for Periodic Business Use - Form-Cell Phone Option A
- With the approval of the respective divisional vice president and submission of an Alfred University Personal Cellular Phone Reimbursement Request Justification Form, employees may request reimbursement for the business portion of their personal monthly cell phone expenses
- If the employee has a personal family plan, Alfred University will reimburse the business portion of the base plan only and related fees and taxes up to the business use percentage indicated. The amount requested for reimbursement would be the total monthly bill less the amount for personal use (Personal Use = total bill * personal % indicated on Reimbursement Request Justification Form). The balance of cell phone usage (100% less the personal use percentage indicated) equals the business use of the employee’s personal cell phone.
- Please attach the entire monthly cell phone bill with itemized business calls (with business purpose noted) to support the amount of personal and business use percentages indicated
- Deans and/or vice presidents must approve the Reimbursement Request Justification Form for employees within their college/division on a monthly basis. The vice president for academic affairs will approve reimbursement requests for the deans; the president will approve reimbursement requests for the vice presidents.
- To submit for payment, attach the completed Reimbursement Request Justification Form to a Check Request Form and send to the Business Office for processing
Option B: Monthly Stipend - Form-Cell Phone Option B
- With the approval of the respective divisional vice president, an eligible employee may receive a taxable allowance (i.e., a stipend paid to the employee) of $25.00 per month intended to offset a portion of the cost of a standard cell phone
- Note: If an employee has a smartphone (combined data, voice, and texting), and such a device is deemed necessary based on their particular position, the allowance is $50.00 per month
- To request an allowance, the employee must complete an Alfred University Cellular Phone & Data Plan Allowance Request Form. Deans and/or vice presidents must approve the Allowance Request Form for employees within their college/division on an annual basis. The vice president for academic affairs will approve allowance requests for the deans; the president will approve requests for the vice presidents.
- The authorized allowance amount will be paid to the employee during the standard payroll cycle. These allowance amounts are not benefits eligible.
- To submit for payment, send the completed Allowance Request Form to the Payroll Office for processing
Option C: Departmental Shared Cell Phones - Form-Cell Phone Option C
- With the approval of the respective divisional vice president, if there is a demonstrated need or cost savings to the University for a department to acquire equipment for its area, it is allowable for the monthly bill to be paid directly by the University. An example of this type of usage would be phones purchased for on-call or for use only in University vehicles. These devices would utilize a minimum level of service (no data plan) and are not assigned to specific employees.
- The department director should complete an Alfred University Departmental Cellular Phone Request Form each fiscal year to be maintained on file in the Telephone Office. In the Business Purpose and Justification field of this form, please indicate the phone is for departmental or University vehicle use only.
- Deans and/or vice presidents must approve the Request Form for departmental phones or vehicle use only phones within their college/division on an annual basis. The vice president for academic affairs will approve requests made by the deans; the president will approve requests for the vice presidents.
- Going forward, cell phones utilized under Option C would be the only cellular phones billed directly to the University
Internet and Wireless Service
- Internet service has become a nearly universal household utility, similar to telephone service or electricity. As such, reimbursement for home service is generally disallowed unless required for the employee to complete his/her job requirements on a regular, ongoing basis.
- WiFi service paid by the University, either in full or partially, is disallowed unless an employee travels extensively and needs to access the internet for his/her job, where services might otherwise not be readily available or may be unreasonably expensive. Each divisional vice president, using a standard set of criteria, will determine whether reimbursement for service shall be granted.
- Appendices: Cell Phone Reimbursement Forms
Note: these forms are available on the business office webpage to be downloaded and saved for your convenience in updating and printing on a monthly or annual basis, as applicable.