February 16, 2012
In this Issue:
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SOS Xtranormal Participant 6039 Education Videos:
SOS Employment Opportunities
From the SOS Xtra Archive:
Diluted Earnings Per Share: Reconciling Weighted Shares Outstanding
A recorded demo of "Email Xpress", the SOS automated solution for emailing participant stock plan confirmations and statements, is now available:
From the SOS Webcast Archive -
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is your private company planning for an IPO or other liquidity event in the next one to three years? Want to get advice, hear success stories, and learn how to avoid pitfalls from experts who have been there, done that? Attend Aspirations 2012, a not-to-be missed event for emerging companies. Our 2011 event was a smashing success with 11 different sessions, over 40 speakers and nearly 150 attendees. And 2012 is shaping up to be even bigger and better.
Aspirations 2012 will be held in Santa Clara on July 25th, 2012 with the current plans including two general sessions, three breakout sessions with three topics each and a networking/cocktail reception to follow. Considering feedback from last year's attendees, we are putting on an even better event and are excited to share the details as they unfold. We have secured Lucas Hall at Santa Clara University as our venue and will begin accepting speaker submissions this week. If you or someone you know is interested in speaking at Aspirations 2012, you can submit proposals here. Aspirations 2012 speakers will receive complimentary admission to the conference. We'll provide further updates in upcoming issues of Xtra.
Mark your calendars now for this must-attend event and be sure to check our Aspirations 2012 webpage frequently for details as they unfold.
Need an easy way to stay up-to-date on industry news? Follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
Towards Better Communications
Not long ago, I was enjoying a discussion with a few work friends that involved the use of Twitter to track the status of a baby's delivery. I realized how little I knew about Twitter and thought about how it might apply to or benefit the SOS business and others in our industry. With this in mind, I downloaded a copy of Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods, by Shel Israel. In the book, Israel details many ways businesses might learn from Twitter.
The popularity and multitude of social media applications available to the public have spawned a new breed of tools for sharing knowledge in the workplace. Companies looking to augment communications technology from the last century, like email, are aggressively adapting enterprise social network services like Yammer, Jive, and Salesforce Chatter. These programs are designed to bring the awesome communication capabilities of applications like Twitter, and contain it within a company's walls. I think the advantage of many of these lie in how they are providing solid direction on influencing change and advances in the approach we take to the management of communication to our employees and clients. The following points expand on some of Israel's ideas and I hope they provide a starting point for a dialogue about changes or improvements that can be made with the tools and applications we already have at our fingertips.
Communicating with Clients/Employees - Often communication with our clients and employees is limited to emails, phone calls, or meetings. These methods limit the number of interactions and thoughts conveyed. Technology now allows us to collaborate with more frequent, yet effective communications. If you do not have a message board, blog, website, or other means of communicating quickly with your employee base, consider implementing a solution that will allow the more dynamic means of communication technology can now provide.
Receiving Client/Employee Complaints - Public complaints and opinions scare many of us as we often feel our dirty laundry is being put out to dry in the public eye. However, studies have shown that the most aggressive promotion and criticism of companies typically comes after their response...or inactivity. If a solution is implemented to accept employee feedback in the open, other employees can see what kind of company you really are, and allow for a current and effective feedback mechanism.
Humanizing Business - Businesses who have little or no contact with the public find that providing a human touch is great for business and required for customer retention. The same principal can be applied to the business of employee communications. While it isn't always possible to meet all of our employees regularly, communicating online is a great first step and allows us to understand and know each other better, which prepares us for more effective face-to-face meetings.
Learning from Each Other - Technology is not only providing us fantastic mediums to get us in touch with of our target audience, but, just as important, it allows employees across the organization to share knowledge with each other. The next spike you see in your ESPP participation rate may come because your "community" is raving to each other about the program's benefits.
Communicate Alerts - How often do we have alerts, updates, or reminders we need to communicate to our employees or clients? Answer: Often. Social media tools can be a great way of doing this. The alerts are instantaneous and all encompassing, and can more easily include presentations, videos, and links to further information. Your information and updates will be at their fingertips, real time, whenever they want to access it.
Of course, only a portion of the teaching, learning, and sharing is going to happen inside your company's walls. Members of the equity compensation community stand to benefit in a couple significant ways from actively engaging with their colleagues across the industry.
