Financial Services Manual (FIN)

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Effective: 7/1/2006

Revised:      

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FIN 420–06: Phone Services

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Purpose

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To describe the university’s policy on personal use of phone services

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Source

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University policy

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Policy

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University phone services (landlines and cell phone) are intended for university business purposes. Although there is no additional cost to the university for local calls made on landlines, such calls should be as limited in frequency and length of time as reasonably possible.

Employees must reimburse the university for:

  1. long-distance (toll) personal calls made on a university office phone (Personal long-distance phone calls should not be charged to the university, but if due to an emergency or other unusual circumstance, a personal long-distance call is charged to a university account, the caller must reimburse the university.)

    and

  2. personal use of university-provided cell phones at 15 cents per minute. (Personal use of up to 30 minutes per month of outgoing calls is considered “de minimis” and will not require reimbursement to the university, unless such calls result in usage minutes that exceed the monthly plan minutes or incur roaming charges. If personal use exceeds 30 minutes, reimbursement must be based on all minutes of personal use.)

General Wireless Phone Policy

The university may provide wireless phone service for employees whose duties and responsibilities significantly benefit from having wireless access to phone service and must be authorized by someone at a higher-level position than the employee. The wireless plan chosen should be at an appropriate level to meet business needs. The employee’s department is responsible for documenting the business purpose of a university-provided wireless phone and for the timely payment of all charges.

Departments are responsible for establishing a procedure to ensure that university-provided cell phones are used in compliance with this policy. “Best Practices” related to the university cell phone policy are available on the Financial Services Web site. Adopting these Best Practices ensures that adequate controls in compliance with this university policy are in place.

University department-provided wireless phones are university property and must be returned upon termination of employment with the university. If a wireless phone is not returned, the cost of the phone must be reported as taxable income on the employee’s W-2 Form.

Departments are required to retain wireless phone records for five years.


Wireless Phones on Sponsored Project Accounts

The base fee for a wireless phone is usually not allowable on a sponsored project. The base fee is considered a local phone cost that is typically already paid by the sponsor as part of the indirect cost rate. However, there may be circumstances under which wireless phone charges are allowable on a sponsored project account. Faculty and staff should contact their sponsored project officer before charging these fees to a sponsored project.

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Cross-References

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For related information, see:

  1. FIN 420–07, “Prepaid Calling Cards”

    and

  2. the Academic Affairs Policies and Procedures ManualACD 125, “Computer, Internet, and Electronic Communications Information Management Policy.”

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