That was the consensus among panelists at the most recent AICPA National BV Conference in Las Vegas. One of the major trends heading into 2012 and the years to come is the “trifurcation” of the BV profession among three tracks: litigation, fair value for financial reporting, and “traditional” practices (ESOP, estate and gift and other tax work, business transfers, etc.). Appraisers will also increasingly specialize in particular industries, such as healthcare, oil and gas, telecommunications, and other “niche” sectors. Keeping up with the advancing sophistication of valuation techniques and even general technology will also be a challenge. “We’ve tried to appoint a few ‘champions’ in cost of capital, marketability discounts, and other areas,” including IT, commented panelist Ron Seigneur (Seigneur Gustafson). These “firm champions” then make internal presentations to help their colleagues keep up to speed on a particular topic. “I used to think I was proficient in technology—not anymore,” Seigneur said. Now his firm’s “technology champion” might research and report back on whether a tablet, iPad, or some other device will carry true cost-benefit efficiencies for the firm.
What issue has had the greatest impact on your professional practice? Since 2006, we’ve polled our readers on this important end-of-the-year question. What tops your list of concerns this year: IRS oversight, FASB standards, the disruption of global economies, or the increasing specialization of the BV profession? Please take a few moments to participate in the current online survey of top BV trends in 2011. We’ll publish the results up and through the close of the year.
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