What is ASC 718?

ASC 718, also known as Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 718, is the accounting standard that provides guidance on the accounting for stock-based compensation. Stock-based compensation refers to the practice of granting employees or directors of a company equity awards, such as stock options or restricted stock units (RSUs), as part of their compensation. This is not really generally a big deal for small startups, in that their board, investors and accounting firms do not require ASC 718 compliance at the early-stage! 

This standard provides guidance on how to measure and recognize the expense associated with stock-based compensation, as well as how to disclose information about stock-based compensation in the financial statements for companies that are going fully GAAP, which not all startups are worrying about. The standard applies to all forms of stock-based compensation, including stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units, and other equity-based awards. Read all about startup stock options here.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is the independent organization that establishes financial accounting and reporting standards for public and private companies, as well as non-profit organizations. FASB requires public companies to disclose detailed information about their stock-based compensation plans and the expenses recognized under those plans in their financials. This includes information about the number and types of awards granted, the fair value of the awards, and the vesting and expiration dates of the awards - and so, as you’d expect, the accounting for large public companies is a lot more onerous than for smaller technology startups.

Who set up ASC 718?

ASC 718 is part of the FASB Accounting Standards Codification, which is the official source of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in the United States. FASB is the organization responsible for issuing and maintaining GAAP.

What is an ASC 718 valuation?

An ASC 718 valuation, also known as a fair value determination, is the process of determining the fair value of an equity award for the purposes of accounting for stock-based compensation under Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718. Under this set of standards, the expense associated with stock-based compensation is measured at the grant date, based on the fair value of the award.

Is an ASC 718 valuation the same as a 409a valuation?

An ASC 718 valuation and a 409A valuation are similar, but they serve different purposes.

An ASC 718 valuation, also known as a fair value determination, is the process of determining the fair value of an equity award for the purposes of accounting for stock-based compensation under Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718. This valuation is used to calculate the expense associated with the award and to disclose information about the award in the financial statements.

A 409A valuation, on the other hand, is a valuation of the fair market value of the company’s common stock for the purposes of complying with Internal Revenue Code Section 409A. Section 409A sets forth rules for deferred compensation, including certain types of equity awards, to ensure that the compensation is taxed appropriately.

To comply with Section 409A, companies must determine the fair market value of their common stock at least once a year. This valuation is used to set the exercise price of stock options and to determine the amount of income that must be included in an employee’s taxable income when certain types of deferred compensation are paid. Startups should hire an outside, qualified firm to conduct the valuation and to produce a report that will pass muster with the IRS.

While both an ASC 718 valuation and a 409A valuation involve determining the fair value of equity awards, they serve different purposes and are governed by different rules. So you can’t just produce one and then reduce the cost! An ASC 718 valuation is used for accounting and financial reporting purposes, while a 409A valuation is used for tax purposes.

Written by CPA Experts

Vanessa Kruze, CPA, is the founder of Kruze Consulting - a CPA firm 100% dedicated to Venture Capital backed startups. Visit author page

About Us

A CPA Firm Specialized in Startup Accounting & Finance

A CPA Firm Specialized in Startup Accounting & Finance

Startups are our niche, and our passion. Our clients have raised over $10 billion in venture capital financing. We are one of only a few outsourced accounting firms that specialize in funded early-stage companies - we only offer financial and tax services to fast growing startups in the Seed, Series A, Series B and Series C stages.

The Right Accounting Partner for Your Startup’s Next Round

The Right Accounting Partner for Your Startup’s Next Round

We know how to de-risk your startup’s next venture capital round. Our team makes sure you are ready to fly through your next VC’s accounting, HR and tax due diligence. And when you use us as your bookkeeper, we set up and keep up-to-date a due diligence folder so you can get that next round of fundraising.

A Leader in Cloud Accounting Software

A Leader in Cloud Accounting Software

Our practice is built on best of breed cloud accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero, Netsuite, Gusto, Zenefits, Expensify, Avalara, Brex iand Bill.com. Technology makes us more efficient, saving our clients money and letting us offer higher value services like FP&A modeling, 409A valuation and venture debt consulting. Startups deserve to work with CPAs using modern software.

Trusted by Top Venture Investors

Trusted by Top Venture Investors

Top angel investors and VCs refer Kruze because they trust us to give the right advice. Our clients are portfolio companies of top technology and Silicon Valley investors, including Y-Combinator, Kleiner, Sequoia, Khsola, Launch, Techstars and more. With us, your books and taxes are in order when it’s time to raise another round of venture financing.

What types of startups does Kruze Consulting usually work with?

What types of startups does Kruze Consulting usually work with?

Kruze Consulting works with a variety of funded Delaware C-Corps, but the majority of our companies have secured Seed, Series A, Series B and Series C. We look to partner with our clients, going beyond the typical outsourced accounting relationship and seeking to provide a higher level advisory role. We feel honored to be a part of making the world a better place, even if it’s one debit and credit at a time.

