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April 15, 2005
SEC Moves Deadline for Expensing Stock Options

The Securities and Exchange Commission has amended the compliance dates for a requirement to treat employee stock options as an expense.

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The SEC's new rule allows companies to implement the stock-options rule at the beginning of their next fiscal year, instead of the next reporting period, that begins after June 15, 2005, or December 15, 2005 for small business issuers.

This means, for example, that the financial statements for a company operating on a calendar-year basis need not comply with the stock-option rule until it files the interim financial statements for the first quarter of 2006 with the SEC.

The financial statements for a company, other than a small business issuer, with a June 30 year-end, however, must comply with the rule when the interim financial statements for the quarter beginning July 1, 2005 are filed with the SEC.

The SEC's decision changes only the dates for compliance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board standard. The standard requires public companies to recognize the compensation cost relating to stock options in financial statements.

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