Dividend is the distribution of corporate earnings to investors, prorated by class of security, and may be paid in the form of money, stock or scrip. The amount paid is decided by the company's board of directors and is usually paid on a semi-annual or quarterly basis. In securities business, scrip is a temporary document issued by a corporation that is a fractional share of stock resulting from a split, exchange of stock or spin off. Scrip certificates may be aggregated or applied towards the purchase of full shares. Scrip dividends have historically been paid in lieu of cash dividends by companies short of cash.