Business Valuation Blog | Understanding Buying / Selling a Company

Consultants: A Necessary Evil or a Facilitating Factor?

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Jun 6, 2022 7:30:00 AM


Business Valuation Appraisals Appraisers Business Consultants

Consultants are oftentimes viewed as a necessary evil to accomplishing the larger goal of ensuring one has all the information needed to make the wisest decisions in a business or personal transaction. Without them, you may be led down the wrong path by a biased source or someone without the knowledge and experience to provide you with the leverage needed to make informed choices.

Typically, consultants are engaged in transactions where both independence and expertise are critical to a successful outcome, whether that be in a financial endeavor, business combination, professional dispute, arbitration, or litigation proceeding. Accountants, appraisers, insurance advisors, statisticians, and legal experts, to name a few, are engaged by one or both parties in a situation where there is a significant need to comply with regulations, and settle cases where disagreement on key issues is apparent.

The answer to the question in this article's title lies predominantly with the individuals you choose to work with.

Ask yourself the following when considering engaging with consultants:

  • Does the consultant fully understand the larger picture in play, and can they keep this perspective while focusing on their specific role?
  • Can they remain fully independent in the case at hand, regardless of who hires them?
  • Does their experience and expertise fit with the specifics of the transaction or dispute?
  • Are they accredited and/or certified as a professional in their practice?

The most effective consultants understand their role in each unique situation and can work seamlessly with the parties involved, without trying to influence areas in which they are not requested to participate.

Credentials on paper can speak to much of this, however, a more personal vetting process should complement the review process, to ensure you are bringing the right consultants to the table. Don’t necessarily prioritize cost over quality, as it may come back to haunt you down the road.

In the end, a strong team assembled to accomplish the specific goals of any transaction or business dispute settlement will likely avoid a lot of unplanned costs and damages in the long run, and lead to an equitable outcome.

Tags: valuation consultant, valuation of a business, business appraisers, consulting, consultants

Appraising Closed Companies for Tax Discharge and Dissolution

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Apr 11, 2022 7:00:00 AM

Business Valuation Appraisal Business Closure IRS Discharge and Dissolution

In the aftermath of the pandemic and in consideration of continuing economic hardships for many businesses in highly affected industries, such as restaurants and entertainment venues, the reality is that a lot of companies did not survive. These unprecedented times saw a large increase of small business owners struggling to stay afloat in hopes of a turnaround that ultimately took too long to come about.

Despite short-term relief funding programs made available by federal and state governments, there has been a significant increase in small business closures beginning in mid-2020 and continuing to this day. One of the many obligations business owners are required to undertake when closing their company involves a formal discharge and dissolution filing with the IRS.

There are several filing forms involved and depending on the existing documentation, owners may need to engage with a certified business appraiser to independently declare a final value for tax purposes. Even though it is evident that little to no revenue is being generated from business operations, there likely remain certain assets and liabilities which need to be declared as part of these final steps.

As painful as it may be, a business appraiser will need to be engaged and review these documents as part of their work effort to establish a fair net value for the remaining tangible and intangible property. Essentially, the focus is on what remains of the business that can be resold as part of the closure.

In many cases, this would be tangible property only, such as real estate, buildings, machinery & equipment, and personal property. If these assets have recently been appraised or are reasonably depreciated and accounted for on the company books, the business appraiser can use this data to document under an Asset Approach to value. This approach will likely be the only one utilized given the lack of income and external market comps considered under more normal business valuation circumstances.

Other factors will be taken into consideration that pertain to the closure status which will hopefully soften the final blows that come with this process. Making the decision to close your small business for lack of profitability, or for any other reason, can be a heartbreaking experience, and as business appraisers, we will do all we can to facilitate this process for small business owners during these trying times.

Tags: business valuations, business appraisers, Appraisal for Tax Purposes, closed business

Business Valuation Consulting

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Mar 28, 2022 7:00:00 AM

Business Valuation Appraisal Consulting Review of Work

Our blogs primarily cover topics related to the appraisal of small businesses however, there are other options for owners who may be in the middle of a potential purchase, sale, investor buyout, or dispute where a recent valuation exists, and there is a need to obtain an independent opinion on the reasonableness of the conclusions in the report.

This is considered a consulting or review engagement where a certified business appraiser will review relevant documents, and provide opinions as to the approaches, methodologies, and conclusions developed to arrive at a value for the company.

Review work is a more informal process where the consulting valuation professional will develop opinions of work already completed and potentially offer alternative perspectives as to valuing the business. Ultimately, they may determine if an adjustment is warranted to the value concluded upon in the report while providing support as to why; or they may state that the appraisal was well conducted and the value conclusion credible.

The review appraiser may also provide an opinion as to the credentials of the appraiser and the overall quality of the written report from a compliance perspective.

Much of the work that goes into a valuation review and consulting assignment is consistent with completing a business appraisal, given the need to support why the existing report conclusions may be reasonable or not. The primary difference is that the review appraiser is not completing a formal, certified appraisal report of their own. A preliminary opinion of value may be presented as part of the deliverable, in the context of the work performed and documents reviewed however, it would not be considered a certified appraisal.

