Financial Accounting Blog

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Hispanic Business says that companies will soon have to expense the cost of stock options.
The dot-com bust, the recession of 2001, and the corporate crime wave and accounting scandals of 2002 brought the party to an unceremonious end. And any thoughts that the rebounding economy will give options new life should be immediately forgotten. On Oct. 29, the Financial Accounting Standards Board proposed ending in 2005 the special treatment options have enjoyed for decades. Barring an unlikely 11th-hour reprieve from Congress, in a little over 12 months, companies will be forced to account for options as an expense. What's more, unvested options from prior years -- not just new grants -- will have to be expensed, resulting in a much bigger hit to earnings than most imagined.