Telecommunications Charges

Published: September 23rd, 2003

Category: Memos

Michael V. McKee, University Controller; John Madey, Director, CNS – Telecommunications

The University incurs significant costs for telephone usage from long distance toll calls, credit card calls, cellular telephone charges, telephone charges reimbursed while on travel status, and for monthly service charges. It is the responsibility of each department to maintain an adequate system of internal control to ensure that calls and telephone related expenses are for official University business. In general all departments must certify the business nature on invoices of all calls for cellular phones and telephone calling card charges.

Each department should establish procedures to ensure that telephone invoices are properly reviewed and approved for payment and that only authorized and official business telephone charges are paid. On invoices related to University issued telephone calling cards, long distance calls to an employee’s personal residence should be clearly identified on the invoice as being for official business and the nature of the business should be identified. Personal long distance calls should be made using a personal calling card.

Generally, telephone calling cards should be requested only when there is an ongoing business need. These cards are to be used for official University long distance only. If a long distance calling card is lost or stolen, the cardholder should call 1-800-458-9409 immediately and follow up with cancellation by contacting CNS-Telecommunications. If a telephone calling card holder terminates employment with the University, the card should be destroyed and written notification should be sent to CNS-Telecommunications in a timely manner. This procedure is included as a step on the Employee Exit Checklist that should be completed for every terminating employee.

Each department should establish internal controls over the use of University-owned or leased cellular telephones to provide assurance that payments from public funds relating to cellular phones serve a specific authorized public purpose. Personal (non-University business) use of University-owned and leased cellular telephones should be discouraged. In all cases, each initial cellular phone invoice should include or be attached to a letter containing the following information:

1. User’s name and title
2. Telephone number and phone location
3. Statement from user that calls being paid from state funds are for official business only
4. Signature of user

In addition, please deduct any state or federal tax and any late charges relating to official business calls, and notify the mobile phone company of your exempt status if the phone is used exclusively for University business.

Thank you for your assistance. If you have any questions regarding payment for cellular phones, please contact University Disbursement Services, at 392-1241. If you have questions regarding telephone calling cards, SUNCOM or other long distance toll charges, please call CNS-Telecommunications, Fiscal Services at 392-1146.

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