Follow these 10 recommendations to integrate Statement on Standards for Valuation Services no. 1, Valuation of a Business, Business Ownership Interest, Security, or Intangible Asset, into your business valuation practice. These guidelines are presented as optional suggestions to members to facilitate the adoption of the SSVS1 professional guidance into the typical firm’s existing valuation services practice.
1. The firm may designate one member as the SSVS1 expert. Each member who provides client valuation services should read and be familiar with the statement. However, one member may serve as the firm’s go-to person on SSVS1 training, implementation, interpretation and quality control issues.
2. Circulate copies of SSVS1. Each member who performs valuation services should have his or her own copy of the statement. Consider filing a copy of the statement in the firm library, in the same section as all other AICPA professional standards. In addition, implementing a sign-off procedure would confirm that each valuation analyst received—and read—a copy of the statement.
3. Hold a “statement implementation meeting.” A meeting of all firm valuation analysts (in person, if possible) to review the requirements of SSVS1 and to discuss the firm’s procedures to implement the statement could contribute to improved communication and valuation practice consistency among the firm’s members.
4. Conduct internal training. Inform all firm partners and staff of the issuance of the statement. The valuation analysts may develop and present internal training on the statement to all firm members. Such internal communications remind the partners and staff of the professionalism of the firm’s valuation analysts and the scope of the firm’s valuation services.
5. Communicate with clients and referral sources about SSVS1. Valuation analysts may want to communicate the content and the intent of the statement to the firm’s recurring valuation clients and referral sources, explaining any expected changes in the firm’s valuation services, procedures and report formats. While reinforcing the firm’s professional reputation, this communication also serves as a marketing tool that reminds clients and referral sources of the scope of the firm’s valuation services. The valuation analysts might consider offering a client training program related to SSVS1 for local clients and referral sources.
6. Sell clients on the benefits. Prepare a list of expected client benefits related to the implementation of SSVS1 that is accessible by all of the firm’s partners and staff. This list could serve as a basis for responding to client concerns (real or perceived) regarding increases in valuation service fees or increases in valuation report delivery time. A list of client benefits would also help firm members and firm valuation clients to understand that the benefits associated with the statement far exceed the costs.
7. Revise engagement letters and procedures. Develop a new client acceptance checklist/protocol for valuation engagements and new engagement letter language/conditions for valuation engagements. Incorporate the engagement considerations, terminology and reporting definitions of the statement into the checklist and engagement letter.
8. Draft a performance checklist. Valuation analysts may want to develop a new valuation engagement work plan or checklist to document the performance of valuation analysis procedures required by the statement. This checklist or work plan would incorporate the statement terminology and principles related to: type of engagement, necessary financial information, necessary nonfinancial information, valuation approaches and methods considered.
9. Develop new report formats. Valuation analysts may want to develop new valuation engagement report formats and valuation report checklists to incorporate SSVS1 report types, report content and report disclosures. All valuation report “boilerplate” language may be reviewed and updated to conform to the statement.
10. Remain faithful to other professional standards. After the adoption of the statement, all valuation analysts should be reminded of the standards and practice compliance requirements of other valuation professional organizations of which they are members (for example, American Society of Appraisers, Institute of Business Appraisers, National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts). Members should understand that the provisions of the statement do not contradict the professional requirements of other valuation organizations. However, those organizations may have their own requirements in addition to the professional requirements of SSVS1.
— By Randie Dial , CPA/ABV,
principal analyst at Clifton Gunderson LLP.