Information Seeking and Sharing - Social media help to bring online community results together and make them readily accessible to the general public. If applied to our industry boards and communities, the answers we get will be equally relevant. As we "follow" each other, we can receive and contribute to like subjects and discussions, allowing for a broader understanding of each other's business needs and opportunities.
Effective Networking - Networking online is a great precursor for networking offline. It's amazing the amount of people you can meet and get to know online once you have established, or regularly contribute to, a business board or community. It will definitely make putting a face to a name that much more interesting when the next industry event rolls around.
I look forward to the increased integration of available technology in assisting us with our employees and clients. As the world of technology continues to evolve and expand, so do many of the benefits to our businesses. Whether you dip your toes, or jump with both feet into the sea of technology innovations, either one will have you progressing with the masses around you and working towards a communications future we can only imagine.
Consenting Adults? Tackling the Challenges of Electronic Delivery of 3921/3922 (Part I)As with any new regulation, from the IRS or anywhere else, it takes equity compensation a few years to conquer it completely, to fine tune the compliance and smooth away the wrinkles (sans botox). The revisions to Section 6039 are no different.
While the pain of the recent participant forms is still fresh in our minds, we thought we'd take a closer look at one way to make this process easier next year: electronic delivery. We had a few clients and friends opt for electronic delivery and we think it will be more popular year after year until finally all the forms are sent electronically.
It's green, it's easier for stock plan professionals, it's may be less expensive...what's not to love?
The answer: complying with the IRS' requirements around electronic delivery of tax forms. They can be a bit, um, onerous. The time has come to break down the requirements (§31.6051-1(j) of the Regulations on Employment Taxes and Collection of Income Tax at the Source) and find ways to tackle them, one by one:
This is the requirement at which many balk. The IRS requires affirmative consent from the participant for electronic delivery of the forms. Affirmative consent means that the employee must opt in, rather than opting out and you can't interpret failure to respond as an opt in.
Manner of consentRequired Disclosures
When obtaining consent, there are a few items you must disclose to the participant, the list follows:
Paper FormAnd now a shortcut on disclosures for those of you that have made it this far through the IRS requirements: a sample consent letter with all the required disclosures, created and used by an SOS client this year: Download. Please do note that communications intended to comply with IRS regulations should generally be reviewed in detail by your legal department.
In the next issue of Xtra, Part II will cover format, notice and access requirements, paper forms in the case of withdrawal of consent, and wrap everything up with an overview of the process from start to finish.
Questions or comments? Please email us at email@example.com
Free SOS Educational Webcast
A Stock Plan Professional's Guide to Implementing a Provider
March 8th, 2012
Please join us for our next educational webcast on March 8th at 11am Pacific Time, 2pm Eastern Time.Description:
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to implement a new stock plan provider within an unrealistically short time frame while keeping your job and maintaining your sanity.
Join our panel of elite covert operations specialists who will guide you through the implementation process, point out booby traps you need to avoid, identities you may need to assume, explosive data issues you may need to defuse, and specialized technical equipment you may need to operate.
As always, should you or any of your team be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. Good luck. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds.
Speakers:CEPI website for more information on CEP continuing education requirements.)
RSU Services and Solutions from SOS
Our line of RSU solutions and services will simplify your life, save you time and reduce your company's risk by streamlining your processes, assisting with compliance with accounting standards and tax regulations, and easing participant communication.
This month's Product Spotlight will focus on the myriad ways we have assisted our clients who utilize RSUs in their equity compensation program. This type of equity compensation continues to grow in popularity with our clients - both time-based and performance-based.
For a more detailed explanation of these products and services, please view the RSU Services and Solutions page on our website.
Do you have issues with participant communications? Are you buried under piles of paper confirmations? Do you participants understand and value their RSUs? Do they take the necessary steps to activate their brokerage accounts before a vesting/release? Our solutions can help!
Stock Plan Personnel Training
Customized to the features of your plan to help your staff understand RSU basic and advanced topics. RSU Basics session includes: Administration, US taxation (withholding/reporting requirements), dividends, common issues, tax payment methods. Our Advanced RSU Issues session can include accounting for RSUs, retirement eligibility, diluted/basic EPS treatment, deferrals, fungible share pools, tax accounting, IFRS 2, and mobility issues. Formats include live / onsite or webcasts/conference calls.
