This is important to note, because the grant date is what determines the exercise price on the options.
For instance, if the board meeting is on January 3, 2012, and Company XYZ stock closes at per share that day, then the exercise price of John's 2012 stock option grant is per share.
When he was hired, the Company XYZ board of directors offered John an attractive salary as well as an annual grant of 1,000 Company XYZ stock options.
Cases of backdating employee stock options have drawn public and media attention.Why It Matters Granting stock options to employees is a generally accepted and perfectly legal form of compensating employees. Critics of backdating argue that the practice is difficult to detect and thus encourages boards and executives to use it to synthesize more creative compensation packages.In our example, backdating the options is the same as giving John Doe a check for ,000 -- without recording that ,000 on the income statement as compensation.One of the larger backdating scandals occurred at Brocade Communications, a data storage company.It was forced to restate earnings by recognizing a stock-based expense increase of 3 million between 19, after allegedly manipulating its stock options grants for the benefit of its senior executives.