In a recent blog post, I discussed a webinar I attended from Stock & Option Solutions relating to five common mistakes made in year-end equity management work and a few automation secrets that can be used to avoid them. I summarized what I learned as follows:
- Those responsible for the stock plan administration and equity compensation reporting will save time and prevent mistakes if they move from spreadsheets to an automated equity management system.
- Stock plan administrators, controllers, and accountants should start focusing on year-end reporting now to avoid rushing to do all of this critical work in December and January which will only lead to holding up the audit.
These two lessons inspired me to write a short series on how an equity management system can be used to automate stock plan administration and FAS 123R reporting. This blog series will discuss five important tasks you can do better and faster if you move from spreadsheets to a single, consolidated equity management system.
- Generate disclosures required by FAS 123R
- Generate fully-diluted capitalization tables
- Print stock certificates without errors
- Prepare Section 6039 notices for employees
- Reconcile data using built-in reports and stored documentation
My first bonus tip to get this series started comes from an item mentioned in the SOS webinar and is something you can do right away. The presenters mentioned that if you use an equity management software system, you should contact your vendor to upgrade to the most recent version of the software. My tip is that anyone using spreadsheets should look to use a software-as-a-service (SaaS) system. When you use a SaaS system, all software upgrades are done automatically for you. While I still recommend contacting your vendor to discuss any recent changes to the software, remember, a SaaS system will cut out one more item from your to do list.
In addition to my offering these suggestions, I would love to hear ways that others have used automation to make their year-end equity management easier. If you have used Equity Focus, Corporate Focus, or another system to get things done faster, please leave your comments below.
Sign up for a live Equity Focus demonstration to see how an equity management system can help you work faster.
This blog post was contributed by Jeremy S. Wright, Vice President of Customer Services at Two Step Software.