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Occasional Member - Level 1

Reimbursing Employee for Internet Router

Context: We do not currently have a remote workers reimbursement policy; no one gets reimbursed for home internet, although we do allow for expensing of office supplies (things like planners and pens, but not desks/chairs/desktops).


A remote employee submitted a reimbursement request for an upgraded internet router. She claims that she needs the higher speeds to speed up file transfers between her home and the corporate office; she is in graphics so she does deal with a lot of heavy video files. She states that she does not need the upgrade for personal use and it is solely to upgrade work performance. Essentially, she only made the purchase for business reasons.


However, we do not have a precedent of reimbursing home internet or home office equipment. She had gotten approval from her manager to make the purchase, but I'm worried about setting a precedent that we aren't intending to set. Additionally, I feel that reimbursing the full amount would be wrong because 1) she and others in her home will be using it for personal use and 2) if she leaves our company, she will have full ownership of this router that we paid for.


I'm looking for insights that others can provide regarding this situation. I can honestly see it both ways, which is why I'm not sure what to do. Do I reimburse the full amount, a partial amount, or reject the expense? Or another option?



Super User
Super User

Hi @htroshynski ,


As you have indicated, the topic is subjective. I will share my thoughts on the subject below. Hope it helps.

  1. All reimbursements should be based on policy. If an unexpected situation arises, there should be broad guidance available in the policy (with details of decision makers) or policy revision should be considered.
  2. You need to decide who is the decision maker in terms of what can be reimbursed. Is it the individual manager or Finance/ Accounting manager or Procurement or HR.
  3. Company IT policies with regards to procurement should be considered. If you have more such users then perhaps a bulk deal or a more timed purchase can help. Perhaps you have a preferred vendor.
  4. This would possible be a perk that has a minimum service period attached to it. You can have a policy that employee has to pay back a proportional price in case they leave in less than 2 years
  5. Any decision you take should apply to a role or a department. Preferably not individual users.

Most important is that you are transparent with regards to the policies and communicate them often and in an understandable manner. Preferably stating clearly that anything not included in the policy is likely to be not reimbursed. Hope this helps.

SAP Concur Employee
SAP Concur Employee

@htroshynski  In the past for my company, if we were reimbursed for something, it became the property of the company.  If we left the company, it needed to be returned or pay them back for it.  So that might be something to consider.  I agree with Rohan that you will want to definitely have some sort of policy around it though 🙂  


Remember to tag me if you respond or feel free to mark this post as Solved if you don't have further questions or comments. To tag me on your response, you click the Reply button, first thing to type is @. This should bring up the username of the person you are replying to.

Thank you,
Melanie Taufen
SAP Concur Community Moderator
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Community Manager
Community Manager

@htroshynski I think that this person does make a good business case and that this could be the trigger for a new company policy regarding this situation. I would say have special approval from a high enough manager would be a good policy to have for this scenario. The approval must be attached to the expense report.


Also, and I'm no internet tech guru, but increased internet speed isn't just the router, correct? People can purchase different internet speeds, so did this person already have the high enough speed, but didn't have a router that could handle that speed or did they upgrade both the speed and the router?


If they upgraded both, then I would consider paying for the router and the difference between the old speed and the new. If they only upgraded the router I wouldn't pay for that since they should have had purchased a router that could handle the speed they purchased.


Anyway, that is my thinking.

Thank you,
Kevin Dorsey
SAP Concur Community Manager
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