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Product Spotlight - SOS ADP Xpress
Each payroll period, stock plans should be sending information on taxable stock plan transactions (exercises, dispositions (ISO and ESPP qualified ESPP disqualified, releases, etc.)) to payroll, both so that taxable income is correct on the paystub and also since the income must be included on employee (and former employee) W-2 forms. If you use ADP for payroll, then either you must key the data in manually, or you must manipulate the data into a specific and difficult ADP importable format. ADP provides sample templates that you can download and fill in the data manually. The templates are mostly XML formatted. CSV is another format that ADP accepts. It takes a significant amount of time and effort to manually generate the file depending on the number of transactions.
As with all manual processes, this is time-consuming and error prone, SOS continues to focus on designing and developing products that automate processes, reduce errors, increase data integrity and generate valuable audit checks. SOS ADP Xpress has been developed to assist Stock departments by instantly generating ADP-importable files and provide audit reports for review prior to loading the data into ADP.
The SOS ADP Xpress application has been designed, developed and implemented at several client locations. The application is capable of generating the ADP files in both CSV and XML depending on the preferred format. SOS ADP Xpress is an MS Access application which does not require any installation. A few setup steps quickly automate the process of generating the ADP files.
The above screen is a simple, user-friendly screen that has the capability of configuring the application and generating the ADP files for the client.
SOS ADP Xpress Features and Benefits
- SOS ADP Xpress is an MS Access application and therefore does not require any installation as long as you already have MS Access installed. With minimal IT Support this application can be easily deployed on your network
- Since the application is deployed at your site, data security is ensured since data never passes beyond your firewall
- Reports generated by the current equity system provide the data for the application
- SOS ADP Xpress currently supports standard reports from two of the most popular equity systems
- SOS ADP Xpress can be easily customized to support source reports from other systems
- SOS will assist and directly work with the client's stock administrators to implement the application
- Data diagnostics generated by the application can be used to review and correct any data issues prior to sending the data to ADP
- Automatic generation of the import files ensures data accuracy with no manual intervention
- Since the application supports standard reports from equity systems, data preparation time is limited to generating the required source reports
Steve Gaylord, Chief Technology Officer
Stock & Option Solutions
Free SOS Educational Webcast:
Cost Basis Conundrums- Crafting Clear Communications
Please join us for our next educational webcast on September 16, at 11am Pacific Time, 2pm Eastern Time.
Under finalized cost basis regulations for employee equity plans, the IRS no longer allows brokers and transfer agents to include the "compensatory income" component in the cost basis on Form 1099-B when employees sell shares. This creates a substantial risk that employees will overpay their taxes on these awards. These regulations affect all stock option, SAR, ESPP, and restricted stock awards. Join our experts to learn what various industry practitioners are doing to help employees mitigate this risk.
(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.)
August Market Research Survey
Complete the survey and be entered into a drawing for $100 Visa gift card!
Periodically, SOS will ask for issuing companies' participation in a market research survey to enhance our understanding of current practices and trends in the industry and to provide our clients insight into the practices of other issuing firms. Our surveys are brief, taking no more than 5 to 10 minutes to complete.
Complete the survey today!
Please note that only issuing companies, not vendors or consultants, should complete the survey and are eligible for the drawing. Thank you for your cooperation!
SOS Consultant Corner - Writing Footnotes for Form 4's
I was a Journalism major in high school and college. So I'm used to having stories I have submitted for publication edited, shortened and even completely re-written.
I thought that Journalism would be my career. When I discovered that it wasn't for me, I still knew my writing skills and experience would be beneficial in whatever career I chose. But I never thought I'd use those skills to write footnotes on Form 4's filed with a government agency and disseminated to the investing public. And I never expected to have so few changes made to some of the language I've suggested or written myself.
In my career working in-house and consulting, I've seen a variety of styles and levels of complexity of Form 4 footnotes. I've also seen various levels of review before the forms are filed, and at times I've been surprised by both.
At one client, the footnotes were merely the number assigned by the administration software to the grant or award. At another client, I drafted the footnote language with no changes from in-house legal.