Accounting, Finance, Taxes, & Payroll all in one solution

Accounting, Finance, Taxes, & Payroll all in one solution

Startup CFO services, startup accounting and bookkeeping services, startup annual taxes, expense reports, payroll, benefits: we've got you covered. Our software provides custom tailored dashboards that can be provided weekly or monthly, depending on your preference and plan. Founders are often so busy building their company that they don’t have time to take care of their finances. Traditionally, these companies have had to work with a basket of people to get their work done, including bookkeepers, accountants, AP clerks, CFOs, consultants, and tax accountants. At Kruze Consulting, our founders have one point person, saving time and money.

Client testimonials

Quote icon

We're huge fans of Vanessa and the folks at Kruze Consulting. They set up our books, finances, and other operations, and are constantly organized and on top of things. As a startup, you have to focus on your product and customers, and Kruze takes care of everything else (which is a massive sigh of relief). I highly highly highly recommend working with Vanessa and her team.

Vivek Sodera

Vivek Sodera

Co-Founder @ Superhuman

Quote icon

As a startup, moving quickly is a top priority for us and we just needed to get our tax return done. After we uploaded our docs, we got our tax return in 3 days! E-filing was confirmed by Day 4. Super responsive and helpful!

Casey McKerchie

Casey McKerchie

VP, Operations of Calm.com

Quote icon

Avochato has been growing rapidly in the past year – in fact, too quickly for us to keep up with books, taxes, and budgeting for growth. Partnering with Kruze Consulting has been fantastic to manage, track, and analyze our finances while we continue focusing on building our customer base. Kruze’s team knows what startups need.

Alex De Simone

Alex De Simone

CEO @ Avochato

Quote icon

Everybody, go to Kruze Consulting. They do a great job. I personally can tell you, they've done a great job for our companies, including Calm.com. I'm sure they’ll do a great job for you.

Jason Calacanis

Jason Calacanis

Angel investor

READY TO CONNECT FOR A FREE CONSULTATION?

We are the experts at helping seed/VC-backed Delaware C-Corps with their accounting and finances!

Talk to an experienced accountant, not a generic sales person

 Kruze Consulting
Alex Janeck
 Kruze Consulting
Edith Silva
 Kruze Consulting
Bryan Sandt
Viz AI

$250M+ VC Funding Raised


"I had a great experience working with Kruze Consulting when we raised Series A. They know what VCs need to see, and how to present a startup’s books and finances. If you are going to raise venture capital, you need experts like Kruze."
Chris Mansi

Chris Mansi

CEO

Startup Venture Capital Assistance

With former venture capitalists on staff, our team is here to help you navigate the fundraising process and manage your board of directors

 Kruze Consulting
Scott Orn
COO | Former VC
 Kruze Consulting
Healy Jones
VP FP&A | Former VC
Pequity

Scale Remote Operations & Team


"Kruze has supported us above and beyond basic accounting needs by ensuring we have everything we need to expand and support our team wherever they may be located"
Zack Fisch

Zack Fisch

Head of Operations & Legal

Clients who have worked with Kruze have collectively raised over $10 billion in VC funding.

We set startups up for fundrising success, and know how to work with the top VCs.

 Kruze Consulting
Vanessa Kruze, CPA
Founder & CEO
Kruze Logo

Experienced team helping you

Our US-based account management team is staffed by CPAs and accountants who have, on average, 11 years of experience.

 Kruze Consulting
Bill Hollowsky, CPA
VP of Accounting Services
 Kruze Consulting
Claudine Vantomme, CPA
Controller
 Kruze Consulting
Morgan Avery
SUT/R&D Sr. Tax Accountant
 Kruze Consulting
Beth Bassler
Controller, CPA
Protara Therapeutics

Grew from a 2-person startup to a NASDAQ listed public company.


"The Kruze team helped us grow from a 2-person startup to a NASDAQ listed public company in 2 years. We wouldn’t have gotten public without Kruze’s support. Anyone thinking of launching a startup should make Vanessa their first call!"
Jesse Shefferman

Jesse Shefferman

CEO

Kruze Logo

Get in Touch

Please help us connect with you

How can we reach you?

Our first response is typically via email, so please check your inbox.

Help us have a productive first consultation by providing some additional information.

What year was your startup incorporated?

What is your stage of funding?

(pick up from the list)

Approximately how much funding have you raised?

(please enter a dollar value such as 5000000)

Help us understand what you are looking for:

(Optional, click the ones you need)

READY TO CONNECT FOR A FREE CONSULTATION?

We are the experts at helping seed/VC-backed Delaware C-Corps with their accounting and finances!


Talk with a real accountant, not a generic salesperson!

 Kruze Consulting
Scott Orn
 Kruze Consulting
Alex Janeck
 Kruze Consulting
Edith Silva

Help us get in touch

Enter your name
Enter Company name
Enter Phone number
Enter Email
Enter Message
   
  Talk to a leading startup CPA
Table of contents