Last week in Las Vegas, the AICPA joined with the American Society of Appraisers to host a joint business valuation conference. It was a great conference with a number of challenging sessions (Dante meets DCF?).
Certainly current economic conditions were on the minds of attendees but many seemed optimistic for the ongoing need for valuation services - especially if the Obama administration raises estate taxes. Also analysts who act as expert witnesses don't expect litigation to decline. Most practitioners whom I spoke to had yet to see a downturn in engagements but were unsure what 2009 would bring.
Many of the speakers tweaked their presentations to include consideration of recent events and fair value topic was covered in a number of sessions. Speakers acknowledged that performing a valuation in such a challenging environment is difficult - who can say what will happen this year to the equity risk premium?