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The Excitement and Opportunities of a Career In Business Valuation

Business valuation is an economic study on the value of a business or an interest at a specific point in time. In the business valuation industry there are vast opportunities in an infinite number of business industry engagements for clients.

For any given matter at-hand, business valuation professionals develop the knowledge of finance as it applies to the business, learn the operational and financial nuances, understand tax code and law as it applies to the engagement, and have the opportunity to represent one's professional opinions in a court of law.

Not only do business valuation professionals have the opportunity to work with a wide range of industries, they usually work directly with the company CEO/owner or other senior executives.

Business Valuation Specific Benefits

As one business valuation professional states, "There is nothing monotonous about business valuation."  It is a stimulating profession filled with the learning of new theories and applications, and working with some of the most talented thought leaders in our nation. Very intelligent people are drawn to this profession, and the spirit of the professionals comprises a sincere quest for continuous learning. Says one business valuation pro, "One of the most rewarding aspects of business valuation is knowing that you are providing your professional opinion about the client’s business so that the client can make informed decisions with your information.  And many times, those are life-changing decisions."   The work allows a recent college graduate to immediately apply current financial theory at very high levels.  The work also allows one to develop skills that can lead to starting one’s own business where other careers make that less likely.

View a listing of Benefits of ASA membership

What to Expect As a Business Valuator

A sample of the business valuation world includes opinions for gifting and estate taxation and planning; opinions for mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, and recapitalizations; financial opinions for litigation matters; transfer pricing engagements to provide clients with operations overseas inoculation against audit risk; and financial opinions for exit strategy planning and retirement. This is a profession for people who enjoy proactive challenges and efforts. Accounting and tax work is focused on the report of a historical event (the financial results of the most recent fiscal year) while this world of finance deals with how that record-keeping information is used to make financial and investment decisions. It is often said that the stand-out element of true career satisfaction in this industry is in helping business owners improve the value of their business.

Diversity of Work and How One Might Evolve to Business Valuation As a Profession

While many finance, business and accounting college undergraduate and graduate students are discovering the dynamic and diverse opportunities of a career in business valuation, others transform from related fields to serve in the business valuation role of trusted advisor. One true advantage for newer business valuation professionals is the ability to immediately put to use very sophisticated financial decision-making processes that, in other lines of business, might take years before being promoted to a high enough level to use them.

Many people find business valuation as a career choice early:

"I choose a career in business valuation because it is an ever-changing, exciting industry that always has new theories and developments. I was drawn, and many people are drawn, to the profession because of the diversity of opportunities in the business valuation industry, whether it be transactional, taxation, planning, or litigation.  There is something in business valuation for everyone who is interested in career financial options."
-Erin Hollis, ASA

Complete industry changes are not uncommon for those evolving to business valuation:

"I had a long career in middle-market corporate banking before I joined an accounting firm as a partner to start a management consulting practice.  There was a demand for business valuation work at the very beginning which only grew, so we decided to specialize in business valuation."
-Jim Brown, ASA

Another MBA business valuation pro says,

"I stumbled onto the world of business valuation when I had lunch with a friend and told him that I was not satisfied in my job in the corporate world.  He told me about a colleague that did what I did but acted as a consultant to other companies.  Once I joined that team, we have worked together for 18 years to this point."
-Bruce Johnson, ASA

ASAs Around the World

An international organization, ASA's business valuators can be found around the globe with a sampling of ASA chapters in Mexico, Argentina, Canada, China, Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong, Guam, and more.

A Sampling of ASA Business Valuation Alma Maters

Miami University
New York University
Northwestern University
Penn State
Quinnipac University
San Francisco State University
Temple University
Texas A&M
University of California-Berkley
University of Central Florida
University of Chicago
University of Michigan
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
University of Oregon
University of Southern California
University of Texas-Austin
University of Wisconsin-Madison
William & Mary