Now that the accounting rule-makers in Norwalk have issued their final rule mandating that companies expense at fair value the stock options that they grant to their employees, the real fun has just begun.

After two years of watching the Financial Accounting Standards Board and its supporters duke it out with members of Congress and the high-tech companies that oppose the rule, which will mandate that companies move options from the depths of financial footnotes and onto their income statements as an expense, we're probably going to get six more months of the same, since the rule doesn't take effect for public companies until the middle of next year, thanks to a decision to delay the effective date by six months. (For private companies and small business issuers, the standard will apply for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2005.)

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