How to Evaluate Cell Phone Reimbursement

Outside employees, such as marketers, often rely on cell phones.

Outside employees, such as marketers, often rely on cell phones.

Reimbursing employees for business use of personal cell phones might save your company money. Instead of giving employees company-issued phones and footing the entire bill, the employees use their own phones to handle business, and you reimburse them for all or part of the cost. Keep costs down and make sure your current cell phone reimbursement policy accurately reflects your business climate by evaluating your current reimbursement system.

Look over your company's current cell phone reimbursement policy. Identify key points, including how much your company pays, which employees receive reimbursement, and the current reimbursement process.

Research the cell phone reimbursement policies of other companies in the same area and near the same size. Check official company websites. Some companies have reimbursement policies posted online.

Compare reimbursement methods used by other companies. Common policies include reimbursing the employee for the total monthly cost of the phone and paying a fixed amount each month (often up to a certain dollar amount) regardless of the level of business use. Some companies only pay the percentage of the bill that represents actual business use of the phone.

Compare the estimated costs of the different reimbursement methods to your company's current method. Use reimbursement records and employee expense reports to make the comparison.

Review the results of your cost comparison. Consider each reimbursement method in terms of cost and time to determine which method is both cost-efficient and appropriate for your business. For example, while reimbursing employees based on actual business use of the phone might be the most cost-effective method, you need to have an employee calculate the percentage each month.

Review which employees currently receive reimbursement for business use of a cell phone. You don't have to reimburse all employees. Consider restricting cell phone reimbursement to employees you must be able to reach and employees who have to call in to your business, such as delivery people and upper management.


  • Don't reimburse an employee for data use on cell phones unless access to data-consuming items, such as email, is a necessary part of the employee's job.

About the Author

Anna Assad began writing professionally in 1999 and has published several legal articles for various websites. She has an extensive real estate and criminal legal background. She also tutored in English for nearly eight years, attended Buffalo State College for paralegal studies and accounting, and minored in English literature, receiving a Bachelor of Arts.

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