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Compensation and Benefit Design: Applying Finance and Accounting Principles to Global Human Resource Management Systems

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Compensation and Benefit Design: Applying Finance and Accounting Principles to Global Human Resource Management Systems


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The definitive HR professional's guide to designing exceptionally successful compensation and benefit programs.

  • Thoroughly explains best-practice techniques, methodologies, and accounting/financial concepts associated with superior compensation/benefit program design
  • Illuminates key connections between HR program development and relevant GAAP/IFRS accounting processes and procedures
  • Demonstrates key concepts through case examples
  • Includes chapter-ending exercises and problems


  • Copyright 2013
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-306478-6
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-306478-0

In Compensation and Benefit Design, Bashker D. Biswas shows exactly how to bring financial rigor to crucial "people" decisions associated with compensation and benefit program development. This comprehensive book begins by introducing a valuable Human Resource Life Cycle Model for considering compensation and benefit programs. Biswas thoroughly addresses the acquisition component of compensation, as well as issues related to general compensation, equity compensation, and pension accounting. He assesses the full financial impact of executive compensation programs and employee benefit plans, and discusses the unique issues associated with international HR systems and programs. This book contains a full chapter on HR key indicator reporting, and concludes with detailed coverage of trends in human resource accounting, and the deepening linkages between financial and HR planning. Replete with both full and "mini" case examples throughout, this book will be valuable to a wide spectrum of HR and financial professionals, with titles including compensation and benefits analysts, managers, directors, and consultants; HR specialists, accounting specialists, financial analysts, total rewards directors, controller, finance director, benefits actuaries, executive compensation consultants, corporate regulators, and labor attorneys. It also contains chapter-ending exercises and problems for use by students in HR and finance programs.

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Introduction to Compensation and Benefit Design: Applying Finance and Accounting Principles to Global Human Resource Management Systems

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Table of Contents


Part 1

Chapter 1 Introduction: Setting the Stage     3

The Cost Versus Expense Conundrum     4

CAPEX Versus OPEX     7

The Current HR Cost-Classification Structure     8

The Current Accounting for Compensation and Benefit Cost Elements     12

Key Concepts in This Chapter     23

Appendix: The Terms     24

Chapter 2 Business, Financial, and Human Resource Planning     29

The Overall Planning Framework     30

HR Planning     34

HR Programs     43

Key Concepts in This Chapter     52

Appendix     53

Chapter 3 Projecting Base Compensation Costs     55

Base Salary Costs     58

Key Concepts in This Chapter     67

Appendix: Cash Flow Impact of Salary Increases     67

Chapter 4 Incentive Compensation     71

An Introduction to Incentive Compensation Programs     71

Accounting for Annual Cash Incentive Plans     74

Key Incentive Compensation Metrics     77

Free Cash Flow as an Incentive Plan Metric     81

Economic Value Added as an Incentive Plan Metric     82

Residual Income as an Incentive Compensation Plan Metric     86

The Balanced Scorecard and Incentive Compensation     87

Balanced Scorecard and Compensation     92

Key Concepts in This Chapter     94

Chapter 5 Share-Based Compensation Plans     95

Stock Award Plans     97

Stock Option Plans     100

Stock Option Expensing     103

The Accounting for Stock Options     106

Tax Implications of Stock Plans     112

International Tax Implications of Share-Based Employee Compensation Plans     116

Employee Share Purchase Plans     121

Stock Appreciation Rights     122

Key Concepts in This Chapter     126

Appendix: Stock Options and Earnings per Share     127

Chapter 6 International and Expatriate Compensation     131

The Background to International and Expatriate Compensation     132

The Balance Sheet System     136

Expatriate Taxes     143

The Cost-Differential Allowance     151

Global Payroll Systems     156

International Pensions     159

Global Stock Option Plans     161

Key Concepts in This Chapter     164

Chapter 7 Sales Compensation Accounting     165

General Accounting Practices     166

Sales Compensation Plans     168

Accounting Control and Audit Issues     175

Other Salient Elements of a Sales Compensation Plan     177

Travel Allowances     179

Commission Accounting     183

Key Concepts in This Chapter     185

Chapter 8 Employee Benefit Accounting     187

The Standards Framework     189

Defined Contribution Versus Defined Benefit Plans     190

Section 965 Explained     191

Calculating Plan Benefit Obligations     194

Claims Incurred but Not Reported (IBNR)     194

Other Benefit Obligations     196

Additional Obligations for Postretirement Health Plans     197

Self-Funding of Health Benefits     198

International Financial Reporting Standards and Employee Health and Welfare Plans     201

The Financial Reporting of Employee Benefit Plans     202

Key Concepts in This Chapter     207

Chapter 9 Healthcare Benefits Cost Management     209

The Background     209

The Reasons for the Rising Costs     212

Cost Containment Alternatives     214

Forecasting Healthcare Benefit Costs     228

Key Concepts in This Chapter     230

Chapter 10 The Accounting and Financing of Retirement Plans     231

The Background     232

The Accounting of the Plans     235

The Pension Benefit Obligation     245

Pension Plan Assets     253

The Pension Expense     256

The Accounting Record-Keeping     262

Accounting Standards Affecting Pension Plans     265

Key Concepts in This Chapter     266

Part 2

Chapter 11 Human Resource Analytics     271

The Background for the Use of HR Analytics     272

The Need for HR Analytics     273

Measuring the Effectiveness of HR Investments     274

Total Compensation Effectiveness Metrics     280

A Changed Paradigm     284

Key Concepts in This Chapter     285

Chapter 12 Human Resource Accounting     287

The Background     287

The Debate     289

HR Accounting Methods     291

Key Concepts in This Chapter     300

Appendix: No Long-Term Savings from Workforce Reductions     301

Conclusion     305

An HR Finance and Accounting Audit     306

References     309

Index     323


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