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Accounting-Based Incentive

Accounting-Based Incentive

What Is an Accounting-Based Incentive?

An accounting-based incentive is intended to repay corporate executives based on performance measures, for example, earnings per share and return on equity. Other performance measures that companies normally use to check executive performance incorporate cash flow, return on assets, operating income, net income, and total shareholder return.

These generally utilized incentive plans are based on the idea that the principal goal of company management is to increase shareholder values to their highest potential levels.

Grasping Accounting-Based Incentives

Accounting based incentives regularly reward performing executives with cash and company stock or employee stock options. In firms, everything being equal, incentive pay usually contains a huge portion of an executive's compensation. Companies determine annual incentive awards for typical employees by utilizing equations based on the accompanying three parts:

  1. Individual salary level
  2. Broad performance
  3. Performance of a specific business unit

The Exponential Growth in CEO Compensation

Accounting-based incentives have been a subject of study for a considerable length of time, as businesses have developed their meanings of what comprises commercial achievement and how it might best be accomplished. Adjusting employee and executive goals to those of shareholders based on accounting measures is seen as a straight-forward process for determining incentive compensation.

Pundits have contended that as executives have progressively been compensated with company stock incentives, they've been urged to zero in on short-term effects on share price as opposed to long-term planning and general business stability. As per the Economic Policy Institute, CEO compensation developed at 90 times the rate of commonplace worker pay from 1978 to 2014.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Incentive-Based Compensation

There any many cases to be made for this practice, including the accompanying benefits:

  • The bonuses are tax deductible to the company paying them out
  • These occasions don't weaken shareholder equity
  • These programs adjust shareholder interests with a chief's incentives

Then again, rivals of incentive-based compensation refer to many inconveniences to this practice, including that reality that bonus computations can be exceptionally complex since compensation plans frequently depend on a large number of performance estimations. Moreover, there are a wide range of types of awards, like stock-based incentives, long-term incentives, and short-term bonuses.

Rivals similarly point to the way that the financial metrics utilized may not be guaranteed to reflect changes to a company's value. For instance, a company might show substantial earnings-per-share growth, while at the same time discouraging the value of the company for shareholders, through real relative losses (dividends minus capital losses), or through negative real returns (returns minus inflation).

At long last, binds to an executives paycheck to the company's performance might foster high-risk choices. In the event that they fail, the executive may not win a bonus, but rather their base salary is spared. In the interim, the share price of the company may abruptly drop, hence harming shareholders.

[Important: Bonus incentives don't be guaranteed to inspire all staff members to step up their game — particularly the people who accept they're now working at capacity.]


  • Companies can utilize a large group of various metrics on which to base bonuses, including Individual salary levels, vast performance numbers, and performance figured for a specific business unit.
  • An accounting-based incentive is intended to remunerate corporate executives based on performance measures.
  • Rivals to these programs accept they might introduce possible irreconcilable circumstances, by binds the company's performance to an executive's paycheck, which could trigger high-risk choices.