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Professional Designations

Business appraisers usually enter the profession from other professions such as brokerage, accounting, law, economics, engineering, finance and academics. There are no licensing requirements for business appraisers, however there are national organizations that certify and accredit business appraisers. The vast majority of business appraisers are self-anointed and have no appraisal credentials whatsoever. There are those however, who have made valuation a career rather than a part time endeavor, and who have made the effort to obtain valuation credentials. Some credentials are easily obtained and others are more difficult to obtain.

The four major certifying organizations are:

The Institute of Business Appraisers (IBA)
The oldest single discipline, business valuation organization, unrestricted certification
The American Society of Appraisers
Business Valuation Section (ASA), a multi-discipline appraisal organization, including real estate, business, machinery & equipment, personal property, unrestricted certification
National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA)
Certifies only CPAs
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
Certifies only CPAs

Their designations and certification requirements are as follows:

THE INSTITUTE OF BUSINESS APPRAISERS (IBA):
http://www.go-iba.org/
Designations: AIBA, CBA, MCBA, BVAL

AIBA
Associate of the Institute of Business Appraisers: an interim designation for some who have met most of the requirements for a Certified Business Appraiser.
CBA
Certified Business Appraiser: Candidates must have four year college education or equivalent, five years experience or equivalent, or 90 hours of appraisal education, must pass a proctored four hour examination, and submit two appraisal reports for peer review.
MCBA
Master Certified Business Appraiser: Special designation conferred on recommendation by peers and based on achievements and experience (approximately 39 in the United States, only one in Nevada).
BVAL
Business Valuator Accredited in Litigation: First, candidates must hold a recognized business valuation credential. Then, the candidate must complete a five day litigation workshop and pass the written examination.

AMERICAN SOCIETY OF APPRAISERS (ASA)
http://www.appraisers.org
Designations: AM, ASA

AM - Accredited Member
An interim designation for some who have met most of the requirements for an Accredited Senior Appraiser.
ASA - Accredited Senior Appraiser
andidates must have a four year college education or equivalent, five years experience or equivalent, complete four courses and their exams or pass challenge exam, and submit two appraisal reports for peer review.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CERTIFIED VALUATION ANALYSTS (NACVA)
Designation: CVA

CVA - Certified Valuation Analyst
There is no experience requirement. Candidates must complete a five day course, pass a four hour proctored exam, and pass a 40-60 hour take-home exam and case study. Candidates are not required to demonstrate their ability to appraise by submitting appraisal reports for peer review.

AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS (AICPA)
Designation: ABV

ABV - Accredited Business Valuator
Candidates must be involved in at least ten business valuations. There is no education requirement, but candidates must pass pass a proctored one day exam. Candidates are not required to demonstrate their ability to appraise by submitting appraisal reports to peer review.

Examination Pass/Fail Ratio Comparison

ASA CBA CVA ABV
64% 46% 70-75% 71-72%

Report Review Pass/Fail Ratio

ASA CBA CVA ABV
60% 28% n/a n/a

The above information and data is excerpted from “Explaining the Alphabet Soup. Business Appraisal Designations-What They Mean and How Difficult They Are to Obtain”, Paul Hyde, EA, CBA, BVAL, ASA, Business Appraisal Practice, Spring 2002.

Notable Quotes

“The report review requirement provides the best evidence of the competence of the appraiser as the actual product of the appraiser is reviewed by some of the best and most experienced appraisers in the industry. Both the ASA and CBA designations require applicants to submit two appraisal reports. Both organizations are noted for being tough on the review process-however in talking with a number of applicants for both designations, I feel that the demonstration report review process for obtaining the CBA designation is the most difficult. Neither the CVA or ABV designations require business appraisal reports to be submitted for review.”
Paul R. Hyde, EA, CBA, BVAL, ASA, Editor-Business Appraisal Practice, Spring 2002

“There are two senior certifications for which you should look when hiring an appraiser, although not every qualified firm will have them. The ASA (American Society of Appraisers) gives out an ASA (Accredited Senior Appraiser), which requires courses, exams, five years of experience, and peer review of reports. The IBA (Institute of Business Appraisers) certifies its CBA (Certified Business Appraiser) in much the same way. Those looking to really confuse themselves can ask about an ABV (Accredited in Business Valuation) designation from the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), or the lightly regarded CVA (Certified Valuation Analyst) issued by the NACVA (National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts).”
“What’s Your Company Worth Now?”, Inc. Magazine, July 2003.


Jerry F. Golanty, MCBA, BVAL
Master Certified Business Appraiser
Business Valuator Accredited in Litigation
Email: jerrygolanty@bizval.net

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