IBM, Microsoft back US plans on stock options

Link: US companies ignore stock options threat

Both IBM and Microsoft have lent their support to the move by the Financial Accounting Standard Board – the US equivalent of the IASB – to deduct stock options from profits, which will come to a head next week when a series of public hearings take place, the Financial Times reported.

The move by FASB mirrors plans by the IASB for the introduction of IFRS 2 – share-based payments – which comes into force next year when global standards are enforced around Europe.

If FASB were to abandon its plans for stock options, it could seriously hamper future convergence between the two bodies.

IBM’s support for FASB is tacit after it ignored an invitation to voice reservations, while Microsoft has been outspoken on the matter, voicing its support for the measure in a letter to FASB last week.

Last year the software giant deducted the cost of options and forms of stock compensation from profits and abandoned using options altogether.

Technology companies argue that stock options are central the industry’s success.

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