Is BV ‘just another service’ by a larger profession?

BVWireIssue #58-3
July 25, 2007

In continuing our online survey, the overall results didn’t change much, as the vast majority of respondents (91%) still believe that business valuation is a “profession” rather than an “industry” (9%).  But one thoughtful commentator asked whether the real question may be: “Is business valuation recognized as a profession, or is it just another service that another profession provides?” 

Or worse—is its recognition endangered by the “misplaced efforts” of its various professional organizations to boost their own prestige by belittling the others?  “To business appraisers and other professional ‘insiders,’ this may be accepted as typical marketing tactics,” says Michele Miles, JD, Executive Director of the Institute of Business Appraisers.  “It shouldn’t be,” she adds. “What makes us a ‘profession’ rather than an ‘industry’ is that we act as fellows working towards a common good….the advancement of the knowledge and tools which we use, and the building of public trust.”

Miles’ comments appear in the current issue of the IBA’s online newsletter, available at its website.  So does a bold editorial by Mike Eggers, who “clearly says what all appraisers think” about the various societies, but warns the IBA, AICPA, ASA, and NACVA to stop their “tribal warfare” and collaborate on one set of harmonious standards before regulators like the SEC, IRS, and FASB do it for them.  (Note: Eggers’ editorial was written before the AICPA issued its current standards—but with hindsight, do the new standards help or hurt his proposed harmony?)   What do you think?  As always, email your comments on these or other important BV-related issues to the editor.

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