SOS Consultant Corner - Planning for an Equity Project
As 2013 chillingly comes to a close, we welcome 2014 with renewed spirit, a revitalized budget, and another opportunity to complete unfinished equity projects. For overworked and under-resourced equity departments, utilizing external consultative services is often the most efficient and effective approach to tackling larger and more time consuming equity projects.
While you ponder the projects ahead, there are some simple steps that can be taken to maximize on available project dollars, facilitate a timely delivery of project goals, and meet deadlines. The use of an experienced and qualified equity consultant can be one of the keys to overall project success. In my experience, it is often simple preparatory steps, before the arrival of the consultant, which can create an organized platform from which to launch your project.
We all know that projects that fall outside of the scope of everyday work events can seem daunting and undesirable. By preparing in advance and following simple preparatory steps, you and your Equity team can help to maximize on budgetary dollars, work collaboratively with an equity consultant, and work together towards a timely and successful project finish.
- Set Your Sights On the Finish Line. What does your finished project look like? What are the components of a successful project? A vision of the final product is a great place to start when preparing to kickoff the project. It is also a suggested, as best practice, to ensure that all team members agree as to what a completed project will look like. If the project involves the audit of data within a database, what are the critical points of data to be audited? Do all agree? During regular team meetings, query the group on the scope of the project and utilize the experience and creativity of your team before the arrival of the consultant. This type of discussion can ensure that all are on the same page, identify key elements of the project, and encourage group thinks on what the finish line looks like.
- Create a General Project Plan. Your consultant will arrive with his or her own ideas on how to tackle the project. Using the ideas from your team's discussion, create a general project plan to review and discuss with the consultant. By creating your own general project plan and adding the ideas and suggestions from your consultant you can reduce the risk of unnecessary work and assist with on-time completion of the project.
- Centralize Supporting Documents. We all know that in a perfect world everything is organized and centralized for quick and easy access. In the real world, inherited documents, busy teams, and a variety of organizational styles result in documents everywhere but where you need them. To the greatest extent possible, centralize the files and documents that the consultant will need in order to complete the project. Pull soft-copy files into a single point of reference, place hard-copy files and binders on the desk for the consultant's reference. By preparing the workspace for the consultant ahead of arrival, you can eliminate extra, and potentially costly, efforts in locating those documents that are necessary to the project.
- Identify Key Internal Players. Your office likely has an IT team, a Legal team, a Human Resources team. If it is critical to the project that your consultant work with teams outside of your Equity team, identifying key points of contact within those departments and preparing a reference guide for your consultant is a terrific way to keep the project moving and avoid the pitfall of having to figure out who might have certain information. In addition, notify the key points of contact within your organization that your consultant may be reaching out to them for information.
- Plan for Regular Status Update Meetings. Holding regular status update meetings to allow your consultant to review and discuss the project is highly recommended. These status update meetings can help to keep the project on track and will allow you and your Equity team an opportunity to refine or revise the project's scope and course based upon findings and progress.
Carolyn Fox, Equity Compensation Consultant
Stock & Option Solutions
Carolyn is an Equity Consultant for Stock & Option Solutions. With 15 years of experience in equity, she has worked with privately-held and publicly-held companies on matters related to equity administration and compensation. Carolyn holds a BA in Business Administration from Menlo College.
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Stock & Option Solutions Introduces Advanced Training Courses in Accounting for Equity Compensation
Online classes developed and delivered by SOS accounting experts will focus on 4 key topics offering you the keys to the equity accounting kingdom.
Mastering the various aspects of equity accounting can be difficult, but remains a critical skill set necessary for stock plan professionals who want to take their careers to the next level. If you are looking to build your knowledge in this area, you have come to the right place. The equity accounting consultants at SOS continue to provide expertise and thought leadership to companies in our industry and have developed a basic curriculum that is designed to distill that knowledge into four training sessions, giving our students the accounting knowledge they need to succeed.
