7 Email Tips to Improve Stock Plan Communications

Email is often incorporated into a stock plan communication strategy because all employees have an email account, it is inexpensive, and it can be effective. But how can you make sure it is effective? How do you make sure that your participant communications are reaching your audience? Here are 7 things that will make your message jump out of your participant’s inbox and get them to act.

A Beginner’s Guide to Acing the CEP Exam

Are you new to the world of equity compensation or are you an experienced practitioner ready to achieve your Certified Equity Professional designation? While the 5 hour test can seem daunting and sifting through the endless questions about taxation, accounting and regulations can feel intimidating, read this blog for a few tricks that will put you on the track to acing the exam.

ASU 2016-09: Simple But Complex: Part 1

As part of its Simplification Initiative, FASB issued ASU 2016-09 on March 30, 2016, an update to ASC Topic 718. For public business entities, the amendments in ASU 2016-09 are effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016 and interim periods within those annual periods. For all other entities, the amendments are effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017 and interim periods within annual periods beginning after December 15, 2018. There are a few key provisions of the new standard, here we will focus on accounting for income taxes and elimination of APIC pool.

Global Survey Suggests Long Term Incentives Equal Corporate Success

Have you read the recently published Global Equity Insights 2016 report? Overall conclusions within the comprehensive 33 page report are consistent with previous year’s findings that long term incentive plans are being offered by more companies and across a greater portion of the workforce than ever before – and that is translating into success. The survey was sponsored by 10 companies from various industries including Fidelity, the Global Equity Organization, hkp/// group, SAP, Siemens, and more. The survey sample includes participation from 148 large global companies from 21 different countries. 91% of those companies have a market capitalization above USD 1 billion, and 60% of the companies reported revenues of more than USD 5 billion in 2014.

Stock Compensation In The Media Spotlight At Prominent Companies

In the novel Scoop (1938), a satire about journalism by British writer Evelyn Waugh, a character declares: “News is what a chap who doesn’t care much about anything wants to read.” Respectfully, we disagree. Here at myStockOptions.com, we both care about equity compensation and take a keen interest whenever news about stock comp flashes across our radar screens. In this week’s blog commentary, we summarize some recent appearances of stock compensation in the mainstream news media, including stories about equity awards to high-profile figures at prominent companies.

Don’t Overlook Domestic Mobility Tracking Obligations

When employees are transferred to a new location, they are probably thinking about packing, selling their house, and finding their way around a new city. Meanwhile, their stock plan administrators are thinking about the complicated world of stock plan taxation they have just entered. Different jurisdictions have different tax laws. As a stock plan administrator, you are responsible for tracking where participants live throughout the life cycle of their stock awards – from grant through exercise/release – and properly withholding taxes in each jurisdiction.

Why Your Equity Plan Should Be Broad-Based

We hear a lot these days about “the war for talent.” “Talent” is never defined, nor is it ever explained why labor markets are so much more competitive now than they used to be (the “war” existed, it was said, even when unemployment was very high), but we all know that what is meant is mostly top-level managers and maybe software engineers. These are the people, it is said, who should get most or all of the incentives, including equity. There are a number of explanations for this that seem to make sense but that research shows are just not true.

Calling all Private Company Finance Leaders!

As the CFO at Certent, I know the challenges and complexities private company finance leadership faces. I’ve found inspiration and gathered great process improvements from in-person learning events, and therefore I’m excited to announce our upcoming Private Company Finance Leadership Summit. Join us at the Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco on Tuesday, May 24th for a morning of learning and motivation. Read on for more details.

How Does Your Stock Plan Team Stack Up?

More than 200 public and private companies recently participated in our stock plan administration benchmark survey. From technology providers to healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, there was a wide range of participation across industries and equity plan design. Here is what we found to be true around how teams are spending their time, weaknesses and strengths in regards to technical skills, and a few ideas on how you can improve processes.

Tax Holding Periods and Leap Year

Leap year can make things complicated. For example, if you use a daily accrual rate for some purpose related to stock compensation, such as calculating a pro-rata payout, a tax allocation for a mobile employee, or expense accruals, you have to remember to add a day to your calculation once every four years. Personally, I think it would be easier if we handled leap year the same way we handle the transition from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time: everyone just set their calendar back 24 hours. Rather than doing this on the last day of February, I think it would be best to do it on the last Sunday in February, so that the “fall back” always occurs on a weekend.