AICPA’s move to allow non-CPAs to get ABV sparks strong reaction

An Open Letter to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) urges it to reconsider a recent decision by its governing board to allow non-CPAs to be eligible for the Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) credential.

Bad idea: The letter, signed by a number of prominent CPA/ABVs, states that doing so will dilute the credibility of the ABV credential, confuse the public, harm the reputation of CPAs, and impact “the financial well-being of current and future CPA/ABVs by assisting non-CPA appraisers to better compete with CPAs.”

In addition, the letter takes the AICPA to task for not being transparent in the process because AICPA members and stakeholders were not consulted prior to the change. What’s more, the signers of the letter believe that the AICPA Council (the organization’s governing board) “was not fully informed as to the implications of this change,” the letter says.

AICPA responds: BVWire News reached out to the AICPA, and it has issued the following statement: “We believe that the CPA is the best foundation for the ABV credential, but we also recognize that many highly qualified accountants/finance professionals do not plan to perform audits and do not sit for the CPA Exam. With an increasing demand for valuation services, the need for additional valuation professionals who would be held to the standard of excellence as established by the CPA profession became evident. So, with careful consideration and approval from AICPA Council, the AICPA decided to open the credential up to qualified professionals who meet the high professional and educational standards, have the extensive requisite valuation experience, pass the rigorous exam, adhere to the AICPA code of conduct and fulfill annual continuing education requirements. This will not only help maintain the high professional and valuation standards established by the AICPA but will help elevate the entire valuation profession. It is our belief that this is preferable to having those qualified professionals seek a less rigorous credential in Valuation. We believe that increasing the quality of the valuation professional will serve to protect the public interest by increasing clarity, consistency and transparency in valuation work.”

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