This topic was initially slated to be a session at Synergy 2020 in Austin, TX – our plans changed, but the quality of our content didn’t, and we want to share it with the public as an evergreen resource. Learn more about Synergy here.
Over the past few months while looking on your computers, tablets, and phones you may have come across many articles and blogs, on top ten shows to watch, top workouts to do at home, or top foods to eat. Have you wondered where to find that information about Shareworks as an equity plan management software? Well, look no further. Our top ten list will exercise your mind and fill you up with everything you need to know about Shareworks to help you make the most of the platform.
We’ll review the features within Shareworks that are commonly sought after, inquired about, or even overlooked – but can help streamline the administration of your equity compensation plan. Here are the TEN tips to increase productivity and help you mitigate risk.
TIP #1: Bulk Tools
Nothing is better than buying in bulk – right? Why? Because it saves time, money, and resources. With the use of bulk tools in Shareworks, you can make changes to grants or participants in bulk. Here are just a few examples:
- Employee Bulk Update: Change participant transaction status for all participants or for those matching a defined filtering criteria
- Bulk Grant Activities: Change key values at the umbrella grant level
- Bulk Statements: Run statements in PDF format and download into a zip file
- Bulk Vest Date: Change a specific vest date across multiple employees
TIP #2: Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for Participants
With a majority of the workforce working remotely, having an added level of protecting means peace of mind. Two-factor authentication provides a second layer of defense against unauthorized access and provides industry standard levels of protection to your participants. Turning on 2FA is simple:
- For Plan Sponsors: It can be turned on at the company level and is applicable to all participant logins using an account number or username (not for single sign-on)
- For Plan Participants: Participants will need to enter a constantly regenerated random 6-digit number in addition to their login credentials.
TIP #3: Pre-Vest Release Processing (Weekends/Holidays)
Are you like most people these days and are finding hard to keep track of what day of the week it is? So, you can imagine if you have a release event scheduled for a weekend, holiday, or non-business day – or even use prior day’s close for release FMV method? Well, this setting may be just right for you! With this setting you can:
- Process a release within Shareworks a day or so prior to the actual release date – however FMV date must be known
- Orders remain pending until the market opens
- Release, shares, and treasury letters remain pending until release date
A word to the wise about this particular tip: there could be potential drawbacks to using this feature if your company stock is seeing large market fluctuations from day to day. Be sure to identify all of the variables of your release calculations before you use this feature, to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
TIP #4: Session Timeout Configuration
Now more than ever we have been forced to multitask. So, you are not alone if you have been working in Shareworks, received an important email for example, popped back into Shareworks only to find out you’ve been logged out! The timeout configuration tool:
- Will prevent you from being logged out of your account for a set period of time due to inactivity
- Has a default configuration of 15 minutes; must be less than or equal to 90 minutes
- Has a participant login timeout of 15 minutes
TIP #5: Export Destinations
Making things easier for plan sponsors is our top priority. What can be easier than having your scheduled reports delivered to a preferred SFTP location that you can control in one easy location? With this feature you can:
- Create multiple export destination within a single company
- Use key or password-based authentication
- Have a single location to manage credentials and any IT changes
- Use these to transmit files to third-parties or directly to your company network
- Choose to have a file delivered to a report pickup area within Shareworks or to a predefined export location
TIP #6: Key Containers/Encrypted Report Output
With safety being on the top of everybody’s mind, knowing that scheduled reports can be encrypted using a specific PGP encryption key may put your mind at ease. Plus, Shareworks supports multiple key containers for various uses. Other benefits of this functionality include:
- Key based authentication can be used for SFTP connections
- Available when creating scheduled adhoc reports
- Shareworks can generate appropriate private and public PGP key pair on demand
- Single location to manage credentials on any IT changes
TIP #7: Vesting Schedules – Rounding & Try It
Trying new things can be scary – especially when it comes to rounding. But with this Shareworks feature, no need to be scared when it comes to rounding or trying a new vesting schedule. You can actually test out your vesting schedule setup before applying it to new grants. In addition:
- Rounding can be controlled per vesting schedule
- Rounding for each section is shown right in the name
- Shareworks allows for fractional and whole share vesting
- You can use the “try it” feature to test your schedule set up and rounding
TIP #8: Blackout Periods – Hotel California
When you hear the term blackout period, whether you are booking a flight or a stay at a hotel, you automatically think inflexibility. But that’s not the case with Shareworks. With our unique functionality:
- You can set an optional parameter in the configuration of a blackout period
- Once a participant is captured by the blackout criteria, they will remain in it for the duration
- Changes are still allowed in the participants account demographics without impacting the blackout date
TIP #9: Grant Type Configuration
With all this time spent in our homes lately, many of us have relabeled drawers reorganized closets, and even rooms. If it was only that easy when it came to an employee’s award portfolio. Well, it is! With grant type configuration:
- Portfolio headings can be adjusted to show desired values or calculations
- You can add columns to show the content of Custom Employee Grant fields
- You can reorder columns and add table footnotes
- Customize names at award type level
Depending on the nature of the change you’d like to see, support from the Special Projects team may be needed. Talk to your Client Service Manager for more information about your specific configuration options.
TIP #10: New Grant Notification Upon Approval
Let’s face it, we are all being asked to do more in less time so now more than ever we are looking for ways to streamline some functions of our job. Shareworks is here to help! With the automated grant notification, participants who received a grant will get notified based on criteria you have set up. It’s as easy as this:
- You can control the timing of the notification – they can be pushed with each grant approval
- There are two fully customizable templates
- One email is available per grant
BONUS: Five Settings You Should Know
If you were watching one of those late night infomercials, here is where you would hear “but, wait there’s more …” And, while there is no “two-for-one” deal, there are five quick settings to share:
- Releases & Cash/Liability Management: Automatically marks cash and payroll releases as completed. The setting exists in the Sale Transfer Configuration tool.
- Treasury Direction Letters & Adhoc Reporting: Adhoc reports can be pulled into treasury direction letters. Filters and definition pieces are taken into account during run time. This becomes useful when you have a letter that splits the exercise or released quantity to multiple different pools at the transfer agent (based on your Shareworks employee groups).
- Dashboard Titles - Contacts & Statistics: Get the information you and administration team care about upfront. Tiles are fully customizable.
- Hybrid Employee Groups: Hybrid groups provide a combination of data elements. Use them for filtering, reporting, or other uses.
- Forced Acknowledgement of Documents: Get the responses as soon as your user reaches Shareworks.
As you can see, Shareworks contains powerful functionality to help you stay on top of your plan management activities, so you can focus on other things. If you aren’t already a client and want to learn more, request a guided tour today.