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October 6th, 2010
Volume 3, No. 9

In this Issue:

The Tale of 2010

Free SOS Educational Webcast: Ten Tips for Tackling Tricky Territories

Free SOS Sales Webcast: Equity Accounting for M&A Made Simple

Reflections from the NASPP Conference

SOS Launches New Website

Product Spotlight: RSU Planning Summary

SOS Across Our Desk

SOS Xposé



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Recordings and Materials from our latest webcasts on Performance Plans and SOS 6039 Solutions

Performance Plan-tastic:

Recording Materials

SOS 6039 Sales Webcast and Product Demonstration:

Recording Materials


SOS Employment Opportunities
From the SOS Library:

Five Common ESPP Compliance Errors


A recorded demo of "Email Xpress", the SOS automated solution for emailing participant stock plan confirmations and statements, is now available:

Email Xpress Demo


Our Services:

People/Staffing

Equity Compensation Projects/Consulting

SOS-TEAM Outsourcing


Contact Us:

www.sos-team.com

xtra@sos-team.com

888-SOS-0199


Ideas or Questions:

Do you have ideas for our next newsletter or webcast? Topics you're dying to see addressed but haven't yet? Please send us an e-mail with your ideas to: xtra@sos-team.com.

The Tale of 2010

"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"- Wyatt Earp

We picture the Wild West as savage, but some of the lessons are timeless. The "Tale of 2010" has been "do more with less", and as we near year end we must assure we are accurately doing more with less and not just leaving quality lying in the dust. Here are a few ways we can assure our success through the end of the year:

✓ Action: Finalize Plans for IRC Section 6039

  • Understand the rules by reviewing this SOS 6039 Webcast.
  • Set your processing schedule for year end in October in anticipation for IRS test period in November
  • Since this a new process, plan a test run and perform detailed audit on the results

✓ Action: Tax Compliance Activities- For US tax law, calendar year is very important. Some of the critical actions to take are:
  • Plan and test your equity reporting for W-2s, 1099s, and international reporting processes
  • Check your ISO and ESPP limits to assure compliance. Review these IRC Code Sections:
  • Review your company's IRS Tax payment procedures to avoid penalties. See the IRS field directive and Page 23 of the Employer's Tax Guide for 2010 for more information.

✓ Action: Performance Award review for Year End-triggered awards
  • Refresh yourself on the certification process for goals based on calendar year
  • Check in with those involved in the certification process. Put a schedule in place for the certification timeline.
  • Perform a dry run of your processes that will kick-off after certification is complete (insider filings, release of restricted stock/units, etc.)
  • Get educated on Performance Awards, review the following items:

These are just a few of the topics with which we help companies at this time of year. With the faster pace we are living at in 2010, we must remember to prioritize and execute on our critical to dos. This planning will give you a much better chance to accurately hit your marks by the end of 2010.

Barrett Scott
Principal
Stock & Option Solutions


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Free SOS Educational Webcast

Ten Tips for Tackling Tricky Territories

October 28th, 2010

Click here to register.

Please join us for our next educational webcast on October 28th at 11am Pacific Time, 2pm Eastern Time.

Description:

Holding periods in France, SAFE registration in China, Securities exemptions in the Philippines, trusts in Israel, financial intermediaries in Italy, no flat tax rates for RSU share withholding...oh my! How is a stock plan manager to handle all the creative and unique requirements around the world while still getting your "day job" done? Join us as our panelists provide useful tips for managing the trickiest regulatory challenges presented by France, Israel, the Philippines, China and beyond. We'll show you how to manage your trustees and breeze through your filings in no time.

Speakers:

(One hour of Certified Equity Professional continuing education credit is available for attending. See the CEPI website for more information on CEP continuing education requirements.)

Free SOS Sales Webcast

Equity Accounting for M&A Made Simple

October 12th, 2010

Click here to register.

Please join us for our next sales webcast on October 12th at 11am Pacific Time, 2pm Eastern Time.

