A Conversation With...Eva Lang

Recently, AccountingWEB had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Eva M. Lang, CPA/ABV. ASA.executive director of the Financial Consulting Group, the largest alliance of business valuation and consulting firm in the United States. Ms. Lang is a nationally recognized teacher, speaker and author. In 2004, she was named to AICPA Business Valuation Hall of Fame for her contributions to the advancement of the business valuation profession. She is also author of the book "The Best Websites for Financial Professionals" (John Wiley & Sons, 2003).

AW: Business valuation seems to be a popular topic these days, but also one that is not well understood, why is that?

EL: Business valuation has traditionally been a niche area
practiced by non-accountants. It's not on the radar for many accountants because it is not a 100 percent accounting related career path. To succeed in business valuation, a person needs different skills, and perhaps even a different personality, than are needed to succeed in traditional accounting areas. Business valuation is heavily focused on finance, for instance. Many cases end up in court, so anyone practicing business valuation must be prepared to be an expert witness. In that sense, business valuation has more consulting work than most traditional accounting fields.

AW: Where do most accountants learn about business valuation?

EL: Well, business valuation is not something taught in most business schools, so it is something accountants discover when they hit the streets and begin their career.

AW: Is that how you "discovered" business valuation?

EL: Yes. I was working as a stock broker and answered an ad from a business valuation firm. As I learned more about the field, I discovered that business valuation included the things I liked most about being a stock broker, which was looking at market dynamics and learning what companies were about, without the sales, which I wasn't very good at anyway. I've been very fortunate in my career, to have the opportunity to connect with people brighter and more capable than I am.

AW: Would you say that making connections is vital for anyone entering the business valuation field?

EL: Certainly connecting with others is important in business valuation, as it is in any field. Of course, there are many more resources available to anyone interested in business valuation today than there were 20 years ago. AICPA is a great resource. Professional societies in many states offer regional classes and host conferences where individuals can get information and find
mentors. There are numerous books on the topic, as well.

AW: What do you like most about business valuation?

EL: A business valuation report tells the story of a company, how they got to where they are, including the problems they encountered and how they were handled.

AW: What advice would you give to someone, or even a firm,
interested in the field?

EL: Business valuation is an interesting and compelling career choice. They should look into the resources available to them from professional organizations such as the AICPA or the American Society of Appraisers. It is very important if they work in a firm that doesn't do business valuation or in which they are the only one in the firm doing business valuation, to make connections so that even if you decide business valuation is not for you, you have someone you can refer clients to.

You may like these other stories...

On a typical June day, Kentucky high school students David Wagner, Kayla Cook, and Michael Kiraly would be kicking back, enjoying all the pleasures of summer—playing video games, hanging out by the pool, or binge-...
Event Date: July 17, 2014, 2 pm ETThis webcast will cover the preparation of the statement of cash flows and focus on accounting and disclosure policies for other important issues described below.Participants will learn:...
The Madoff Ponzi scheme, financial crisis of 2007-2009, ongoing mortgage fraud and other scandals, and laws like Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank that were passed to counter the fraudsters, send a clear message: fraud...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 16
Hand off work to others with finesse and success. Kristen Rampe, CPA will share how to ensure delegated work is properly handled from start to finish in this content-rich one hour webinar.
Jul 17
This webcast will cover the preparation of the statement of cash flows and focus on accounting and disclosure policies for other important issues described below.
Jul 23
We can’t deny a great divide exists between the expectations and workplace needs of Baby Boomers and Millennials. To create thriving organizational performance, we need to shift the way in which we groom future leaders.
Jul 24
In this presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA revisits the Excel feature you should be using, but probably aren't. The Table feature offers the ability to both boost the integrity of your spreadsheets, but reduce maintenance as well.