Best Practices for Remote Work Expenses

Purpose: This resource is intended to provide financial guidance for business offices with employees working in remote or hybrid positions while upholding our commitment to being good stewards of University resources. These guidelines are not new to policy and are intended to be a reminder of best practices to reduce the financial impact on the University and to ensure all necessary expenses are appropriate and reasonable. A clear University business purpose must be provided for all expenditures of University funds as described in the Financial Services Manual and other University policies. 


  1. Office supplies and computer equipment should be supplied by the University for the employee to complete work assignments while working in a remote position. A University agreement, such as an offer letter or Flexible Work Arrangement, should be in place and include a detailed list of all University-owned equipment located at the employee’s off-site workspace. Please refer to the University’s and Misuse of University Assets policies. Computer equipment must be returned to the University upon departure from the University.
  2. Employees should consult with their business office or supervisor to obtain necessary items and office supplies for remote work assignments.
  3. The business office should continue to utilize Arizona BuyWays or their University PCard for the purchase of office supplies or computer accessories and follow purchasing policies and Financial Services Policy 9.10 Requisitions/Reimbursement to avoid out-of-pocket reimbursements whenever possible.  
  4. Employees working remotely are not considered to be on travel status. Therefore, reimbursement for meals, commuting to/from campus, or parking on campus is unallowable with University funds.
    • Exception: if the employee has an Out-of-State Domestic Work Arrangement approved by Human Resources or an approved in-state work location, occasional travel expenses may be allowable with a valid business purpose.
  5. Meal expenses related to a virtual or Zoom meeting, including gift certificates or expenses from a food delivery service, are unallowable. In-person business meeting meals are allowable with a business purpose and agenda when there is a requirement to meet in person on University premises.
  6. The University will not reimburse or pay directly for remote or offsite internet charges for remote work positions. Departments may consider Financial Services Policy 9.17 Technology Allowance when certain job responsibilities may be enhanced by the provision of various forms of technology.
  7. A clear and thorough documented University business purpose is required for all purchases or reimbursements that are initiated on behalf of the University and must document how the University benefited from the incurred expense.
  8. University equipment relocated to a remote location should be maintained and returned in the same condition outside of normal usage. Equipment purchased or reimbursed with University funds is the property of the University and must be returned to the University department upon re-entry to campus, transfer, or termination of employment.
    • University property, such as computer equipment, office furniture, business materials, etc. relocated in a remote location, is the responsibility of the employee to return to the University department. If shipping costs are incurred, these are the responsibility of the employee. Please consult with Property Management or Surplus Property for additional options.
  9. Repairs or maintenance on University computing equipment while working remotely are the responsibility of the University and users will consult with their home department IT office. Technologies for working remotely are available along with 24/7 IT Support
  10. Employees should consider utilizing existing University office furniture/equipment within the unit or Surplus Property to furnish a remote location. The following items are unallowable University expenses when they are duplicate items purchased for remote work use:
    • Office furniture and décor, including but not limited to desks, chairs, and stand-up desks.
    • File cabinets, shredders, scanners, and printers.
    • Items to support duplicate workstations such as a campus office and a remote location.
  11. Electricity, insurance, home renovations or modifications for remote office purposes, and other similar personal expenses, are unallowable.
  12. Costs for maintenance or repair of employee-owned items or related services are unallowable on University funds.
  13. University records/documentation may temporarily reside in a remote location; however, must be returned to an on-campus location for official University Records Management and retention schedules. Security sensitive data should be maintained within University policy and the Information Security Office.

Related Information

Arizona BuyWays
Business Purpose Guide
Financial Services Manual
Flexible Work Guidelines and Resources
IT Technologies for Working Remotely
PCard Program
Reasonable Expense Guide