Microsoft backs new rule on stock options
Microsoft has signalled its support for booking share options as an expense, making it the latest in a series of high profile US companies to support the controversial accounting change.
On one of his biannual visit to London, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, yesterday said the software giant was in favour of treating stock options as a business expense, even though it would knock $2bn (£1.3bn) a year off its profits.
But Ballmer said an industry-wide approach was needed.
The International Accounting Standards board, headed Sir David Tweedie, is due to issue a draft rule this autumn on the topic. A backlash from technology companies is however expected.
Already General Electric, Computer Associates and Amazon.com and a host of others have decided to book stock options as an expense in their annual accounts.