Solution to BV ‘branding problem’ could be joint best practices, say participants at TAF roundtable

BVWireIssue #115-4
April 25, 2012

“There may be a branding problem outside of the business valuation profession,” said Steve Sherman, chair of KPMG’s Global Valuations Committee and the International Valuation Standards Board, in his remarks to participants at the first-ever valuation roundtable held by The Appraisal Foundation in Washington, D.C., this week. Most outside of the BV community “don’t realize that the level of professionalism is as high as it is.”

“Outsiders need to know that at least there's consistency in the thought process, so there isn't too much diversity in execution,” agreed Paul Beswick, deputy chief accountant for the SEC (who recently called on the BV profession to unify standards and credentials). For the next four hours, the 15-member panel—led by Jay E. Fishman (FRA) and Tony Aaron (E&Y)— debated how the BV profession could “take out the noise created by the confusion,” as Paul Barnes (Duff & Phelps) put it. “Why not have all BV groups outsource their best practices work to TAF?” Beswick suggested.

“I think a good first step would be for all the organizations to recognize the AICPA’s IPR&D guide and TAF’s advisory on contributory assets as best practices,” Fishman said. “And there could be a group set up to recommend professionwide adoption of other best practices documents as they become available.” In a follow-up interview, Fishman admitted, “If we can’t do that, I worry there is little hope of doing anything else.”

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