At the other end of the spectrum are footnotes that must have been written by outside counsel who get paid by the word. These footnotes had explicit details on the exact dates of the vestings, even if it was just on the anniversary of the grant date over a particular period of time. These footnotes are even longer when Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) are reported on Table 1 as wholly beneficially owned. Then the footnote has spelled out the exact number of shares and the exact vesting dates. They're even longer when several years' of RSUs are reported, because the same detail is given on previous year's awards. These footnotes have ranged well beyond EDGAR's 1,000 character limit, so the footnotes are continued, sometimes taking 2 or 3 footnotes to explain everything.
Then there is the legal review process. Sometimes the forms are sent to outside counsel for review, sometimes even to the outside counsel who were paid by the word. I've also seen forms reviewed by managers with little or no securities law experience, and another where the Counsel for M&A activity reviewed them.
But the best was a new Corporate Counsel who was confident enough that he wasn't familiar with the exact statute and pulled out his SEC Handbook and the Romeo & Dye handbook to look for the exact language to fit the situation.
Form 4's are important documents. They tell the investing public what's going on with your company and the executives and their decisions about the value, worth and potential of the company. It seems like many companies view them as a formality, a requirement that no one wants to miss the deadline for, or something that requires very little thought. If that's the case at your company, this might be an area that could use a little more focus or attention. Strong, well-written footnotes can alter the investing public's perception of your company and its compensation policies. And we all know the importance of that in this era of say-on-pay.
Laura Shields, Equity Compensation Consultant
Stock & Option Solutions, Inc.
This is Laura's 3rd term with SOS, having previously worked for SOS in 2006, 2007 and recently since March 2013. She has over 15 years experience, both in-house and consulting, in stock administration. Her experience includes managing Employee Stock Purchase Plans, Stock Option Plans and Restricted Stock Unit Plans. She is experienced with filing Forms 3, 4 and 5, managing 10b5-1 plans and black-out windows and trading restrictions. She is passionate about employee education and communication, and uses her journalism background and talent to explain complex equity concepts in plain English. She has a Bachelor's degree in Applied Liberal Arts, Business emphasis, from Concordia University in Irvine California and an Associate's degree in Journalism from Cerritos College in Norwalk California.
SOS Online Demo: SUMIFS Excel Function
SOS's Julie Kenia breaks down SUMIFS for Stock Plan Professionals. This may be better than our last article on Excel, on index/match.
...tender tidbits about people and players in our industry...
Only this little once...Sheila Frierson of Computershare and her husband, Chris, welcomed their son, Holland Michael Frierson, on April 15th. He weighed 9 pounds, 3 ounces and here is his picture . His big sister Maggie is so excited to have a little brother! Jon Burg from Radford, An Aon Hewitt Company, is a new daddy! He and his wife, Cindy, brought Sebastian William Burg into the world on July 17 at 10:58am. He weighed 8lbs, 6 ounces and was 20.5 inches in length.
Got ice?...A few members of the SOS Team took the Ice Bucket Challenge AND donated to The ALS Association (this challenge has raised $53.3 million!).Rachel Meyers took the challenge (sorry no video!) but watch Christine Zwerling, Elizabeth Dodge, and Julie Kenia do the challenge.
Summer vacation...Shawna Casey of SOS and her family visited Zeypher Cove this summer on Lake Tahoe.
SOS is hiring and here are our recent additions:
Sorrell Johnson (Strategic Team)
Darrin Robb (People Solutions)
Industry News... Susan Garvin, formerly a member of the SOS Strategic Solutions team, has taken an in-house administration position with a newly public company, GoPro. For anyone who knows Susan, you will know how deeply we feel the loss of her from our team. Not only will we miss her professionally, but also personally. "She is one of the brightest and most knowledgeable stock plan professionals with whom I've ever had the privilege of working. And she has a terrific sense of humor to boot. We will miss her, but we wish her nothing but the best!" said Elizabeth Dodge, manager of the Strategic Solutions team.
Meet GEO's 2014-2015 Board of Directors. GEO's NECF New York is September 9th, 2014 and GEO's NECF San Diego is September 11th, 2014.
Don't miss SOS in Las Vegas for the 22nd Annual NASPP Conference! Come by booth #405 during the opening reception to get your Vegas Survival Kit. Also be sure to check out one (or more) of our 5 sessions!
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Miss a webcast? You can find links to recordings, as well as the materials, on our webcast page.