Accounting board delays share scheme alterations

The Accounting Standards Board has deferred making a decision on changing accounting standards for employee share schemes following a plea from share scheme solicitors and other groups.

As reported in The Lawyer last week, representatives of around 70 solicitors belonging to the Share Scheme Lawyers Group wrote to the ASB's Urgent Issues Task Force asking it to scrap proposals for companies to charge the cost of share schemes to their profit and loss accounts, saying it would lead to the end of the schemes.

Andrew Lennard, the Task Force's technical director, said: “We received far more responses on this than we expected and we think it's right that we defer a decision until we've looked into it more.”

He said he had written to all respondents asking for further views and will not make a firm decision until the new year.

But he added: “It's my view that it's right that shares issued at a discount for employees should be written down as a cost.”

Respondents were originally given only four weeks, until 7 November, to respond.