Mobile Communication Devices (MCDs) - App Store Purchases

NOTE:  Mobile Communication Devices (MCDs) include cellular (cell or mobile) telephones (including cell phones with two‐way “push‐to‐talk” communication capability), smartphone devices (e.g., iPhone, Samsung Galaxy Tab), tablets (e.g., iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab), PDAs, pagers, wireless cards, and any other device that enables mobile electronic communication and has associated service plan costs.

Payment method:

Employees should use one of the following methods to purchase any mobile "apps" for use on a University-owned MCD:

  1. Use their personal credit card and personal App Store account. Reimbursement requests for mobile app purchases are generally discouraged since the ownership of a purchased app remains with the user and is tied to his/her App Store account. However, reimbursement for the purchase of a business-use mobile app will be considered if all of the following conditions are met:
    1. The app is used for business purposes related to the employee's job at the University; and
    2. The amount of the reimbursement request is $10 or greater, per person. 

The request for reimbursement should be submitted according to the guidance provided for Other Reimbursements (Non-Travel). The reimbursement will be non-taxable to the employee as long as the individual mobile app for which reimbursement is requested costs $75 or less. If the individual mobile app costs more than $75, the reimbursement will be considered taxable to the employee.

  1. Use their assigned purchasing card (“p-card”) associated with a NinerMail ( App Store account. Preference is to use a departmental NinerMail account (e.g., If a personal NinerMail account (e.g., is used, the cost of the app must not exceed $75. To be a valid p-card expense, the business-purpose reason for the app must be uploaded into Works (along with the receipt).

Rationale and other considerations:

Note that Apple's licensing agreement indicates that licensure/ownership of an app is granted at the time of purchase, to the email account associated with the related iTunes account. For that reason, for app purchases made with the user's personal Apple ID, the associated license for that app will remain with the user.

All apps and related usage on University-owned MCDs must comply with the University’s policies related to use of computing and electronic resources. Please refer to University Policy 602.10, "Mobile Communication Device Allowances" and related supplemental procedures for additional information.

Contact for additional questions:

Contact Alicia Bartosch, Assistant Controller-Compliance.


Last updated: 5/10/18, 4/23/19