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Do contractor accountants abuse the company mobile?

Do contractor accountants abuse the company mobile?

Research conducted by MDS has shown that SMEs run the risk of breaking the law because they do not monitor staff telecoms usage effectively.

28% of firms struggle to distinguish between personal and business mobile calls when it comes to accounting for VAT. Almost 60% of telecoms managers said that if employees believe they will get away with it, they will let the firm pay for their personal phone calls.

The CEO of MDS, Drew Rockwell, said that businesses that provide mobile phones for their employees could get into trouble with the VAT man if it is found that employees use their work mobile for personal reasons. They are potentially liable if they have been claiming back VAT on a phone bill without first deducting the cost of personal calls.

42% of businesses now provide their employees with mobile phones and this has led to an increase in rogue telephone usage. In many companies there are seen as a perk rather than an asset belonging to the firm and 79% of employers think their staff abuse the privilege by failing to disclose personal calls. Employees are also becoming increasingly choosy over the nature of the perk. 87% want to choose their own handset and 66% want to select a particular network.

Employers must share part of the blame for this situation. Less than 50% have produced a detailed policy document on responsible telecoms usage, 48% have broad guidelines and 5% do not have a policy at all.

The problem doesn’t only exist with mobiles either. 90% of companies also report that employees make personal calls on the firms’ landline phones.

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Image: You may telephone from here by British Postal Museum & Archive

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