Description:

M&A activity has steadily risen, while the environment in which it occurs has grown increasingly complex. To successfully tackle a merger or acquisition, stock plan professionals require more skills and knowledge than ever. And nothing is more essential than experience.

For more than 11 years, SOS has managed and assisted companies through M&A projects of every size, shape and color. Over that period, we've built on our expertise, while developing a toolbox of innovative technology solutions customized to meet the evolving needs of this marketplace. On October 12th, we'll be telling our story through case studies taken from real clients, which will not only provide you with some equity accounting tips and tricks for taking on your next transition, but will also highlight the SOS solutions and custom technology that will ensure you are never left short-handed.

On our webcast, Equity Accounting for M&A Made Simple, we'll be covering:

  • M&A Accounting (accrual and true up at termination),
  • Tax Accounting, and
  • Diluted EPS Calculations
Speakers: (As this is a webcast dealing with SOS products and services, no continuing education credit is available for attending.)
EDITOR'S NOTE: September was a very busy month for SOS! This issue of Xtra will highlight some of the things that have kept us busy, including the NASPP Conference in Chicago, and the rollout of our new website. Our main equity compensation article will be back next month, but read on to learn more about what we've been up to.

Reflections Sparked by the 18th NASPP Conference

This year marked the 18th NASPP Conference and my 26th anniversary in the Stock Plan industry. These are big numbers in any career so it made me stop and think about why equity plan administration still holds my interest and why, in particular, I still look forward to the NASPP Conference each year. Especially in these challenging times, I find that a lot of people are taking the time to analyze their place in life and I am no exception. I wanted to share my thoughts with you.

This career that we have chosen is ever-changing. Every time I think things might be getting a bit mundane the rules of the game change again, grey areas are "clarified" for us, and players shift sometimes through title changes, company hopping, or mergers/acquisitions. We don't have the chance to sit around and get bored.

Throughout my career, I have witnessed the movement from tracking equity plans via the Word Processing Department to sophisticated systems that feed and are fed by HR Systems, Payroll Systems, and Broker Platforms. Stock options were almost a secret, granted only to "Key Employees". The World Wide Web and email weren't even a gleam in our eye. APB25 was working perfectly fine and option repricings were routine. T+3 was both wished for and dreaded - how in the world could we ever settle a stock option exercise in just 3 days??!!

What excites me about equity compensation is that it continues to evolve. 6039 has been on the CEP exams for years but now in 2010 we are all figuring out how best to comply with the revised rules recently set out before us. Companies are focusing more-and-more on global compliance. We've all known the rules were out there, but we are coming to the realization that we need to stop working as if the US rules are the only ones that apply to our plans and employees.

That brings me to the excitement that I felt at this year's NASPP Conference. It was invigorating to have conversations with people new to our industry, people who learned one new thing in each/every session they attended, people looking for new solutions to old problems, and people who have made a huge impact on my life in these past 26 years.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you. I encourage you to do your own soul searching. It has brought a new excitement to me that I hope you can find as well.

Marianne Snook
Principal
Stock & Option Solutions


SOS Launches New Website

Stock & Option Solutions' New Website

Stock & Option Solutions is pleased to announce the launch of our redesigned website at www.sos-team.com. The new site features a dramatically different look and feel, improved menus and overall navigation, a search feature, and updated content throughout its pages.

There's more to come! In the months ahead, we'll be adding a comprehensive menu of SOS equity compensation products & services, product demos and other media resources, a partner directory, and more information about the SOS team of consultants.

We've also started something else new: The SOS Feature Presentation. Every two months, we'll be focusing on a different equity compensation topic, and developing an array of content which will explore aspects of this theme. Each theme will have its own page on the site, with new content refreshed regularly over the two month period. The page will also include information about related SOS consulting services and products, and links to other previously created content throughout the site. At the end of two months, we'll be moving on to a new topic, a new page, and new content, but each preceding page will continue to exist (and grow), so you'll always have a resource when issues arise.

