SEC delays Sarbanes-Oxley requirements for small businesses

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has provided small businesses another 1-year delay to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 requirements. Section 404 is the part of Sarbox that requires management to attest to the effectiveness of internal controls over financial reporting. “This will help ease the burden on small firms and help encourage more small […]

Inching towards international accounting standards in the US

In Canada, the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) has already taken the first steps of convergence with international standards by outlining the plan under which publicly accountable enterprises will transition completely to IFRS. The change will occur over the next 5 years, and the Board expects the changeover process to be complete by fiscal years beginning […]

BlackBerry maker getting the probe on options backdating

The Ontario Securities Commission has launched a probe of Research In Motion’s stock option practices. An OSC spokesperson said the review was launched in early October, which is not long after the company announced it would have to restate past financials because of its options accounting. Another tech company is having difficulties with their options […]

Loading springs and dodging bullets

Two terms, “spring-loading” and “bullet-dodging” have reminded me of the tendency in business to put a positive spin on negative practices. Spring-loading refers to the practice of granting options immediately before releasing good news that will likely increase the stock price, resulting in options that are not in the money technically when granted, but are, […]

Options backdating investigation not making the SEC any friends

Tech companies are the primary focus of the SEC’s recently announced and currently ongoing investigation into options dating irregularities, which makes sense given their proclivity for awarding stock options as part of compensation packages with employees. An article in BusinessWeek documents what tech company executives have recently termed a “witch hunt”: Many executives are surprised […]