May 19, 2018 Tim Nguyen

Heating Up with Equity Comp This Summer

For a lot of equity professionals, summer brings a welcomed slowdown and some much-deserved time off. Is the beach calling you? Family headed out for a camping trip? Kicking back at home for a stay-cation? In between your downtime away from the office, don’t forget that summer is jam-packed with networking and educational opportunities at local and regional levels.

May 22: Chicago NASPP Chapter Meeting, Seattle NASPP Chapter Meeting, Philadelphia NASPP Chapter Houston NASPP Chapter Meeting

May 23: San Fernando Valley NASPP Chapter Meeting

May 24: Boston NASPP Chapter Meeting, Denver NASPP Chapter Meeting, Connecticut NASPP Chapter Meeting, Wisconsin NASPP Chapter Meeting

May 31: Orange County NASPP Chapter Meeting

June 6: Austin NASPP Chapter Meeting/Deloitte Summit

June 7: Houston NASPP Chapter Meeting, Orange County NASPP Chapter Meeting

June 8: New York GEO Chapter Meeting

June 12: Boston GEO Chapter Meeting

June 13: Los Angeles NASPP Chapter Meeting

June 14: Denver NASPP Chapter Meeting, GEO NorCal Forum

June 21: DC/VA/MD and PHL NASPP Regional All-Day

July 11: CT/Boston 10th Annual New England Regional Conference

August 9: Atlanta NASPP Chapter Meeting

August 14: Orange County NASPP Chapter Meeting

September 18: Boston GEO Chapter Meeting

September 25-28: NASPP National Conference in San Diego

For more information on these events, visit and

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SOS Consultant Corner: Get on a Roll with your Roll-Forward 

As a consultant, I get the opportunity to see many different styles of common practices such as a monthly roll-forward.  It’s a somewhat simple file that pulls together the equity plan activity for the month, so that the administrator can summarize what has been granted, exercised, or cancelled, and how that has affected the shares available to grant.  Most equity systems have a report that covers these numbers nicely, but the powers that be always like to have it proved out, with all the details available for support.  And as a benefit for the administrator, it can also act as a helpful tool in finding retroactive changes that may have been made in the equity system over the course of the month or quarter that were possibly entered erroneously, or just need to be accounted for in the current period. 

The problem I have encountered quite often is that the files that have been created to accomplish this task are not always easy to follow, let alone update for the new period.  A new file needs to be created for the new period, new data brought into the file, and a new summary added to show the flow of activity.  How can you make that easier for yourself as well as for those reviewing?  Here are just a couple tips I try to implement when I am given the freedom to improve a process like a roll-forward. 

1. Keep the summarized source data in the same cells.  Assuming you keep each type of activity in separate tabs, find a place at the top of the data, possibly within the report header rows (and maybe off to the right side of the data), where you can put a table that summarizes that sheet exactly how you need it.  This is where you would then use the convenient and easy-to-use SUMIFS function, gathering the data you need by equity type and categories such as different equity plans.  Make sure to have a sanity check built in to make sure that all shares existing in the data are covered in your table (the yellow cell below checks that final number against the report).

Once these tables are set up in each of the activity tabs, you should not have to touch them again.  All you need to do each period is overwrite the report data with the new period’s report (and make sure all the old data is gone!)

2. Use absolute cell references in your Period Summary.  Your Roll Forward most likely has a bunch of historical tables for past periods.  When setting up the new summary, in each data field, point at the correct cell in the applicable tab, and make that reference absolute.  For instance, if what you want is cell AV2 in the Exercises tab, when you click cell AV2, then hit the F4 key so that the formula references $AV$2 (or just type $ in front of the column and the row, within the formula).  Because the tables you set up in Tip #1 above do not change location, this reference should also not have to change when you copy the summary down for the next period.

