The Securities and Exchange Commission requested that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board delay issuing guidance related to backdating stock options.According to The Wall Street Journal, the PCAOB had planned to issue an alert to accounting firms about the front-burner topic, which would have advised auditors about grant issues they should examine in audits.

The regulator has reportedly asked the board to delay issuing the guidance until the commission completes its own work on a proposed rule to revamp disclosure of executive pay.

In recent months there have been an increasing number of instances where companies have applied stock option-grant dates on a retroactive basis. That allows those who are granted the options to buy them at artificially low share prices.

A PCAOB spokeswoman declined comment on specific board matters, but said that there is a "normal give and take that goes on between the PCAOB and SEC," the WSJ said.

Previously on WebCPA:

Intuit Part of SEC Options Probe; Symantec Settles with IRS (June 13, 2006)

Study: Stock Options Still Manipulated (Jan. 31, 2006)

Stock Option Expensing Moves Forward (Sept. 9, 2005)

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