As a CPA, ABV and CVA, my credentials are a source of pride for me. Most people recognize the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential. However, very few people recognize other credentials in the accounting and forensic accounting field.
The other credentials I hold are in business valuation. Providing business valuations is complex, requires hard work, extensive training and a commitment to staying current in the profession through continuing education. By having and maintaining these credentials, I signify to my current and future clients that I am capable and ready to handle the task of valuing one of their most precious assets — their business.
In particular, I want to talk about the Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) credential.
The ABV credential is granted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The AICPA is a well-known organization that represents and advocates for those in the CPA profession. It began offering the offering the ABV credential in 1997.
The requirements to obtain the ABV credential are as follows:
To recertify, ABV’s are required to complete four hours of professional ethics education every three years. They must also complete 60 hours of continuing professional development within the credential body of knowledge every three years, with a minimum of ten hours annually.
The ABV credential requires a significant amount of effort to obtain and maintain. A person that is not committed to the valuation profession is not likely to maintain this credential. Due to the wide number of professionals performing valuation services, it can be hard to distinguish between those that occasionally perform valuations and those that have significant experience and are dedicated to the valuation practice. Because of the high standards set by the AICPA, ABV’s are usually part of the latter group.
In addition, the AICPA has professional standards that credential holders are required to follow. These standards require that ABV’s like me follow commonly accepted methodologies and procedures for performing valuation services. Due to the convergence of standards over the years, a valuation performed in compliance with the AICPA’s standards is likely in compliance with valuation standards issued by other organizations.
Business valuations are needed for a wide variety of reasons. Generally, the reason for a business valuation falls into one of three categories:
I would encourage you to find someone who holds one or more valuation credentials, such as the ABV. When it comes to business valuations, credentials matter. They are evidence of a valuation professional’s experience, training and knowledge. (Psst…my colleague Richard Wolf wrote an article on how to select a business valuation expert here.)
Our team of business valuation experts are here to help. We provide business valuations to clients in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC. You can contact us online or by calling 800.899.4623.
Editor's note: this article was originally published in 2020. It was updated with new information in 2023.
Published on August 01, 2023