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Joel on Software

News

by Joel Spolsky
Friday, December 17, 2004

Mercury News: “Accounting rule makers handed down long-awaited final guidelines Thursday that will force companies to deduct the value of billions of dollars of employee stock options from reported profits starting in mid-2005.”

Here's some old discussion of what this means.

The old Silicon Valley hands are unhappy with the general concept of expensing stock options, and one reason they often give for this is the difficulty of figuring out the value of stock options. But anybody in the investment industry, and indeed, anyone with a rudimentary understanding of financial accounting knows that accounting for the value of an illiquid asset is always a problem yet something you always have to do anyway, and just because the value of stock options changes over time or because it is not possible to fix exactly does not mean it shouldn't be accounted for consistently.


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

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About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, easy web-based collaboration software, FogBugz, an enlightened bug tracking and software development tool, and Kiln, a distributed source control system that will blow your socks off. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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