From Atlanta to Seattle, some 700 CPAs took the first accredited-in-business-valuation examination on November 15, 1997. With the test results now in, CPAs from firms of all sizes are proudly putting "ABV" after their names.
"It was a difficult exam. In fact, it reminded me of the Uniform CPA Examination," said Richard A. Pollack, CPA, ABV. He's had years of business valuation experience and already had become an accredited senior appraiser through the American Society of Appraisers and a certified business appraiser through the Institute of Business Appraisers. "Nevertheless, I don't think I could have walked into the test center cold and passed. I had to sit down and study beforehand."
Pollack will continue to apply his appraisal skills while advertising his new designation. He's one of seven partners in the Miami firm of Berkowitz Dick Pollack & Brant, which has a staff of 60. Pollack performs valuations for estate planning purposes, mergers, acquisitions, litigation and divorce engagements. Partners in shareholder agreements need valuations for buy-sell purposes, Pollack said, and corporations changing from C to S status also need valuations for tax reasons. "Many people think they'll sell their business someday or go public—they just want to know what it's worth." Pollack, who also has a background in auditing and consulting, finds advising a business about what it takes to build value and helping management set value goals very satisfying.
Pollack praised the AICPA for creating the ABV designation. "The AICPA can now take a leading role in providing a standard of excellence in this important area of our profession."
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Another CPA who passed the ABV exam is Edward J. Dupke, chairman of the MCS business valuations and appraisals subcommittee and a member of the AICPA board of directors. "In today's competitive market, CPAs gain an advantage through the ABV accreditation," he said. "Judges, attorneys and end users of valuation services will recognize that, when combined with the CPA designation, ABV reflects the practitioner's knowledge and experience to provide the highest level of business valuation services competently and professionally. The accreditation is important not only for public practitioners who specialize in this area but also for CPAs in industry, government and education who can combine this credential with their individual talents as they work for the benefit of their employers."
The next exam will be offered November 2, 1998. More information on the exam, requirements and an ABV certificate of educational achievement course are available on the Web at www.aicpa.org/members/div/mcs/abv.htm . Members can also call the ABV Helpline at 212-596-6254, fax questions to 212-596-6268 or e-mail questions to Madelaine Feldman, ABV program coordinator, at Mfeldman@aicpa.org .