Business valuation lost its No. 1 ranking of fastest-growing niche services in the latest study of the top 100 firms by Accounting Today (free registration required). Tax services in the international and state/local tax fields, respectively, took over the top two spots, forcing BV—which slipped only one percentage point from last year’s rankings—to the No. 3 spot, followed by attest services, forensic accounting and fraud, estate and gift planning, and litigation support. Notably, the year’s “biggest climber” was cash flow forecasting and management services—another niche in which BV appraisers have top-notch skills—which moved up eight spots from the 2011 tally.
A heightened regulatory environment—both in the transfer pricing arena and on the state/local front—may explain the eclipse of BV by the two tax practice niches. Regulation is also driving the continued strength of BV, according to one Denver-based professional whose firm recorded a 39% increase in BV revenue growth from 2011 to 2012. “The other piece … is that valuations related to litigation—corporate divorce, marital divorce—always seem to be hanging around,” he tells Accounting Today. “There’s an uptick in the corporate divorce arena,” particularly due to “shareholders parting ways and valuations related to buy-sell agreements.”
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