FASB Mulling a Delay of Option-Rules Implementation

The Financial Accounting Standard Board in the US is considering changing the implementation date for it stock-option rules, after feedback on the board’s Exposure Draft during the three-month comment period indicated a desire for a delay.

According to Steven Getz, FASB’s acting director of public relations, the board received more than 7,000 comment letters and many indicated that the looming deadline for implementation was “causing additional stress” in light of a similar deadline for compliance of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The FASB rules are to go into effect Jan.1, 2005 for public companies and Jan. 1, 2006 for private companies.

Getz said that software vendors, for example, complained that they needed more time to develop the necessary programs to aid in FASB compliance. Their concerns, he said, need to be weighed with the interests of investors who want changes “sooner than later.” Getz noted, however, that while a delay is “possible,” it is equally possible that parties may be able to meet original projected date for implementation.

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