When you need valuation services performed to determine the valuation of a company, have you ever thought about what goes into building a valuation service firm? Are there minimum qualifications, certifications or licenses that are required? What groups oversee business valuation specialists to ensure they're doing their job properly? In this particle, we'll take a look at what it takes to provide valuation services to businesses:
Because business valuation appraisers specialize in appraising businesses, they apply a variety of business valuation approaches to analyze a company's worth. This requires both knowledge and intelligence in determining which type of appraisal to use in which situation and what practices are considered acceptable in the process. For that reason, business appraisers usually have a degree in addition to experience, training and certification. As business appraisal has come out of the accounting industry, many appraisers have experience or a degree in accountancy or business and likely have experience in business transactions. Some business valuation specialists focus on a particular industry or a specific type of business appraisal, allowing them to serve as an expert witness in legal cases to better explain the valuation methodology used in a variety of cases.
There are a number of accrediting agencies throughout the United States that offer certification through exam and experience to help ensure qualified business appraisals can be performed by its members. Here are a few of the agencies that are recognized and the certification they provide to their qualified members:
- The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) oversees their Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) program since 1991 and their Accredited Valuation Analyst (AVA) program since 1999.
- One of the most widely known organizations, the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) oversees their Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) certification program since 1981.
- The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has provided the Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) certification since 1997.
- The Institute of Business Appraisers (IBA) has the oldest certification program in existence. Started in 1978, they administer and maintain the Certified Business Appraiser (CBA) business valuation certificate.
One of the regular questions we are asked by clients is whether there are legal requirements for becoming a a business appraiser or to run a company valuation service. The Small Business Administration requires certification by one of the previously-listed accreditation agencies, including maintaining an active membership with at least one of the accreditation agencies and re-accrediting their certifications when needed. But beyond requirements, it is vital that a business appraiser receive additional training, have educational opportunities available and can build their experience through their work. Beyond that, some situations, including litigation and divorce, require using a qualified and certified business appraiser who has the knowledge and experience to use the proper methodology for each situation.
Benefits of working with qualified valuation services
When you use a qualified business valuation specialist, you know that your payment is going to provide a quality valuation report that will stand up in legal, financial and insurance circles. That means that whatever your purpose is in obtaining business valuations, you won't need to worry about the validity and that a valuation provided by an independent appraiser will stand up to scrutiny.