By Eva Lang - The AICPA recently announced a name change for the Business Valuation and Forensic & Litigation Services (BVFLS) Membership Section. The name has been shortened to Forensic and Valuation Services (FVS). According to James Metzler, AICPA VP for Small Firm Interests, “the intent behind this was to better reflect what we do as practitioners in this area today and to modernize the brand to match. In the valuation space, what was termed “business valuation” is somewhat out of date as it does not fully portray the broad scope of valuation services that CPAs offer today – this isn’t limited to business valuations, but many types of valuation work. In the forensic and litigation services area, forensic accounting has also come to signify a much broader scope of services, of which litigation services/support is one part.”
I am not sure that I agree that “business valuation” is out of date as a term but it is true that our profession is changing. With the advent of fair value concepts and the expansion of litigation and forensic services, it is a different environment for the practitioner. When I started working in the business valuation field in 1988, other CPAs in the field often continued their tax or audit work along with providing BV services. At the recent AICPA BV Conference in New Orleans, I overheard a conversation between two CPAs discussing the changes in the profession. They both were full-time BV practitioners who felt it was too difficult to keep abreast of all areas of BV and had decided to specialize in fair value work.
Metzler acknowledged this in a recent letter to FVS section members when he said “This specialty has grown tremendously and what began as a niche for many CPAs years ago is now a broader collection of niches and subspecialties.”
By any name, all CPAs doing BV or forensic litigation work should definitely consider joining the FVS section. There are a number of resources, tools, and information that are very helpful along with frequent communications to keep you abreast of new developments. Go to the FVS area of the AICPA site at http://fvs.aicpa.org/ for more information or to join the section.