February 28th, 2013
In this Issue:
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From the SOS YouTube Channel:
SOS Stock Plan Portal
SOS Employment Opportunities
From the SOS Library:
Stock Plan Vendor Analysis
Let SOS "Prove" your DTA Balance
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.
SAVE THE DATE: Aspirations, our third annual all-day event for private companies with equity compensation, happens on November 12th, 2013 at Villa Ragusa in Historic Downtown Campbell, California. We plan to wow you again this year with phenomenal speakers (yet again), outstanding food and networking, a beautiful and conveniently located venue, education credits, and the indepth presentations on the equity compensation topics most important to you.
Our 3rd annual conference for private companies promises to be the best yet. Mark your calendars, stay tuned for more details, and prepare for the event that could change the course of your stock plans.Read more about Aspirations here, and keep checking back for updates.
Savvy Stock Plan Spreadsheets
Every equity compensation software vendor strives to ensure that their product provides clients with the information they need in the format they require; and experts will tell you that, from a SOX perspective, you should minimize the calculations you do in spreadsheets. However, the reality is that often there are calculations that, for whatever reason, need to be done in a spreadsheet. As a result, working with spreadsheets is a required skill set for almost every equity compensation professional.
Since coming to work at Stock & Option Solutions, I've been amazed and impressed at the complexity of some of the spreadsheets that clients, or their consultants, have created. However, while the information being manipulated may by necessity be complex, that doesn't mean how the information is being presented has to be.
Don't be afraid to use tabs: It can be tempting to have all of the information on one worksheet so you can see everything "at a glance." That philosophy may work well when the spreadsheet is new; however, that may not be the case two to five years down the line. If you are calculating data such as peer group volatility in a spreadsheet, use a separate tab for each peer company and then create a summary worksheet to consolidate and display current period information. This will make life easier for you and for the people who inherit your spreadsheet when you move on the greener pastures.
Whenever possible, leave a breadcrumb trail: Have you ever worked in a spreadsheet someone else created and clicked into a calculated cell to see how they got that number only to find that the value is a hard-coded number, and now you have to search for the source (and you may not find it)? Obviously, raw data will be hard-coded values; but, if you want to make it easier for subsequent users (e.g., auditors, other departments, etc.) to understand how you arrived at your numerical conclusions, try to retain the formulas in cells. When bringing in the values from another worksheet, it's just as easy (and less prone to error) to reference a specific cell than it is to type in the actual value. If you need to hard code the data (i.e., Copy | Paste Special the Values) in order to do roll forward calculations the next quarter, simply keep an archived version of the spreadsheet that does retain the formulas/references. Your co-workers will thank you for it.
Feel free to show your work: We've all seen those formulas that are so complicated it takes you 10 minutes just to figure out what the person is trying to calculate. Many formulas can, and should, be broken down into their individual components in separate columns. Doing so will not only make it easier for you to arrive at the logic for the entire calculation; it will make it much easier to trouble-shoot if that calculation isn't accurate. Columns containing interim calculations can always be hidden until such time as an auditor, whom you may be paying by the hour, comes in to double-check your work.
Barbara Richley is a Senior Equity Compensation Consultant with Stock & Option Solutions. She assists clients with all manner of equity compensation challenges. Some of her recent projects have included a financial reporting system conversion and reconciliation, a re-creation and reconciliation of an equity roll-forward, a DTA balance reconciliation, and the update to Black-Scholes assumptions for a recently public company. Barbara has been working in equity compensation since 1988 and volunteers for the CEPI and the Silicon Valley Chapter of the NASPP.
Free SOS Educational Webcast:
Executing Exceptional Expensing for ESPP
March 12th, 2013
Please join us for our next educational webcast on March 12th at 11am Pacific Time, 2pm Eastern Time.
Are you faced with the challenge of accounting for your 423-qualified Employee Stock Purchase Plan? Many systems have no or limited support for the "bells and whistles" that are often required by accounting for these seemingly simple plans. So how do you manage it effectively for your company?
This webcast will start with an overview of accounting for ESPPs, delving into the different components of the fair value and discussing inputs and expensing methods. Our expert panelists will provide insight on estimating contributions, estimation and application of forfeiture rates, truing up to actual shares purchased (or not), and the joys of modification accounting, diluted EPS and tax accounting.
The panelists will also explore some best practices for accounting and some tips and tricks to help ensure the compliance of your approach.
