Backdating cash receipts

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It goes without saying that they also won’t realize that, in reality, it’s all being done a month later.

Now the fair response in Jobs’s defense at this juncture would be to say: “Well, look, people just didn’t look at this stuff the way they do today, post-Sarbanes-Oxley, and so on.

A supervisor should periodically review all key general ledger accounts for accuracy.

Sure the accounting rules are arcane and most people don’t know them.When then-general counsel Nancy Heinen emailed Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs such a spreadsheet on January 30, 2001, she noted that it was a bad idea to choose January 2 as the grant date–even though that was the day the stock had been at its lowest–if they wanted “to avoid any perception that the Board was acting in appropriately [sic] for insiders prior to Macworld announcements.” (They ultimately chose one of the next-best dates from after Macworld.) Now isn’t it obvious to everyone on that email that shareholders are being misled?She’s saying that shareholders will naively think that the options were really granted on January 2, leaving them suspicious of springloading.Since so many people think this is an important point, I thought I’d do a post addressing just that contention. What I assume people mean is that granting in-the-money options is not illegal, so long as you account for it properly. But the whole point of backdating is to pretend that you’re not granting in-the-money options when in fact you are.And to say it’s up to the bean-counters to catch this situation is silly, because the whole reason you’re using phony dates is so that the bean-counters won’t know what you really did.

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