Not surprisingly, opponents of expensing stock options have issued responses to the March 29 release of options expensing guidance by the Securities and Exchange Commission. With the release of SAB No. 107, the regulator reaffirmed its support of December's rule by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which mandates treating employee stock options as an expense. "While the SEC has provided clarity on some issues surrounding the FASB rule, its decision not to further delay implementation is a significant blow to companies that provide broad-based stock option plans, especially those in the high-tech industry," said William T. Archey, president and chief executive of the high-tech trade group AeA. Archey urged Congress to pass H.R. 913, the Broad-Based Stock Option Plan Transparency Act, a measure that would delay implementation long enough to conduct studies on the impact of stock options. Meanwhile, Rick White, president of the International Employee Stock Options Coalition said, "The coalition's mission has been to preserve broad-based employee stock options from draconian accounting rules, because stock options represent a vital economic tool for our nation." The recently issued SEC guidelines however, offer some leeway to companies, with several models from which to choose when estimating the fair value of employee options. The options expensing rule is slated to take effect this summer.
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