BusinessCompany NewsStock options under fire again

Stock options under fire again

Just weeks ahead of the international standard setter publishing a draft rule making companies put stock options on the p&l, a leading UK finance chief has said he's still not convinced of the arguments for such a change.

Link: Profile: Jazz FM FD Alistair MacKenzie

Alistair MacKenzie, outgoing finance director of Jazz fm, told Accountancy Age this week it would have been difficult for the company to reward its staff in the past if stock options had to be put through the profit and loss account.

He said that at times when the company could not offer its staff pay rises, it choose to give them share options instead.

MacKenzie said: ‘Both our receptionists, we have a morning and afternoon one, have had share options. Everyone that had been here for over a year had options and so they’ve all benefited from that.’

‘Would we have been able to do that if they went through the p&l – I very much doubt it.’

A new international accounting rule will require UK listed companies to book stock options as an expense by 2005, at the latest, due to a European ruling. Jazz fm was launched on the stock market in 1995 and was sold to the Guardian Media Group for £45m in July this year.

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