It's no secret that many US firms are struggling to understand and comply with new rules regarding stock options. The costs of audits and additional staffing to help ensure compliance continue to rise. Businesses are starting to complain. And the federal government is starting to listen.
This week according to today's Wall Street Journal, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could announce a six-month delay in implementing new rules requiring companies to include stock options granted to employees as compensation as an expense in their earnings reports.
The final phase of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 to limit corporate fraud and financial deception has turned out to be far more expensive and complex than anticipated.
Whether the regulations keep companies on the straight and narrow as they were intended or suppress business climate as some have begun suggesting has yet to be determined. If the SEC delays implementing the new rules it may take even longer to discover the legacy of Sarbanes-Oxley.