The current feature presentation is Tax Compliance.

If you have ideas for content or features you'd like to see added to the website, topics you'd like to see covered as part of our feature presentation, or overall suggestions for ways we can better deliver the information you want and need, please let us know. Now go check out the website!


Product Spotlight: RSU Planning Summary

We have a new product demo video on the SOS YouTube channel. The restricted stock unit (RSU) planning summary is a custom application brought to you by the SOS product development group. It allows your stock plan management team to view future RSU vesting information, including timing and quantity, for each participant to assist in future grant decision-making and other related needs. Srinivas Kalakoti of SOS hosts this presentation.

Click an image to view the demo


SOS Press Release: SOS releases 6039 Xpress, website for consent collection.

Watch the latest demo in this 6039 Xpress video on YouTube.


SOS Across Our Desk: Equity Compensation in the News...

Share Withholding, 6039 Return Files
The NASPP Blog, with credit to SOS, on another breaking development on 6039.

SAS 70
An excellent article on what a SAS 70 ISN'T and how some marketing overhypes what it IS.

Share Ownership Guidelines
The NASPP Blog covers share ownership guidelines...The same topic, discussed from the perspective of a management consultant.

Backdating
Former Mercury Interactive CFO to plead guilty in a case resulting from stock option backdating...Former Fortune 500 company settles SEC backdating allegations

NASPP Conference
Scenes from the NASPP Conference here.

Want to get these updates as we find them? Follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.


SOS Xposé

...tender tidbits about people and players in our industry...

On the run...SOS' own Elizabeth Dodge has taken up running, and reported to work on Monday limping but proud after completing her first 5K in Mountain View last weekend. We not only have a picture, but also detailed statistics on the race. "Little did she know" moment: Her narrow, 8 second margin of victory over Elizabeth Harrington officially made Dodge the fastest "Elizabeth" in Mountain View that day!

ShareComp 2011...SOS is pleased to be sponsoring ShareComp 2011, the share-based compensation industry's virtual conference, to be held on February 23, 2011. Save the date for February 23, 2011 and watch this space for registration details coming at the end of October.

Babies on the way...Come January, Jeremy Wright from Two Step Software and his wife will be welcoming another baby boy to his family...Adam Colon of E*Trade and his wife are expecting a baby boy in February...Congratulations!

New Address...Madori Playford filled us in on the recent happenings at Atheros, including their move to a new campus on Technology Drive in San Jose, as well as their recent acquisition of a private company in China.

New GEO Chapter...GEO has a new chapter in the Pacific Northwest and held their first meeting on September 3oth. For more information about how you can get involved, please go here.

On the Move...Dario Sanchez is the new Asian Client Relations Manager at Global Shares. He will be working with partners, clients and prospects out of their offices in Shanghai...Karen Needham has a new position with Charles Schwab as Director, Relationship Mgmt and Education...Ben Needham has a new job as the Stock Plan Administrator at Qualcomm. Good luck to all!

New Services...Charles Schwab announced a new Equity Award Consultation Team, which will provide personalized education and guidance to participants in corporate equity plans serviced by Schwab. The Team is set to begin their work in early 2011.

CEP Symposium... It's just around the corner! Save the date: December 8.


Happy Halloween!

Did you miss an issue of Xtra? View our complete newsletter archive from our new website here
Miss a webcast? You can find links to recordings, as well as the materials, on our Webcast page

Information provided in this newsletter is designed for educational and entertainment purposes only and is not provided as professional service or advice. Moreover, this newsletter should not be relied on as legal, accounting, auditing, or tax advice. Anyone reading this newsletter should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel and/or input from their advisors. The preceding information does not necessarily represent the official views of Stock & Option Solutions, Inc. with respect to any of the issues addressed.
Stock & Option Solutions | (888)SOS-0199