Disclosure versus recognition: the case of expensing stock options

Disclosure versus recognition: the case of expensing stock options The SFAS 123R comment process generated over 6,500 comment letters, most of which were against the standard’s enactment. This outpouring of emotion indicates that many believe that disclosure versus recognition matters. Our paper provides evidence for the debate whether managers’ discretion, motivation, and accuracy of stock option estimates differ under the recognition and disclosure reporting regimes. We compare firms that are mandatorily forced to recognize stock options expense with those voluntarily choosing to do so. First we find that mandatory firms (versus voluntary) with more intensive stock option granting tend to understate option estimates, especially in the post SFAS123R period. Our results suggest that a higher recognition cost motivates firms for doing so. Second, we find that mandatory firms with lower future operating risk have better accuracy in the post SFAS123R period, as compared to themselves in the pre SFAS123R period and voluntary firms in the post SFAS123 period. Our results support the notion that the informativeness of option estimates explains the level of accuracy. The findings of this paper add to the debate on the benefits of recognizing stock option expenses. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting Springer Journals

Disclosure versus recognition: the case of expensing stock options

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Economics / Management Science; Finance/Investment/Banking; Accounting/Auditing; Econometrics; Operations Research/Decision Theory
ISSN
0924-865X
eISSN
1573-7179
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11156-012-0290-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The SFAS 123R comment process generated over 6,500 comment letters, most of which were against the standard’s enactment. This outpouring of emotion indicates that many believe that disclosure versus recognition matters. Our paper provides evidence for the debate whether managers’ discretion, motivation, and accuracy of stock option estimates differ under the recognition and disclosure reporting regimes. We compare firms that are mandatorily forced to recognize stock options expense with those voluntarily choosing to do so. First we find that mandatory firms (versus voluntary) with more intensive stock option granting tend to understate option estimates, especially in the post SFAS123R period. Our results suggest that a higher recognition cost motivates firms for doing so. Second, we find that mandatory firms with lower future operating risk have better accuracy in the post SFAS123R period, as compared to themselves in the pre SFAS123R period and voluntary firms in the post SFAS123 period. Our results support the notion that the informativeness of option estimates explains the level of accuracy. The findings of this paper add to the debate on the benefits of recognizing stock option expenses.

Journal

Review of Quantitative Finance and AccountingSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 15, 2012

References

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