Put a Little SaaS in Finance for Compliance Week

Michael Vizard

When it comes to software-as-a-service applications (SaaS), one of the last bastions of resistance is the finance department. After all, that's where all the most sensitive data is, so the natural inclination is to keep that data on premise.

Slowly but surely, however, SaaS vendors are starting to pick off key applications segments as part of a continuing effort to woo conservative finance executives. One of the latest examples of these efforts is OptionEase, which is a SaaS service that helps finance departments manage options and other equity-related issues.

According to OptionEase CEO Kim Kovacs, it turns out that as employees leave the company and the company itself gets sold or refinanced, the management of options can become a pretty complicated endeavor. Kovacs, who use to be a CFO, says OptionEase gives companies a way to not only manage the accounting process around options and other equity-related issues, but also provides a portal through which employees can keep track of the value of their options without having to constantly pester the finance department.

Much of the complexity around equity and options these days has to do with more stringent compliance requirements and accounting practices that have been put in place in the wake of a financial downturn that highlighted a lot of irregularities when it came to options and equity. Kovacs said one of the major benefits of OptionEase is that it brings more transparency to the entire equity process, which is an attribute that auditors will appreciate.

OptionEase in and of itself is not likely to turn finance departments into SaaS converts overnight. But as this week marks the annual Compliance Week conference, anything that makes the job of the CFO a little bit easier usually gets a hearing.

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