What is the Accredited in Business Valuation Designation?

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants created the Accredited in Business Valuation designation in Fall 1997 for CPAs seeking extra specialization. The ABV credential certifies that professionals have exceeded the standards to appraise businesses with tangible or intangible assets. Since the Sarbanes Oxley Act passed by Congress in 2002 forbids auditors from valuation services, becoming an ABV is mandated. Business valuators use their ABV certificate to show clients that they can legally establish their individual or corporate worth with accuracy. ABV professionals display their knowledge of discounted cash flow and asset accumulation methods to estimate the fairest market value. Maintaining the ABV credential consumes time with 75 CPE credits required every five years, but the benefits outweigh the costs. Let’s review everything you should know about getting accredited.

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Advantages of Earning the ABV Credential

Accounting Today listed valuation as the #3 fastest-growing service area, so claiming the ABV credential pays off with big benefits. Accredited CPAs are esteemed for being among the ambitious minority who certify their valuation skills. Completing the ABV program proves to clients that you’re effective, honorable, and highly trained. You’ll be prepared to help clients who are planning mergers, selling operations, applying for loans, devising new tax plans, and more. Business valuators can feel greater confidence when interviewing for upper-level job promotions. Continuing education goes hand in hand with the ABV title, which means you’ll stay sharp on market trends. CPAs with the ABV credential enter a close-knit community for networking and sharing techniques.

Credentialed Careers in Business Valuation

The United States currently has just 3,200 CPAs holding the ABV credential as premier valuation providers. Career opportunities with the ABV are bright, especially in the globe’s $3.24 trillion mergers and acquisitions market. Business valuators are expected to see job growth climb to 10 percent before 2026 according to the BLS. Most accredited CPAs work for accounting firms, banks, investing brokerages, private corporations, and consulting companies. Snagging the ABV credential also opens doors for becoming self-employed as your own boss with direct client contacts. Business valuators typically work 40 to 60 hours weekly for sufficient time crunching numbers on assets and liabilities. PayScale reports that the ABV credential provides mean salaries of $61,935 to $130,000.

Steps to Completing the ABV Designation

Business valuators must first meet the 150-hour educational benchmark for becoming a CPA with a master’s degree or five-year bachelor’s program. Accredited B-schools often provide the Becker CPA Review to help pass this intensive, 16-hour computer exam. Once you reach a minimum score of 75, your valid, unrevoked CPA certificate allows you to apply for the ABV credential. Having at least 150 hours of public- or private-sector business experience on your résumé will be mandatory. Use the AICPA’s ABV Credential Application Kit to register your seat for the August, November, February, or May test. First-time candidates pay $220 for taking the two-part, 3.5-hour ABV exam of 90 questions at one of 300+ computer centers.

Credentialing is essential to get ahead in the valuation niche. Non-CPAs may choose the Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) qualification from the NACVA. Others can become Certified in Entity and Intangible Valuations (CEIV) through the American Society of Appraisers. While there are several options, CPAs who’ve finished the Accredited in Business Valuation designation are often viewed supreme by clients.