BVWire was on the scene for the ASA’s scheduled Annual Fair Value Conference in New York City last week, but Mother Nature had other ideas and KO’d the event with a blinding snowstorm. Luckily, we caught up with two prominent speakers who were scheduled to talk about where the business valuation profession is headed.
Anthony Aaron (Ernst & Young) and John Glynn (PricewaterhouseCoopers) made observations on the current state of the BV profession, with its many professional organizations, sets of standards, multiple credentials, and varying levels of oversight. They endorsed the proposal that some sort of "unification" be created, at least around financial reporting, either through an alliance of existing organizations or the creation of a new "self-regulatory organization" (SRO).
“Such an alliance or SRO would focus on developing a unified credential, requiring the adherence to a unified body of standards, and developing a single oversight/disciplinary process,” says Aaron. Some method for extending the umbrella of oversight to all who measure fair value in financial reporting (e.g., management and nonappraisers) would make such an effort more inclusive and encompassing.
Of course, many stakeholders are involved, so efforts would need to be made to create buy-in among them all. This will not be an easy task. “I think that we have a historic opportunity to put the political challenges behind us and unite the profession behind a quality infrastructure as it relates to valuations performed in the ‘public interest’ arena,” says Glynn. “The term ‘public interest’ needs to be defined but clearly includes financial reporting valuations for public companies.”
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