SEC's Office of the Chief Accountant Release Staff Accounting Bulletin on Share-Based Payments

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Chief Accountant and its Division of Corporation Finance announced on Tuesday announced the release of a Staff Accounting Bulletin relating to the Financial Accounting Standard’s Board (FASB) accounting standard for stock options and other share-based payments.

Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 107 (SAB 107) “Share-Based Payment” FASB (SAB 107) expresses the views of the SEC staff regarding the application of Statement of Financial Accounting Standard Statement No. 123, “Share-Based Payment” issued by the FASB on December 16, 2004. The SEC staff believes the interpretive guidance regarding the interaction between Statement 123R and certain SEC rules and regulations provided by SAB107 will assist both public entities and investors or other using financial statements to analyze information, including disclosure within SEC filings related to the accounting of share-based payments.

Chief Accountant David Nicolaisen stated, “The accounting for share-based compensation has long been controversial and the deliberations of the FASB which led to the issuance of Statement 123R were no exception. The discussions were extensive and far-reaching. Sincere and deeply held views were expressed by those on all sides. In the end, the FASB had to make choices in determining the accounting appropriate for share-based compensation and the FASB expressed those conclusions in Statement 123R. The SEC staff has overseen this process and the FASB’s deliberations. I wish to express my personal thanks to all who provided input to the process. During the FASB deliberations and following, I and other members of the SEC staff have been asked a number of questions concerning implementation of the new standard. SAB 107 is being released today to respond to the more frequently asked questions and to provide views of the SEC staff regarding other relevant matters. The views expressed by the staff are guidance and do not alter any conclusions reached by the FASB in Statement 123R. We will continue to monitor implementation of Statement 123R and will consider the need for additional guidance as necessary.”

The statements in SABs are not rules or interpretations of the Commission nor are they published as bearing the Commission’s official approval. They represent interpretations nd practices followed by the Office of the Chief Accountant and the Division of Corporation Finance in administering the disclosure requirements of the Federal securities law.

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