Is business valuation a profession in the U.S. and Europe?


Spurred on by a description of the valuation profession in Slovenia (where the appraisers are under review by the same regulatory body that regulates auditors), Adam Smith from PwC (on partial loan to the IVSC Standards Board) comments:

In the U.S. and most of Europe, I have to question whether we're even a profession. Anyone can put up a sign at any time with no review and call themselves a business valuator. It's not a surprise that there are calls from outside the profession for standardization.
Smith recognizes that this is hard for new national professional organizations or particularly those that are already established. "That's why the IVSC creates standards that are global and can be followed, or should be followed, while still allowing flexibility. This is required to meet the needs of their constituents, since there's no way now to have one size fits all. It's ironic because the concepts of valuation, math, and finance are universal," he ventured.

Speaking at the "Lively Debate" session in Paris sponsored by the IIBV, Smith said that "the intensity of the volunteer work is now supported by the direct financial support of large firms, VPOs, and others around the world, so we will make it to the finish line eventually." Others agreed, particularly Doug McPhee, the global valuation director from KPMG. "The mood has changed hugely in the last 12 months. More people are involved, and more people are doing the hard work to take the business valuation profession to the next level."

Smith pointed to the fact that he, in fact, is paid for his work on behalf of the profession. "It's PwC who is footing the bill for my work," he said. And McPhee referred to The Appraisal Foundation's great BVRoundtable in Washington, D.C., last week. "I travel the globe, and people are working hard at applying standards internationally everywhere I go. It's exciting, and very lively!"

 

 


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