In summary, these types of engagements can be useful anytime there is a concern regarding the reliability of existing appraisals being used as part of a business transaction or in settlement efforts for a buyout or dispute. The consulting assignments are quite common in the valuation industry and offer an alternative option to business owners in situations where a completely new valuation report may not be necessary.

Consider engaging with an experienced certified appraisal professional when you enlist this type of work to ensure you receive a supportable, well-researched analysis, that provides the additional independent perspective needed to make the most informed decisions.

Tags: Business Valuation, business appraisal, business appraisers, business valuation services, review, consulting

Valuing an Industrial Company to Create Growth

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Oct 19, 2016 9:30:00 AM


When you're running a business, it can seem really difficult to determine how to build growth into your company. One of the easiest ways to do this is by valuing an industrial company to determine where it's strong and weak, what insights you can pick up and similar aspects. A often ignored option, business valuations help you figure out where to improve, where to invest and which areas you're doing great in. Here's more information on the benefits of business appraisals when you need to get your company operating efficiently again.

Valuing an Industrial Company to Create Growth

May people are under the misconception that business appraisals are only for when you're buying or selling a business. They're often surprised at the depth of information provided in a business valuation report. Do you have multiple locations in similar areas that behave completely differently? Are you trying to figure out how to improve production or profitability? Are you wondering what your business is really worth, whether you're considering selling or not? These are all excellent reasons to have a business appraisal performed.

Many business owners rely too much on their tax accounting records. But tax accounting reflects standardized tables, figures and values. The only way to know whether your business is average or not is by having a business appraisal performed.

A business appraiser who has experience in the industry may be able to offer insights into not only why the business is underperforming, but may be able to tell you how to improve operations. They can make suggestions about how to draw a different crowd to that location to make up the difference.

Some business owners make the mistake of basing their business value on what similar businesses have sold for. While this is in fact one way to value a company, business owners often don't understand how the multiples work and apply them to the wrong numbers leading to an inaccurate assessment. They can be very far off using rules of thumbs or multiples heard at the country club. Differences in income or overhead can also make a big difference. 

Speaking of income and overhead, a good business valuation specialist can tell you where your company excels, where it measures up and where it needs improvement. Maybe instead of taking a risk with that expansion, you really need to upgrade to more efficient equipment. It could be that your company provides phenomenal features in your products, but the market perception is that they don't last long. Any of these reasons can affect your bottom line.

By keeping these benefits in mind, you'll be able to very quickly use the valuation of a company to determine a smart course of action. If you need help valuing an industrial company, a certified business valuation specialist is the best way to go, as they use standardized methodologies in their reports.

Tags: Valuing an Industrial Company, business appraisers

What to Look for in Quality Business Valuation Services

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Aug 24, 2016 11:30:00 AM


When you are looking at having the valuation of a company determined, business valuation services are one of the most common places to investigate having the business appraisals done. But how can you tell whether the business valuation services you're investigating are able to do the company valuation effectively , efficiently and accurately? Here are some tips on what to look for in quality business valuations companies:

What to look for in quality business valuation services

  • Certifications: Do the business appraisers have certifications from the American Society of Appraisers, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, National Association of Business Certified Valuation Analysts or Institute of Business Appraisers? These accreditation organizations have been set up to ensure that business appraisals are being performed in a uniform fashion using the methodology that best applies to that situation.
  • Business History: How long has the company been in business? You don't want to trust your company valuation process and your company's private records to a company that may not know what they're doing or may expose your company's data to any number of outside interests. A company that has a proven track record can get the job done right without a lot of changes needing to be made. One exception is a newer company that has proven professionals with significant experience behind them, but even then, you should be aware of the potential risk.
  • References: Any service providing the valuation of a company should be able to provide you with references from satisfied clients. If the company is unable or unwilling to provide these references, it's probably because they have poor customer service or have unhappy clients.
  • An Appeal Process: What happens if you feel the company valuation provided is inaccurate or didn't use the correct information when calculating the valuation of a company? Because company appraisal can be a somewhat fluid process, most company appraisal services offer an appeal process to ensure that the business appraisal provided is an accurate representation of your company.
  • Knowledge of Several Approaches: Business appraisal is not a one-size-fits-all process. Depending on your specific needs, there may be a need for one of several different potential options when valuing your business. A quality business appraiser knows not only the several different approaches available, but will also know exactly which one provides the best possible fit for your company and exact situation.
  • Availability and Approachability: Though part of the process of hiring a professional business appraiser means trusting them to get the job done, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to speak with them on areas of concern. Is the company appraiser available for consultation? Just as important, do they seem approachable if there is a problem? An appraiser who isn't willing to help explain their approach will leave you confused and wondering how accurate the final report will be.

Now that you know what to look for, it's time for action.

Tags: business appraisers, business valuation services