Are you reading enough?

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Business Valuation has become so complex that most practitioners find that they must specialize in this area to keep up. It has become very difficult for an accountant to do valuation work part time and still keep abreast of all the standards, journals, and texts that must be read to be on top of the profession. That means that BV folks tend to be reading all the time!

I am often asked about what texts are most helpful to the valuation analyst. I always recommend books by the prolific “godfather of business valuation” Shannon Pratt including the now iconic “Valuing A Business.” To get a consensus view of the top thought leaders in the profession, be sure to read “Financial Valuation Applications and Models” edited by Jim Hitchner and pulling together the views of 30+ top BV leaders. Your BV library should also include books by valuation experts, Chris Mercer, Robert Reilly & Bob Schweihs, and Gary Trugman.

While I try to keep up with the latest valuation texts (I think “Business Combinations with SFAS 141 R, 157, and 160: A Guide to Financial Reporting” by Mike Mard, Stevey Hyden, and Ed Trott published this month is the newest), I am currently reading a couple of non-BV books that I would recommend.

After having the book “Getting Things Done” by David Allen sitting on my shelf for years, I recently pulled it down and find that his system for capturing and processing data and creating action items really makes sense. Allen recognizes that trying to keep up mentally with an unending to-do list is draining and leaves you prone to overlook things. His system provides a way to track that information and take it off your mind. I am also about half way through Timothy Keller’s engaging book “The Reason for God.” Keller is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan where he has attracted thousands of attendees who are smart, questioning, and looking for answers. Keller knows that you have to engage a sophisticated audience with sophisticated level of discourse and has written a thought provoking book that embraces the hard questions of faith.

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