ASA, AICPA Reach Education Agreement For Business Valuation

The American Society of Appraisers (ASA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) reached agreement on an educational equivalency program for business valuation professionals of the two organizations.

Both the 6,000-member ASA and the AICPA, which has more than 330,000 members, have premiere certification programs and offer designations for individuals who specialize in business valuation (BV), the offering of independent, unbiased opinions of value of intangible assets, businesses and business interests of all sizes.

Under the agreement, an AICPA member who has passed the ABV examination will receive equivalent credit for passing ASA's four highly regarded foundational courses in business valuation. ASA awards two credentials, differentiated by experience: the Accredited Member (AM) and Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) designations. AICPA offers its member certified public accountants (CPAs) an Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) credential.

For an AICPA ABV to earn the ASA's AM or ASA designation, he or she will have to complete ASA experience and membership requirements as well as successfully passing two appraisal reports through a rigorous peer review process.

Individuals will also have to pass an ethics exam and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) exam.

"This agreement is a significant step toward unifying the business valuation profession," noted Bruce B. Bingham, an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) who is the society's BV discipline governor and chair of its BV Committee. Bingham, a partner at BDO Seidman LLP in New York, said this agreement, "by recognizing the equivalencies in the education requirements of the two associations' designations, will benefit all users of business valuation services. We are delighted to be working with this highly respected organization."

"This reciprocal agreement clearly recognizes both the quality of the ABV exam and the ABV credential holder's depth of knowledge," said Thomas Hilton, Chair of the AICPA's Business Valuation Committee. "The AICPA is very pleased to have a working relationship with such a prestigious group as the American Society of Appraisers."

The educational equivalency agreement is one of a series of collaborative efforts between the two associations' business valuation (BV) groups. The two associations have agreed to hold a national business valuation conference in 2005 in Las Vegas and will work cooperatively to explore education, training and technical writing opportunities.

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