  • The important caveat for this to work is to copy the summary down to create a new period’s summary BEFORE updating the data in each of the tabs.  Once this copy is done, THEN you will need to copy and paste the VALUES of the data in your old table, so that when you update the source data, the old period is not affected, but the new period’s data is automatically populated.
  • Your roll-forward should now be as easy to update as the three steps below:

    1. Copy your old roll-forward to a new file and rename it for the new period.  Inyour SUMMARY tab, copy the entire table(s) of the old month containing the references to the source data down to a new table, to represent the new month.  Since all the source data references are absolute, they are still pointing at the exact same source data.

    2. Copy and paste values for the table of the OLD month, so that the data will no longer change for the old month.

    3. Update your source data tabs with the new month’s data, and ensure all old month data is gone.  Your summarized source data should automatically update with the new data, and in turn, your SUMMARY tab is then also automatically updated.

    Of course, there are often aspects to these files unique to the different situations that exist at each company that may make things a bit more complicated.  My hope for you is that you can use these tips to simplify some of your repetitive processes, leaving you more time to focus on the complicated ones!

    -Tim McCleskey, CEP

    Manager, Financial Reporting & Accounting

    Stock & Option Solutions, Inc.

    Upcoming Equity Compensation Webcast

    Our webcasts cover high-priority equity compensation topics

    SOS Educational Webcast: Déjà vu All Over Again: Stock Plan Issues That Come Up Over and Over

    Thursday, June 21, 2018 11:00 AM PDT

    As experienced Stock Administration Managers, we have noticed that certain issues seem to pop up time and again, causing headaches wherever we go. Different companies manage their trading windows, release dates, documentation and other processes in a variety of ways, some of which can be quite creative. We will present a sampling of these issues, noting the problem and the reason that it is important. We’ll give some examples of our experiences, and we’ll discuss the best ways to handle these problem issues.

    (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.)

    So Quotable:
    "The best answers are not always the most complicated ones!" - Sarah Roberts, CEP Stock & Option Solutions, Inc.


    ●  Sarah Roberts, CEP, Stock & Option Solutions, Inc.

    ●  Laura Reis, Cylance

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    Product Spotlight: SOS Payroll Xpress

    To help you avoid errors, and to help you save time, SOS Payroll Xpress has been developed to assist stock departments by instantly generating importable files and providing audit reports for review prior to loading the data into the payroll system. The application can generate the files in both CSV and XML depending on the preferred format. SOS Payroll Xpress is an MS Access application which does not require any installation. A few setup steps quickly automate the process of generating the files.

    SOS Payroll Xpress Features and Benefits:

    ● SOS Payroll Xpress is an MS Access application and therefore does not require any installation if you already have MS Access installed. With minimal IT support this application can easily be deployed on your network.

    ● Since SOS Payroll Xpress is deployed at your site, data security is guaranteed. Data never passes beyond your firewall.

    ● Reports generated by the current equity administration platform provide the data for SOS Payroll Xpress.

    ● SOS Payroll Xpress currently supports standard reports from the most popular equity administration platforms.  SOS Payroll Xpress can be easily customized to support source reports from other equity administration platforms.

    ● SOS will assist and directly work with the client's stock administrators to implement SOS Payroll Xpress.

    ● Data diagnostics generated by SOS Payroll Xpress can be used to review and correct any data issues prior to uploading the data to the payroll system.

    ● Automatic generation of import files ensures data accuracy with no manual intervention.

    ● Since the SOS Payroll Xpress supports standard reports from equity administration platforms, data preparation time is limited to generating the required source reports.

    Check out our SOS Solutions Webcast: Savin’ Time with Tech Tools where we review Payroll Xpress in detail.

    SOS Payroll Xpress is a solution that works. Reduce your time and frustration.

    SOS Front & Center: Lisa Sutter

    Lisa has been with SOS for three of her twenty years in equity administration. She’s worked with companies in the Dallas area such as Metro PCS and Allegiance Telecom, an integrated telecommunications company and US Concrete. Lisa’s specialties are: Tender Offers, Mergers, IPO, special stock related projects, in addition to Stock Plan Administration including Proxy Statements, 10Q & 10K equity support and Section 16 filings.

