Order of St. Benedict
Over the past several years, the volume and usage of the Order of St. Benedict (Corporation) cellular phones has increased dramatically. In order to effectively control this increasing expenditure, the following policy has been adopted.
Cellular Phone Policy
The Corporation recognizes that a cellular phone may aid an employee’s job performance and aid the efficiencies of a department by providing immediate accessibility and improving customer service. A department head/chair is responsible for determining when an employee needs to conduct Corporation business using a cellular phone in order to fulfill his/her position responsibilities.
Cellular phone contracts may be structured so that the Corporation is the billing entity, or the employee is the billing entity; billed personally and reimbursed for business usage.
Corporation as the Billing Entity
The Corporation’s exemption from federal excise tax and Minnesota sales tax presumes that cellular phones are primarily for business not personal use. Therefore, cellular phone purchases and contracts, where the Order of St. Benedict is the official billing entity, should be approved for those situations where the phone is for primarily Corporation business. For purposes of this policy, the term “primarily for Corporation business” means that at least 80% of the phone use, on average, is directly for Corporation business. Twenty percent or less phone use for personal reasons will be considered incidental personal use. The determination of business phone use should be as a percentage of total minutes of actual use, not actual number of calls or associated cost of service.
If a department feels that a cellular phone is necessary for a particular employee, the following guidelines and account payment procedures should be followed:
Guidelines for Cellular Phones Billed to the Corporation:
- Before acquiring a cellular phone, a “Cellular Phone Request” form must be completed and forwarded to Tracy Birr in Telecommunications. Tracy will work with the department to purchase a cellular phone and implement an appropriate plan. If an employee leaves his/her employment at the Corporation, a new “Cellular Phone Request” should be submitted for the person who takes over the cellular phone provided for that individual.
- All requests must have approval from the department head/chair. If the person requesting the service is the department head/chair, approval needs to be received from that person’s supervisor. No employee may approve his or her own cellular service plan.
- The department requesting the cellular phone will pay for all charges associated with the phone.
- Cellular phones are provided to improve customer service, improve availability, and improve the effectiveness of an employee or department.
- Employees should reimburse the Corporation by check for all personal related charges, including long distance and roaming. Additionally, any charges over and above the employee’s current plan charges will be considered personal if no explanation is provided. It is the employee’s responsibility to adhere to their plan or ask for assistance in changing to a plan that better fits their needs.
- Plans will be randomly audited and reviewed to ensure that the cellular plan is adequate for business usage. Suggestions for modifications to the plan may be made through this audit procedure.
Payment Procedures (Corporation Accounts):
- You will receive a monthly activity statement for your cellular phone usage.
- You should always review your monthly statement for billing accuracy.
- After review of the statement, a “Cellular Phone Payment Worksheet” should be completed and attached to the statement.
- The bill, including all call detail, should be sent to the Accounts Payable Office in Wimmer 201 along with the Cellular Phone Payment Worksheet. A check should be included for reimbursement for personal usage.
Employee is the Billing Entity
Corporation employees should purchase their own cellular phones and plans when personal minutes are expected to be greater than 20% of the average monthly usage. The employee should be established at the billed party or entity. An employee can request reimbursement for usage, long distance, and roaming charges for business related calls. The following guidelines will be followed in accordance with a request for personal reimbursement:
Guidelines for Reimbursement:
- Reimbursements for business use of a personal cellular phone will be made on a per call basis.
- Reimbursement is not allowed for taxes, fees, or special service charges.
- Reimbursement approval will be will be given by the department head/chair. If the department head/chair is asking for reimbursement, that person’s supervisor will give approval.
Procedure for Reimbursement (Personal Accounts):
- You will receive a monthly statement for your cellular phone usage.
- Indicate on the statement which calls were placed for Corporation business.
- Submission of the complete call detail is required for reimbursement.
- Fill out a “Reimbursement for Business Usage on a Personal Account Form”
- Send this form to the Business Office for Reimbursement by check, or credit to your Corporation billing account.
Note: the cellular phone providers in St. Cloud do offer discounts to employees of the Order of St. Benedict.
Cellular Phone Safety Guidelines:
The Corporation discourages the use of your cellular phone when driving. However, if the need arise, these guidelines will help you use your phone in a safer manner.
- Make sure your phone is mounted or located where you can easily reach it while driving.
- Familiarize yourself with all of the operations of your cellular phone and learn to use it without looking at the keys. Keep your attention on the road by programming frequently called numbers into the phone’s memory to minimize dialing.
- Don’t use your cellular phone in distracting traffic situations. Pull off the road to make a call. Be careful about where you stop to make calls. Parked callers may become victims of accidents of theft.
- Use your voice mail to take calls or leave yourself messages. Do not take notes while driving.
- Disconnect your cellular phone when using jumper cables. The power surge could burn out your phone.
- A cellular phone is an easy target for theft. Take precautions to protect yourself, the phone, and your car from vandalism or theft.
If you have any questions related to the Cellular Phone Policy, please contact Colleen Lommel in the Telecommunications Office, or Pam Kotzenmacher in the Business Office.