5 Things Equity Administrators Need to Focus On

Written By: Michelle Tomasetti

As a stock plan administrator, you play a crucial role in making sure your company’s stock plans perform to their full potential. With so much responsibility, it can be challenging to know exactly what to focus on at any given time. 

We’ve narrowed the highest priority focus areas down to five key essentials. By zeroing in on these five focus areas, you’ll not only minimize risks but also create a winning stock plan that keeps your employees satisfied and your organization thriving.

Read on to learn how to navigate complexities, build inclusivity, streamline processes, and engage employees effectively, all while keeping those financial statements in top shape.

1. Compliance: Navigating the Complexities of Stock Plan Regulations

Stock plans are subject to various regulations, including tax, securities, and corporate governance laws. Failing to comply with these regulations can lead to severe penalties for both your company and its employees.

As such, compliance should be at the forefront of every equity administrator’s agenda. To prioritize compliance, make sure you’re staying updated on regulatory changes, seek professional advice when needed, and ensure that your stock plans adhere to all applicable laws.

2. Equity: Ensuring Fairness and Inclusivity for All Employees

One of your primary responsibilities as an equity administrator is to design and implement stock plans that are fair and equitable to all employees. Regardless of job title, location, or tenure, every employee should have an equal opportunity to participate in the plan. 

Evaluate the structure of your stock plans. Do they provide meaningful participation for employees at all levels? Do they foster a sense of ownership and motivation throughout the organization? If not, one way to improve in this area is by designing a consistent communications strategy for your equity plan.

3. Communication: Clear and Effective Employee Engagement

Speaking of communication, effective communication plays a pivotal role in the success of stock plans. As an equity administrator, you need to communicate with employees clearly and transparently, providing them with accurate information about the terms, conditions, and benefits of the stock plan. 

To really get employees excited about their equity plans, they need to clearly understand the benefits. Foster an environment of open dialogue, address employee questions and concerns promptly, and provide educational resources to enhance their understanding of the plan. Well-informed and engaged employees are more likely to participate and find value in their stock plan.

4. Administration: Efficiently Managing Complex Stock Plans

Administering stock plans, especially in large organizations, can be complex and time-consuming. It’s crucial for equity administrators to have the necessary resources, tools, and expertise to manage these plans efficiently. 

Establish streamlined processes, utilize technology solutions, and allocate sufficient resources to ensure accurate and timely administration of stock plans, including record-keeping, transactions, and reporting.

For example, implementing stock plan management software can simplify record-keeping, streamline transactions, and generate comprehensive reports with just a few clicks.

Leveraging this technology enables you to efficiently:

  • Track and manage stock grants
  • Exercise requests and vesting schedules
  • Eliminate the need for manual data entry
  • Reducing the risk of errors
  • And much more

5. Accounting: Ensuring Accurate Financial Reporting

Your stock plans have a significant impact on your company’s financial statements. That’s why as an equity administrator, it’s essential to ensure proper accounting for the stock plan in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). 

Work closely with your finance and accounting teams to accurately record and report the impact of stock plans on financial statements. Compliance with accounting standards will instill confidence in stakeholders and ensure transparency in financial reporting.

How These Focus Areas Minimize Risk

Five areas of focus can feel like a lot. But each focus area above is equally important, because they all work together to help equity administrators minimize various risks, including:

  • Legal liability for non-compliance with regulations
  • Financial penalties and fines for regulatory violations
  • Damage to the company’s reputation among employees, investors, and customers
  • Employee dissatisfaction, leading to decreased motivation and productivity
  • Increased employee turnover as dissatisfaction with the stock plan grows

Bottom Line

As an equity administrator, your proactive focus on compliance, equity, administration, communication, and accounting is critical for the success of your company’s stock plans. By addressing these areas effectively, you can mitigate risks, enhance employee satisfaction, and foster a culture of ownership. 

Your commitment to optimizing these focus areas will minimize risk and contribute to the long-term success of your organization’s equity programs.

If you need assistance in navigating and optimizing your equity administration practices, reach out to us at Infinite Equity. We’re here to support you in creating a robust and rewarding stock plan experience for your employees.

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