Whether your system does the heavy lifting or you do the calculations in a spreadsheet, whether you are responsible for the accounting, or you just provide data to the system or the department that performs the calculations, this session will give you the knowledge to help you get it right.
Speakers:CEPI website for more information on CEP continuing education requirements.)
Product Spotlight: Stock Plan Participant Portal
Our customizable portal can be seamlessly integrated with your stock plan database and into your communications structure/intranet to give your participants 24/7 access to all their equity compensation information
Are you still sending out paper communications at year-end to your participants? Do you find that much of your day is spent answering basic inquiries or resending information pertaining to employee taxes, holdings, and confirmations? Have you found that even by using mail merge or other means to email this information to your participants, that they still can't find it when they need it, and end up coming back to you? Are you looking for a way to gather consent from your participants to allow for electronic distribution of Forms 3921/3922?
With the SOS Stock Plan Participant Portal, you can now put vital information at your employees' fingertips. The Portal can be customized to the look and feel of your company, it sits behind your secure firewall, and it can accept multiple forms of source data to easily work with any stock plan platform allowing you to display both historical and current information on:
By utilizing SOS's state-of-the art technology, your company will save time, money, and provide excellent customer service to your employees worldwide.
SOS Stock Plan Participant Portal Features and Benefits:
Many companies are looking to deliver 6039-related forms 3921 & 3922 electronically. With the SOS Participant Portal, you can generate these forms and display them on the website, AND you can also utilize the built-in Consent Module to obtain the necessary permission to do so.
Consent Module Features
Click here for pricing and information about the SOS Stock Plan Participant Portal
Across Our DesksDomestic Tax Law
From myStockOptions.com - The Alternative Minimum Tax Calculation: Major Changes Under New Tax Law...The NASPP Blog discusses supplemental withholding.
International Tax Law
Baker & McKenzie cover the effects of the French Finance Act on the taxation of awards.
The NASPP Blog two part coverage of how the HSR Act affects stock compensation : Part 1 and Part 2
The NASPP Blog explores the most common best practice myths that may still be governing your universe here.
SOS XposéOpportunity knocking... Jeannette Bjoernsen is now working at FireEye as Director, Stock Administration in the Legal department...Sue Berry has taken a new position as Senior Manager, Global Stock Programs & Risk Management at Santa Clara-based Infoblox in the Legal department...Brian Dufour has joined the Stock Plan Services department at Fidelity as Vice President, Business Development...AnnMarie Folignani is now working as Managing Director, Equity Compensation for Fidelity Stock Plan Services....Michael Boese has made the move to EASi and is the new Chief Executive Officer...Robyn Shutak has taken on the role of Senior Director of Programs and Member Services at GEO...Congratulations to everyone!
CEP round up...Congratulations on adding those three big letters - Kate Sullivan, Percy Monroe and James White have been added to the ranks of Certified Equity Professionals working at Fidelity Stock Plan Services.
Me time... Anne Silver is set to retire from Equinix towards the end of March. Anne is looking forward to spending more time with the grandchildren, traveling, reading, being crafty (sewing, knitting), doing nothing, cleaning closets, doing volunteer work and... She wants to take continuing education classes and has resolved to exercise regularly. Happy trails, Anne!
Rock a bye baby... Jennifer Lopez of EASi delivered a baby boy, Andrew Chase Lopez, on November 26th, 2012. He weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces and was 21.25 inches in length, see a pic!...Liz Stoudt from Radford gave birth to her son, Robert Stoudt III (or RJ3 as they affectionately know him), who weighed 6 lbs and 15 ounces on January 17th. The pic is here!
Who has joined SOS... SOS is hiring and here are the recent additions to the SOS Team:
Sandra Briggs (People Solutions)
Bobbi Miller (People Solutions)
Apollo Mok (People Solutions)
Elizabeth Dodge is pleased to welcome a successor into the role of President of Silicon Valley Chapter of the NASPP; Inta Abele of Schwab was elected last fall and will serve as President for the next two years. Elizabeth will continue to serve on the Program Committee, but she has decided to commit more time to her family and to focusing her volunteer efforts on her kids' schools and activities.
EASi Summit is coming up in New Orleans March 6-8, 2013!
Solium...Registration for Synergy 2013 is now open! Stock plan administration requires constant learning. The conference will be held in Calgary, Alberta from May 5- 8, 2013. You will learn how to make the most of Solium Shareworks and Solium Transcentive and hear from industry thought leaders on best practices that you can apply to both your equity compensation strategy and day-to-day administration. Register here.
|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.|
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