A New Users’ Guide: How to Use Shareworks

Aunalisa Arellano

Illustration of a man holding tablet viewing Shareworks new user's guide

Shareworks User Guide

If you’re new to Shareworks, chances are this equity plan management system is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. For one thing, unlike traditional mainframe-based programs, Shareworks is a single web-based database. These unique features offer a host of benefits for equity plan professionals – like seamless, real-time reporting – but they also take a bit of getting used to.

That’s why we’ve put together this primer for new Shareworks users. Here, you’ll find a high-level overview of how to effectively navigate the system, and discover some tips and tricks on how to get the most out of its features. 

General navigation

As an equity plan professional accessing Shareworks through the corporate client access portal, you’ll quickly notice that everything you need is just a click away, thanks to our user-friendly dashboard. The following features will help you get the clearest view of your plan information:

  • Filters: help narrow your search list to focus on the information you are looking for.
  • Search boxes: Find the report or tool you need by conducting a quick search.
  • Favorites: If you find yourself using a report or tool over and over again, star them to your favorites list so you can call on them again quickly.
  • Pro Tip – Multiple windows: By opening multiple windows at once, you can quickly tab through your most relevant information.

The dashboard: Up close and personal

The dashboard includes a series of tiles that you can customize, delete or reorganize as you see fit. Here are a few you’ll likely find invaluable:

  • Participant exercises. In the past, if an exercise occurred on one day, you would have to wait until the next to see who exercised it. With the Shareworks real-time platform, you can launch an options exercise, for example, and the exercise tile on your dashboard will show you who exercised the option on what date. The notification will also include a link to the file and an opportunity to export the information into Excel and create a report around it.
  • Awards. The “award awaiting acceptance” tile allows you to easily find out who still needs to accept their awards and who you need to chase down. This information can then be used to guide your communications efforts.
  • Frequently-run reports. Even if you don’t “star” a report to add it to your favorites, the system can determine which reports you run most often and add them to this tile.
  • Participant support interactions. When a participant phones into the call center with a question, we can classify it into a “call category” and input it into the system in real time. You can then use these frequently-asked questions to help guide your future communications campaigns.
  • Blackouts. Sometimes, restrictions need to be placed on specific participants. Instead of going into that employee’s file, you can use the blackout tile to see which participants are attached to a specific blackout window and how long a certain blackout is in effect.  

The tabs: A deeper dive

From the main dashboard, you’ll notice a series of tabs across the top of the screen. Let’s look at a few of them in more detail.

The Plans tab

This tab shows you a list of all your plans, award types and umbrella grants, which are further broken down into “employee grants”. An umbrella grant is a grant of like conditions where the issuing plan, award type, grant date, grant price and other configurations are common. The employee grant is where the detail about who is receiving the award, number of shares granted and vesting scheduled are assigned.

  • The grant date, type and price
  • The specific documents and agreements you plan to use
  • The fair market value (FMV) configuration
  • The exercise and sale configuration
  • Available exercise methods
  • Approval status

Both umbrella grants and employee grants can be imported to reduce manual entry.

The Employees tab

If you want to review information about a single employee’s grant history or demographic, this is the tab to click on. This tab offers a streamlined overview of each employee’s account, including:

  • Demographic information
  • Contact information
  • Employee status (i.e., if an employee is active or terminated from a plan)
  • Transactions allowed/not allowed (e.g., if an employee is an insider, is awaiting preclearance or needs 144 paperwork, you can use this tab instead of creating a blackout)
  • Employee groups (e.g., by assigning “elements” such as location or termination schedules, you can track, report, sort and filter employees relevant to specific groups)
  • Employee portfolio (see a summary of all of the employee’s grants and awards, or filter according to outstanding or expired awards)

The Tools tab

This tab contains activities that can help you learn more about your full database, including how things are set up and specific rules governing it. Some features include:

  • Administrator account. This feature allows you to see who all your Shareworks users are so, in the event of an audit, you can provide a list of individuals with access to the system.
  • File repository. Also known as the plan management center, the file repository is a secure way to pass large files and reports back and forth.
  • Templates. If you’re looking for a specific document – such as a grant agreement, a plan document associated with a specific participant portfolio, or your notifications – you’ll find it here in the templates section.
  • Termination forecast. This tool creates a termination forecast report for a group of employees. It’s searchable by employee group or by the individual.

The Reports tab

Whether you’re looking to better organize your reports or create customized ones, this tab can help you do it all. Here are a few features we encourage you to explore:

  • Filter and Search. Using filters you can narrow the list reports getting you closer to the report you are looking for and the smart search tool pinpoints your search.
  • Tags. Tags are used to categorize reports, either by department or individual names.
  • Ad hoc reports. When you go into Shareworks, you’ll find a wide range of standardized reports, but they may not be in the exact format you want. Ad hoc reports allows you to create customized reports that meet your needs. These Ad Hoc reports can also be scheduled so if you know you need a certain report every Friday, you can schedule that here.
  • My report pickup area. If you’re trying to run a very big report to your screen, there’s a good chance it’s going to time out. My Report Pickup Area lets you avoid this problem by allowing the report to run in the background with delivery to this easily accessible repository.

Get started

The best way to get comfortable with Shareworks is to start using it! As you become more familiar with the basic layout and features, you may want to take additional training to master some of the more complex ones. Until then, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or if you require additional support.

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