I use [Microsoft Money 2007](http://www.microsoft.com/money/default.mspx) to track our personal expenses, and my employer offers stock awards (rather than stock options). Basically, the way it works is they tell you that you did good this year, and that you’ll get a certain number of stock awards (let’s say 100 for simplicity). For the next 5 years, 20% of your stock awards vest each year, so if you got those 100 stock awards on, for example, March 15, 2007, you’ll get 20 shares on 3/15/2008, another 20 on 3/15/2009, and so on. (note: taxes should come out of this like normal income, so, while you’ll get 20 shares, you’ll actually receive less than that, dependent on your tax withholdings.)
To track these in Money is a bit of a challenge, but I’ve worked out a system that works well for me. To start, I have my brokerage account tracked as one account (hereafter referred to as the “brokerage account“), and I created a new Employee Stock Options account to track my Stock Awards (yes, I’m using an ESO to track awards.. You’ll see how that works momentarily, and I’ll call this the “ESO account“).
1. As you get a stock award, create a new Grant transaction in the ESO account, type in the number of shares you were awarded, and set the strike price as $0. Enter in all the requisite vesting rules (how many vest over what period of time, etc.).
2. As the stock award vests, Money will automatically create a Vest transaction in your ESO account. You need to manually put in an Exercise and Sell transaction, using the fair market value (FMV) that your employer used for the transaction. This will put cash equivalent from the award in your ESO cash tracking account.
3. In your ESO cash tracking account, create a new withdrawal for tax tracking purposes. I call mine “Tax Tracking”, and enter in the splits for the Federal, State, Social Security, and Medicare taxes that are withheld.
4. In your ESO cash tracking account, create a transfer of the remaining funds into your brokerage account.
5. In your brokerage account, create a Buy transaction for however much you have left after taxes. My employer is aggressive in the tax withholdings so that shares always go in as nice round numbers. Your employer may do things differently.
This may seem a bit convoluted, but gives you a few benefits: tax is tracked (you are tracking payroll details in your recurring paychecks, aren’t you?) and you have an idea of the value of your future stock awards is. Very handy.