Process Improvement / Automation
No matter which of the RSU challenges causes you and your company the most headaches, we have the services and solutions to help.
Software and Tools
To learn more, or schedule an individual demo, please contact us at (888) SOS-0199 or email us.
SOS Across Our Desk: Equity Compensation in the News...
Private Company Accounting
SOS Xposé...tender tidbits about people and players in our industry...
Change of Scenery...Tom Hyle has made the transition into the Director of Sales position with EASi...Based out of their San Jose office, Barbara Crowder is the new Equity Plans Manager at FICO... Christopher Dohrmann has joined Norse Solutions AS as Executive Director. He will be based in New York where he will focus on business development in the US and UK as well as the management of large accounts, world-wide.
A Walk Down the Aisle...Denise Miller from Adobe will be getting married to Kamran Hooshiar in March in Livermore, CA ...Lots of wedding bells will be ringing at OptionEase starting with Javier Medrano who proposed at home to his partner of four years, Jordan Smith. They are thinking about a beach wedding in Laguna sometime in the next year or two. Also Tracey Claxton received a proposal from her fiancé, Ben Newton, two weeks before their anniversary. With the ring burning a hole in his pocket, he couldn't wait until their special day, as planned, and blurted it out at a gas station. Boy, was she surprised! Next up, Eric Aguirre proposed to his love, Chelsea on a beach in Del Mar, California! A romantic destination wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico will follow this November...Best wishes to everyone preparing to tie the knot!
New Arrivals...SOS's own Vanessa Harrison delivered a healthy baby girl, Charlotte Ann, on February 1st, 2012 weighing 7 lbs., 14 ounces and coming in at 20 ½ inches long (picture here). Congrats to her and her husband Stephen!
Baby Bump...Steven Hom of SOS and his fiancé Laurie are expecting their first child in July, congrats from all of us here at SOS on your growing family!
Questions Fired At...OptionEase's CEO and Founder, Kim Kovacs, who was interviewed on the national radio program, Bold Ventures, hosted by anchor Jean Creech. Kim's interview can be heard by clicking here.
Industry News...See John Doyle from International Law Partners present at GEO's next Silicon Valley Chapter meeting that will be held 2/23/12 from 8:00 am - 10:30 am (Presentation at 8:30 am) at Synopsys in Building 2 in the Von Neumann Conference Rm. 455 N. Mary Avenue Sunnyvale, CA 94085. Registration link can be found here...
Computershare announced that the acquisition of BNY Mellon's Shareowner Services is complete, "The combined organization will cover more markets with greater strength and depth, and together with the Shareowner Services business, Computershare can offer its clients more opportunities and solutions." See the press release ...
Radford released their new Pre-IPO/Venture-Backed Survey in December which includes detailed data on total compensation, including the hard-to-find equity ownership by role and organizational level from CEO to support with over 175 tech and biotech companies at all stages of pre-public development. They also launched a FREE research results on equity practices at recent tech and biotech IPOs over the last two years on www.PreIPOPay.com...
Because of the expanded 1099-B, new Form 8949, and revised Schedule D, the upcoming tax season will be more confusing than usual. In response, www.myStockOptions.com has updated and enhanced its Tax Center articles, FAQs, podcasts, and annotated, illustrated versions of the key tax forms (Form 8949 and Schedule D), with tips and insights on avoiding tax return mistakes with the new rules...
OptionEase is one of the sponsors of the CEP Symposium that will be held on March 27, 2012, on the Santa Clara University campus. Jennifer Baehr, Optionease's Senior Manager of Products & Industry will be a speaker in the session, "What Stock Administrators Always Wanted to Know About Financial Reporting (but were too afraid to ask)."
News from the CEPI...
Mark your calendar for March 27, 2012 for The CEP Symposium! Register for this event and plan on catching SOSers Elizabeth Dodge, CEP, and Susan Garvin, CEP, featured in Stock Plan Gladiators: Best Practices Worth Fighting For. The Symposium sold out last year...be sure to save your spot and register today.
|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