Chicago (March 7, 2003) -- National accounting firm Grant Thornton has weighed in on the great stock option debate.The Windy City-based firm came out in favor of the expensing of stock options, which has once again become a hot-button issue as domestic and foreign rule makers consider changing the way companies account for the incentives. Currently, companies are not required to expense options, and those that opt to have more than one method of accounting for them. Part of the debate surrounding the issue is how to value options.

"The first time the issue was discussed in 1994, there was a lot of political maneuvering to make sure that stock options weren't expensed, and the industry didn't have adequate methodologies to record their cost," said Grant Thornton chief executive Edward Nusbaum in a statement. "But we're much more prepared today, and it's now the right time for the accounting profession to step up and really be committed to moving forward on expensing stock options."

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