Business valuation professionals provide independent unbiased opinions of value for businesses and business interests of all sizes, from small proprietorships, such as medical practices, to large multinational corporations. They also value specific intangible business assets such as patents, trademarks, employment agreements, copyrights, securities and goodwill. These professional appraisers prepare merger and acquisition studies, employee stock ownership plan feasibility analyses and other similar financial studies. They may be involved in appraisals performed for estate and gift tax returns, buy-sell agreements, securities litigation, equitable distribution in matrimonial matters and many other purposes.
The term business valuation was utilized by individual appraisers prior to 1981; however, the term was not adopted by American Society of Appraisers until that time. Prior to the use of the term business valuation, the discipline was called intangible asset valuation. The ASA’s 1981 International Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, was the first such conference to offer business valuation topics on its educational program. The 1981 conference was so well received by business valuation practitioners that Dexter MacBride, the then executive director of ASA, notified all ASA members involved in business valuation suggesting an organizing effort be undertaken. Such a meeting occurred in Denver, Colo., in September 1981, whereby a framework was established leading to the organization of ASA’s Business Valuation Committee. Although the BV Committee began meeting biannually at the ASA International Conference and Midterm Meetings, the committee itself was not formalized until 1986, when the Board of Governors adopted the operating guidelines for the BV Committee.
One of the first objectives of the Business Valuation Committee was to develop an educational program for the benefit of ASA Members and nonmembers. The Business Valuation program became established in 1981, and the following year the first Advanced Business Valuation Conference was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
ASA’s BV educational courses were developed in 1985, with the first BV course held in 1986 at George Mason University. These courses have been expanded and revised continuously to the present time. In addition, the BV Committee established an instructor certification program in 1991, added an advanced valuation curriculum through its CAVS (Center for Advanced Studies) program in 2004, and a Fair Value for Financial Reporting curriculum in 2007.
Another early objective of the BV group was to provide a medium through which BV professionals could communicate with parties interested in the discipline. To that end, the Business Valuation Review was published beginning in the spring of 1982 (titled Business Valuation News until 1985). This authoritative document is generally published four times per year, receives widespread distribution and offers its archive of articles in an online searchable database for a modest cost (click here).