UNLIKE OTHER PROFESSIONS, VALUATION SPECIALISTS DON’T HAVE A SPECIFIC DEGREE OR CERTIFICATION TO MEASURE MINIMUM COMPETENCY. BECAUSE OF THIS, MANY PROFESSIONALS CLAIM EXPERTISE WHEN THEY HAVE NEITHER THE EXPERIENCE NOR SUPPORTING CERTIFICATIONS, MERELY A BACKGROUND IN FINANCE.
When selecting a valuation professional it’s important that he or she is certified or has the experience to legitimize the valuation assumptions that are made. Three primary certifications verify the skills of a valuation specialist and can give confidence throughout the valuation process.
CVA by NACVA
Certified Valuation Analyst is a credential granted by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts. It requires a bachelor’s degree, 2 years of experience or equivalency, a 5-hour exam, and a case study. For more information go here: https://www.nacva.com/cvaqualifications
ASA by ASA
Accredited Senior Appraiser is a credential granted by the American Society of Appraisers. It requires a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of 5 years working experience, completion of a course and exam, and an ethics exam. For more information go here: https://www.appraisers.org/docs/default-source/discipline_bv/bv-quick-guide-to-accreditation.pdf?sfvrsn=14
ABV by AICPA
Accredited in Business Valuation is a credential granted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Until recently this was only available to CPAs. However, it is now available to anyone with a minimum of 4,500 hours of appraisal experience in a 5-year period. Further, it requires a bachelor’s degree, passing an exam, and 75 hours of continuing professional development. For more information go here: https://www.aicpa.org/membership/join/credentials.html
All 3 organizations (NACVA, ASA, and AICPA) require applicants to be a member of the organization. Further, the ASA and AICPA acknowledges the other’s exam and the CFA designation as equivalent to their own exam, thus waiving the exam requirement.
Although it’s difficult to claim one certification better than another, any accreditation adds legitimacy to the skills of a valuation specialist. Additionally, certifications show the specialists’ pursuit of continuing education and increases the clients’ confidence in the valuation throughout the entire process. Overall it may seem that a certification only has positive effects for both the client and the valuation professional.