Sooner or later, a company that issues equity awards likely will have to modify them in some way.


Maybe an industry-wide shock has put existing performance targets out of reach. Or an acquisition has brought additional earnings that would yield a windfall well beyond the maximum payout. Perhaps the board would like to accelerate a retiring executive’s shares in recognition of years of outstanding service. Whatever the circumstances, each modification is one of a kind—a reflection of the company’s objectives, business model, and overall compensation philosophy.

Here’s your portal to all the insights Equity Methods has published on this multifaceted topic. Need more? We’re here to help. Look into our modification services or just contact us directly.

7 Frequently Asked Questions on Option Exchange Program Design

David Outlaw and Kyle McCall· 9/1/2023

Discover some of the key trends and best practices from our data and experience shepherding clients through the option exchange process.


Spin-Offs: Equity Compensation Accounting Challenges

Raenelle James and David Outlaw · 3/1/2022

When you spin out an entity, what happens to equity awards? Here are key considerations for getting the accounting right.


Stock Option Early Exercises: Accounting Considerations

Boxian Kolb and Yishu Chen · 12/14/2021

Learn more about how early exercise provisions function and the complexity they pose to downstream accounting and administration.


10 Themes Shaping the Decision to Restore Underwater Equity Incentives

Takis Makridis and Yudian Tang · 11/21/2020

With the economic fallout of COVID-19 making its way to equity and executive compensation, these themes should be on your radar now.


Incentive Restoration Strategies in 2020: The Brazen, the Bold, and the Basic Webcast

Takis Makridis and David Outlaw · 10/21/2020

Tune in for case studies of different incentive restoration initiatives companies adopted in 2020, pros and cons included.


2020 Group Five Stock Plan Administration Benchmarking Results and What’s Ahead in Stock Compensation Reporting

Takis Makridis · 9/28/2020

See Equity Methods’ results from this year’s survey of plan sponsors and get our take on the issues that are top of mind for stock-based compensation.


Q&A Session on Discretion and Modifications Webcast

Takis Makridis and David Outlaw · 9/10/2020

We answer your burning questions about discretion, modifications, and other award adjustments in this 30-minute conversational follow-up to our Restoring Underwater Incentives webcast.

Restoring Underwater Incentives: Discretion, Modifications, and More Webcast

Takis Makridis and David Outlaw · 9/2/2020

In this webcast, we discuss the lasting effects COVID-19 has had on demand and supply, with many companies taking or considering action to restore underwater performance metrics. When taking action, companies have a wide array of potential strategies to choose from, beginning with whether to adjust performance outcomes by exercising discretion on the results or modifying the goals altogether.


Modifications and Discretion FAQ

Takis Makridis · 8/29/2020

Based on hundreds of live cases and in-depth dialogue within the compensation and accounting communities, our Modifications and Discretion FAQ offers our take on how efforts to restore broken incentives are shaping up in a coronavirus-battered economy.


Equity Award Modifications in Down Markets


The final installment of our Recession Readiness Webcast Series, this program on May 28 will offer practical approaches to managing this delicate process through the economic storm.


Restoring (Underwater) Compensation Incentives in a Post-Pandemic Economy


Here’s what management teams need to know when weighing potential modifications to outstanding incentive awards—including incentive restoration solutions, implications, and accounting and proxy rules.


Underwater Performance Equity: How to Restore Incentives


In this issue brief, we provide a handful of strategies for how to deal with performance awards that aren’t faring well, along with some important governance and reporting implications to consider.


Equity Award Modifications: Connecting the Theory to Practical Cases

Daniel Hunninghake, CPATakis Makridis, and David Outlaw · 6/19/2019

Newly updated for 2019, our modifications white paper provides a holistic discussion of the share-based payment accounting model for modifications.


Equity Award Modifications

David Outlaw and Yudian Tang · 6/11/2019

Whether you’re an accountant or a compensation professional, tune in for a webcast that will help you get equity award modifications right.


5 Frequent Modification Mishaps

David Outlaw and Daniel Hunninghake, CPA · 4/22/2019

Here are some of the most common types of modifications and the implications they have for the financial statement and proxy.


ASU 2017-09 Brings Partial Clarity to Modification Accounting

Takis Makridis · 8/30/2017

ASU 2017-09 is intended to clarify when changes to share-based payment awards must be accounted for as modifications. Does it succeed?


Modification Accounting Clarified in New FASB Proposal

Daniel Hunninghake, CPA and David Outlaw · 11/28/2016

FASB released an exposure draft on the application of modification accounting guidance under ASC 718. Here’s a summary of the proposed changes.



Meet Our Experts

David Outlaw, CEP

Managing Director, Valuation & HR Advisory Services

Daniel Hunninghake, CPA

Managing Director, Financial Reporting Services

Boxian Kolb, CPA

Director, Financial Reporting Services

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