ABV ‘Sponsor’ debate: Harris and supporters respond

BVWireIssue #52-1
January 3, 2007

We have received dozens of responses to our items on the ABV Sponsor Program (see BVWire #51-3), indicating the heated debate within the BV community about what one detractor likened to a “’McDesignation’…not dissimilar from a Ph.D. or ordained minister’s license that can be mail-ordered from the back of Rolling Stone.” 

But, “To the people who criticize the AICPA decision to waive the exam requirement for a group of deserving and qualified people, I say they should get the facts first,” says a supporter of the AICPA's Sponsor Program. “To get my CVA designation ten years ago, I had to take eight all-day classes in valuation theory and practice with an exam at the end of each, in a program prepared and sponsored by the AICPA. I then had to take a NACVA-prepared home exam and case study analysis, which took approximately 20 hours. I have now been doing valuations for the last nine years, and taking annual CPE courses to maintain my CVA. To say that I do not qualify for the ABV designation because I did not take an AICPA proctored exam ten years ago (when none was available) is ridiculous.”

Robert Harris, Chair of the AICPA’s National Accreditation Commission, agrees by emphasizing the selective nature of the Sponsor Program. “CPAs who become an ABV under this program have significant experience in valuation and are credentialed by other recognized valuation organizations,” he says. “Candidates falling short in their experience or in the quality of their work have been denied the credential.” Sponsors serve as “gatekeepers” of the program, he adds, to help the “hundreds of qualified CPAs who already have the experience, skills and specialized knowledge to perform valuation services at the competency level expected of ABVs.” 

For more on the ABV Sponsor Program, click here. And look for Chairman Harris’ complete response—plus more from supporters and the “McDesignation” school, in the next issue of the Business Valuation Update™. To subscribe, go here.

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