Template: Valuation of European Options


European options are distinct from their American options in that they can only be exercised at expiration date. This characteristic simplifies their valuation. In addition to share options, they can be in practice found in contracts related to indexes, foreign exchange, and commodities.

Valuation and Financial Statements

For accountants, the valuation of European options is important for several reasons:

  • Fair Value Measurement: European options need to be measured at fair value for financial reporting purposes. The fair value measurements impact the balance sheet and income statement. When European options are used in employee compensation plans, accountants must calculate the expense associated with these options. The calculation involves determining the fair value at the grant date, which is then expensed over the vesting period.
  • Risk Management Disclosures: Companies use European options for hedging and risk management. Accountants must understand these instruments to accurately disclose risk management strategies and their effectiveness.

Valuation Techniques

There is a plethora of sophisticated valuation techniques where any calculation and models are more tailored to a specific case and no unique template exists. However, due to the fixed exercise date, also a straightforward valuation based on the Black-Scholes model is available. It considers factors like the share price, exercise price, time until expiration, volatility, dividend, and the risk-free rate. Although this model does not hold in the real world, it serves as a useful approximation and general check for the valuation based on the more sophisticated models.

Practical Tool for Accountants

Attached is a template designed for the quick calculation of European option valuations. This tool is specifically tailored for accountants, allowing for a quick check of share options’ fair value and comparison with any more complex models. It incorporates fields for all relevant inputs:

  • Underlying share price
  • Exercise price
  • Time until expiration
  • Volatility
  • Dividend
  • Risk-free rate

By inputting these variables, accountants can instantly obtain a fair value estimate, as well as a basic understanding of the risks related to a given option through the Greeks that are calculated within the template.


For accountants tasked with the valuation of European share options in financial statements, understanding these financial instruments and mastering their valuation is critical for accurate financial reporting and compliance. The attached template serves as a resource for quick check on the valuation.

Note: The template included is designed only to assist accountants in evaluating reasonableness of the valuation. The actual value should be obtained from more sophisticated valuation techniques.

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