General Inquiries

Subject: Cellphone allowance vs. company provided

1.  Cellphone allowance vs. company provided

Posted 09-10-2013 14:35
As of late it seems that new hires prefer to keep their personal phone and number vs. accepting a company provided phone.  We have started giving a "reimbursement" but everyone's plans seem to be across the board depending upon the provider.  Our reimbursements have ranged from $50 to $120; we have capped the reimbursement at $100 per month, but this is still higher than what the company provided phone would cost of approximately $50 per month.

Interested in hearing what other companies are doing  . . . thanks in advance for your input!

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Julie Mcilhany
Consultant
Acworth GA
(678) 517-2440
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2.  RE:Cellphone allowance vs. company provided

Posted 09-10-2013 14:58
We recently discontinued our company cell phone plan, as most employees wanted their own, and many were carrying two cell phones.  We priced out a typical cell plan, with talk and text, which in Alaska is $60, and told the employees they would be given a monthly cell phone allowance of $60.  If they wanted a more expensive plan, that was their own prerogative and responsibility, but they'd get $60.  



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James Easton
Watterson Construction
Anchorage AK
(907) 563-7441
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3.  RE:Cellphone allowance vs. company provided

Posted 09-11-2013 07:11
We started January 1, 2013 of reimbursing employees for cell phone. We are only paying for the part we "rent" from them, and in no case trying to cover the entire phone bill. We pay $50 to $90 per month, depending on your job position. Since most phones allow useres to connect to our computer network, we also have the "wipe" feature on the phones. if the phone is lost or stolen, IT can wipe the phone. We do have employees who would not allow the wipe feature on their phone, and we therefore dropped the monthly reimbursement for them.

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Steve Shipp
Vice President of Finance
HGC Construction Co.
Cincinnati OH
(513) 861-7878
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4.  RE:Cellphone allowance vs. company provided

Posted 09-12-2013 08:54
I've seen several café discussions regarding allowances...either for cell phones or vehicles, but not much for the other great issue...BYOD...bring your own device.  Is anyone treating the I-Pads, tablets as eligible for allowance or some type since they are becoming as popular as the smart phones themselves?

Also I assume everyone is treating allowances as taxable wages or are some of you establishing accountable plans to exempt the allowance from taxation?

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Steve Tenney
C.F.O.
Story Construction Co.
Ames IA
(515) 817-2606
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5.  RE:Cellphone allowance vs. company provided

Posted 09-12-2013 10:26
We have recently issued smart phones to most of our staff that works outside of our buildings, or who travel frequently.  This will allow us to push to them specific apps that will benefit the company, including electronic time cards, our accounting software (contains helpful customer and site info), etc. 



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Randal Helm CCIFP
Chief Financial Officer
The Baker Group
Des Moines IA
(515) 299-4058
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6.  RE:Cellphone allowance vs. company provided

Posted 09-17-2013 22:01
Steve, we are using the accountable plan and require that each employee receiving an allowance turn in a copy of their first bill to start the allowance.  After that we aren't sure and are thinking we should be asking for a new bill at least once per year (per our CPA).  That sounds like an administrative challenge.  Does anyone have another way of handling that and still keeping it as an accountable plan.

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Ron Heemstra Certified Internal Auditor
Controller
Interstates Construction
Sioux Center IA
(712) 722-1662
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7.  RE:Cellphone allowance vs. company provided

Posted 09-11-2013 07:14
We are all over the map with cell phones.  Some employees get company phones, some are reimbursed, some use their own phones and do not ask for reimbursement.  We are a small company and do not need many cell phone contract management tools.  We just started using Republic Wireless which will have new offerings out in a month or two.  We think we are heading in that direction with a smattering of reimbursements.  Our shift is to reimbursement/no contract phones and whatever helps accomplish that.

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Billy Stockton CCIFP, CCA
C.F.O.
Advanced Building Concepts
Wakefield RI
(401) 849-6658
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8.  RE:Cellphone allowance vs. company provided

Posted 09-11-2013 07:59
Based on a survey provided internally by our firm and in working with the new hires there is a growing preference to use personal phones instead of company provided phones. We have over 400 company provided phones and have grandfathered all current employees and are requiring new employees to use their personal phones. These new employees receive a $50/ month allowance if they acknowledge and sign our phone remote wipe policy which also entitles them to have there phones syncronize with our email exchange.

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Louis Sandor CPA, CCIFP
Practice Leader Construction Services Team
WithumSmith+Brown
Red Bank NJ
(732) 259-4947
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9.  RE:Cellphone allowance vs. company provided

Posted 09-11-2013 08:34
We decided that a company cell phone was the way to go.  The subs and suppliers contacting our employees are our contacts and if that employee leaves, we want control of the calls regarding the project they were working on.  We looked at the phone allowance and did in fact have 2 employees that we grandfathered into the plan.  We reimbursed them $40/month.  We wanted this to be somewhat painful for them.  We handled these two as reimbursements rather than allowances

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William Miranda CCIFP
Controller/Partner
BOA Construction
Denver CO
(303) 892-0664
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10.  RE:Cellphone allowance vs. company provided

Posted 09-11-2013 11:03
For the couple of folks we have grandfathered in under an agreement that we reimburse them to use personal cell phones, we reimburse only what we would pay to provide them a phone on our corporate plan.

We have been moving away from this practice.  We have adopted the position that phone numbers are a company asset - that when owners, trades, designers call our employees they are calling the company first and foremost and the particular employee second.  If/when the employee leaves the company we want those calls to continue to come to the company.  When the employee is using his/her personal phone and number, those calls continue to go to him/her.   

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Erik Whealy
Controller/CFO
Kinney Construction Services, Inc
Flagstaff AZ
(928) 773-4696
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11.  RE:Cellphone allowance vs. company provided

Posted 09-11-2013 11:29
We allow our eligible employees to choose a company paid phone or reimbursement for a persona phone, but our reimbursement is limited to our cost on the company plan.  We do not pay additional just because they have a more expensive plan.  Our reimbursement is about $45/month currently.

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Pamela Flucke B.S. Major Accounting
Controller
Ampirical Solutions LLC
Mandeville LA
(985) 249-7447
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12.  RE:Cellphone allowance vs. company provided

Posted 09-11-2013 14:38
Another consideration arises after an accident and the compnay needs access to the employee's phone records. If it is a personal phone, you will need an attorney. If it is a company phone, you will have access to the data to review if the employee was talking or texting while driving.

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Benjamin White MBA
Business Manager-Finance
Matrix SME
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13.  RE:Cellphone allowance vs. company provided

Posted 09-13-2013 07:00

Lots of good input on this topic; thank you all for responding!

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Julie Mcilhany
Consultant
Acworth GA
(678) 517-2440
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