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Establishing Credibility Through Valuation Credentials

In the high-stakes world of business valuation, credentials matter. Whether appraising a closely held company for a transaction, litigation dispute, or planning needs, professionals must demonstrate deep expertise to establish credibility with clients. Possessing respected credentials can provide that tangible proof of qualifications, cementing trust in one’s valuation competency.


For individuals pursuing careers as business valuation analysts or appraisers, several major professional credentials stand out as preeminent. Each indicates a commitment to valuation specialization, continuing education, ethical standards and proven technical abilities.


The Core Credentials for Business Valuation Practice


Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV)


The ABV is widely recognized as a premier credential for CPAs practicing business valuation. Awarded by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), it affirms specialized skills in valuation theory, methodologies, report writing and professional standards.


Earning the ABV requires an active CPA license, passing a rigorous exam, meeting education and experience prerequisites and committing to ongoing ethical conduct. The exam itself covers core technical areas including data analysis, financial statement adjustments, risk assessment, applying income approaches and calculating value syntheses. Ongoing recertification every three years ensures professionals stay updated on the latest developments.


For young CPAs, the structured ABV pathway helps build a strong valuation foundation early in one’s career with access to specialized training and an expert network. The credential signals a CPA’s valuation competency to clients and business partners, especially in litigation engagements.


Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA)


Like the ABV, the CVA confirms specialized skills in valuation analysis and report writing. The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) awards it to both CPAs and non-CPAs meeting stringent qualifications.


For non-CPAs, earning the CVA requires a business degree or sufficient experience, submitting a valuation report demonstrating competency, and passing a comprehensive exam. CPAs have reduced requirements but still must exhibit core valuation knowledge. Recertification every three years maintains technical expertise.


The CVA provides a pathway for non-CPA financial professionals to demonstrate their valuation capabilities. This credential is essential for building a credible valuation practice across diverse industries and engagement types.


Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA)


The American Society of Appraisers awards the ASA designation across various appraisal specialties including business valuation. Earning the ASA in this discipline involves meeting stringent education, experience, knowledge, and ethics requirements.


Candidates must complete core valuation courses equaling 180 classroom hours. Hands-on experience plays a central role. The ASA mandates at least 500 hours of experience in fair market value estimates across 5 years. Work samples demonstrating technical competency undergo peer review for objectivity. Ongoing recertification every five years maintains expertise.


The ASA affirms advanced technical proficiency specifically in fair market value estimation. The designation is highly regarded in situations involving expert testimony, dispute resolution, damages calculations, and shareholder dissent.


Supplemental Credentials Adding Depth


Several other credentials build upon primary designations by demonstrating deeper specializations.


Certified Insolvency & Restructuring Advisor (CIRA)


Financial distress and bankruptcy necessitate specialized valuation perspectives. The CIRA credential affirms skills in areas like fraudulent conveyance, solvency analysis, bankruptcy tax, and distressed restructuring. Issued by the Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors, it employs rigorous examinations to ensure technical competence.


Accredited Senior Appraiser in Business Valuation (ASA-BV)


This advanced ASA sub-specialty confirms extensive expertise specifically in applying the fair market standard for business valuation. Recipients undergo supplemental peer reviews focused on their adherence to valuation standards in conclusions of value. It signals preeminence in litigation dispute contexts above the core ASA.


Certified Business Appraiser (CBA)


The Institute of Business Appraisers issues the CBA to members demonstrating professionalism and knowledge of current standards for appraising small, privately-held businesses. Earning it requires qualifications aligned with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


Take the First Step Toward Credibility Today


For those pursuing careers as business valuation experts, obtaining the ABV, CVA, ASA, or supplemental designations should become the central goal. The pathway begins with securing the right training, mentorship, and experience. Over time, fulfilling each credential’s education, exam, experience, and ethics requirements paves the way to practice credibility.


In an ever-evolving profession, these credentials also affirm an ongoing commitment to expertise, standards, and ethics. They enable experts to remain relevant and sought-after as trusted valuation advisors. Establishing your credentials early and maintaining them over time remains the clearest route toward practice success.