About the training:
SOS Online Accounting classes will begin on February 11, 2014, and will occur every other week from 11am to 12:30pm Pacific Time with each class covering a different topic. The cost for each 90 minute online class will be $149. The training will be delivered by Elizabeth Dodge and Barbara Richley, and includes training materials, a comprehensive and interactive discussion of the topic, and a quiz to assess your understanding of the information presented.
2/11/14: Expense Recognition
2/25/14: Tax Accounting (ASC 740)
3/11/14: EPS Reporting (ASC 260)
3/25/14: Accounting for ESPP
Register for all 4 classes and SAVE!
Why you need it:
Give yourself the tools you need to succeed - Whether this is a refresher or you are learning about this topic for the first time, these sessions offer opportunities to make sure that you have an understanding of both the fundamentals and the best practices/tactics for ensuring that these things are being properly handled within your organization.
Learn from the best - Elizabeth Dodge and Barbara Richley form the nucleus of the SOS accounting team, and are renowned and sought-after industry experts in the field of equity accounting. With over 40 years of combined experience in the field of equity compensation, much of which has been focused on providing equity accounting consulting and solutions to clients across the country, they are adept at making the most complex accounting topics accessible and easy to understand for everyone.
Put yourself ahead of the curve - Equity accounting expertise is quickly shifting from a "nice-to-have" to a "must-have" at the higher levels of the stock plan profession. Don't let your lack of knowledge in this crucial area stall your career. Our training sessions promise to put you ahead of the curve, allowing you the opportunity to expand your role within your company or gain an advantage over other applicants when seeking a new job.
Did you get our holiday e-card? See it here.
Free SOS Educational Webcast:
Excellence with Excel for Stock Plan Professionals
Most of us are forced to use spreadsheets to get parts of our jobs accomplished, no matter how great a stock plan system we have. Do you wish your spreadsheet processes were more efficient and less manual? Do you secretly think there must be ways to do things more efficiently in Excel? The good news is that there ARE tricks and tips that are out there that will help you save time (and your sanity) when working with Excel.
Please join us for our next educational webcast on March 20, 2014 at 11am Pacific Time, 2pm Eastern Time.
In this educational webcast you will learn, from our Excel experts, some common and even some less-common features that you can use immediately in your day-to-day tasks. Join our panelists and learn how to get more by doing less with your spreadsheets.
(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.)
Have you SEEN the SOS Portal?
(It helped Synopsys win the Best Use of Technology Award from GEO this year!)
...tender tidbits about people and players in our industry...
Fresh start...Colleen Ledesma is now the Senior Stock Administrator at Nimble Storage.
Going places...David Bienstock of UBS Wealth Management Americas has been promoted to Head of Product for Equity Plan Advisory Services.
Snowed in...Jeremy Wright (of Corporate Focus fame) has moved to Calgary (Alberta, Canada) in order to lead Sharework's product team at Solium. In that capacity, he has been promoted to SVP Product. Jeremy, wife Lisa and sons Alex and Austin are now fully enjoying the Calgary winter!
P.S. I love you...After getting engaged in the spring, Larry Reynolds, of E*TRADE Corporate Services, and Cathy Pecora, of Salesforce.com, were married November 9, 2013 at the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.
Down on the field...Scott McDonald and Apollo Mok of SOS put their feet on the grass at the Stanford/Oregon game last month. See the pic!
Looking out for others...A few folks at SOS donated turkeys this Thanksgiving to Sacred Heart Community Service. In the end there were 4,127 turkeys donated this year!
Just in time for the holidays...Priyendu Bhardwaj of SOS and his wife, Shakti, just welcomed their second daughter to the world on December 4th, 2013. Ishi came in at 21 inches in length and 8 pounds, 10 ounces. See the new baby here!
SOS is hiring and here are our recent additions:
Jamylani Awana (Outsourcing)
Vijayakala Biligiri (People Solutions)
Achaessa James De Garibay (People Solutions)
Troy Smith (People Solutions)
Gilbert Szeto (People Solutions)
See pics from the event here!
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