    Trivia about Lisa: She served on the Carrollton city council for six years, from 2009 to 2015. She is an honorary Admiral in the Texas Navy and she currently puts her leadership skills to work serving as one of the members of the Board of Directors for the Metrocrest Hospital Authority.

    Here’s what Lisa’s clients are saying about her:

    “I have had the pleasure of working with Lisa Sutter over the past few months under extremely challenging conditions. Our equity compensation arrangements are very complicated, and involve coordination across several, sometimes uncooperative, or even hostile companies, and numerous international jurisdictions. In addition to ordinary course vestings and cancellations, in late December we completed the sale of the company, which triggered the accelerated vesting of all awards. Lisa has managed all of this with a positive, professional and problem-solving attitude without errors. Lisa is always responsive and attentive to detail. We are fortunate to have had her on our team!”

    “Lisa really dug in and got things done for us. We found her to be a delight to work with. She is very competent and has a wealth of professional knowledge. She served as a stock expert, researcher and teacher for our new hire position. Lisa is passionate, detailed and helped us update documentation and processes.”

    SOS is the only true outsourcing firm within the equity compensation marketplace. We deliver a team-based approach to filling that empty chair in your department. SOS takes away the burden of hiring, retaining, managing, and replacing a direct hire.

    Across Our Desk

    When your boss thinks you are goofing off working from home, just show them this article. 

    How did you celebrate 423 day?   

    SEC cracks down on ignoring compliance with Rule 701. 

    Taxation of private company awards changing?  Read up on IRC Section 83(i).   

    Good luck to all those registered for the June 9, 2018 CEP exam!  For more information on upcoming deadlines and tests, click here.   

    SOS Xposé

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

    Springing into a new job… Georgina Lai is a Senior Principal, Equity for Pivotal. Nina Chellew is a Stock Administrator Manager at 23andMe. Madori Playford is a Stock Administrator at Credit Karma. Matthew Maher is now the Manager, Direct Service at SoliumSOS’s Tim McCleskey is the new Manager, Financial & Reporting Accounting.  Deborah Rodney is the new National Membership Manager for the NASPP. Michael Raissis, CEP has joined the San Francisco office of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.  He will be partnering with the 130-year-old Firm’s Corporate and Executive Services Group, working with corporate executives on their wealth management and equity diversification needs, as well as broad-based stock plan administration services through a partnership with a leading cloud-based platform in our industry. 

    Looking out new windows… SOS has a new address effective June 1, 2018! Our new headquarters address is:  1475 S. Bascom Ave Suite 203, Campbell, California 95008. 

    And the award goes to… SOS’s Sorrell Johnson and Ben Needham were awarded the prestigious 2018 CEP Volunteer Excellence Award at the March Symposium. Congratulations to our team members and to all recipients!

    In the spotlightSOS’s Lisa Sutter is featured in her town’s local media online publication on her time as a city council member.

    Going the distance … SOS’s Tim McCleskey completed his first trail 50k run in Redding, California in April and is training for The North Face 50-miler in November in the Marin Headlands.

    Industry News… SOS is looking to hire Account Managers in the Greater Nashville, TN area.  The Account Managers will be responsible for the stock administration plan operations and activities for 10-15 clients.  3-5 years of experience in corporate stock administration with a strong understanding of business, regulatory, technical requirements.  For a full job description contact Carole Dubas. The 26th Annual NASPP Conference is headed to sunny San Diego!  The Conference will be held from Sept 25-28; register now.

    SOS’s newest team members

    Mikale Clark, People Solutions Team

    Elaine Crenshaw, People Solutions Team

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    SOS Xtra Editor: Shawna Casey
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    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 advisers. The preceding information does not necessarily represent the official views of Stock & Option Solutions, Inc. with respect to any of the issues addressed.