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CFA VS CPA for Business Valuations

Would anyone like to comment on which program is better for business valuations?

I know ASA is the major, but what about the CFA VS the CPA in the process of business valuation, intangible asset impairment testing, goodwill-purchase price allocations, fairness of opinion, etc.

Thanks a lot

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i vote CFA

CFA > ASA > CPA with the following caveats:

ASA is still king if you are doing tax or litigation work, although CFA is gaining on the litigation side

If you want to work in Big 4 and make partner eventually, CPA is basically a must.

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They are both good. I think CPA is more recognized with attorneys who are a good source of referrals for business valuation work. However, I think the CFA is more intellectually stimulating and it seems the younger generation of analysts are gravitating towards CFA, ASA as opposed to CPA/ABV, ASA.

The top deal attorneys are more apt these days to refer fairness and solvency opinions to CFA because of the complex structure of the deals.

This space available.

higgmond Wrote:
——————————————————-
> CFA > ASA > CPA with the following caveats:
>
> ASA is still king if you are doing tax or
> litigation work, although CFA is gaining on the
> litigation side
>
> If you want to work in Big 4 and make partner
> eventually, CPA is basically a must.

CPA is a must for “partners” that work in audit. I guarantee you there are lots of non-CPA partners in Big 4 firms who work in consulting or tax.

Just interviewed with a business valuation company who rather hire people with accounting degrees, and really value the CPA over the CFA.

Rasec Wrote:
——————————————————-
> Just interviewed with a business valuation company
> who rather hire people with accounting degrees,
> and really value the CPA over the CFA.

They’re either a tax/litigation shop, owned by/affiliated with an accounting firm, or a regional player. The top national firms all favor CFA, ASA for their BV people.

This space available.

I’m assuming most of you are from the US, so I was wondering if anyone is aware of the credibility of the CBV designation (Chartered Business Valuator) outside of Canada with respect to firms involved with Business Valuations?

https://www.cicbv.ca/?page=home&v=1

Thanks

what is ASA?

There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it - Oscar Wilde

needhelp Wrote:
——————————————————-
> what is ASA?

Accredited Senior Appraiser with American Society of Appraisers.

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glendronach Wrote:
——————————————————-
> I’m assuming most of you are from the US, so I was
> wondering if anyone is aware of the credibility of
> the CBV designation (Chartered Business Valuator)
> outside of Canada with respect to firms involved
> with Business Valuations?
>
> https://www.cicbv.ca/?page=home&v=1
>
> Thanks

Equivalent to ASA.

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saw several jobs with accounting firms requiring ASA. do these guys get paid a lot?

There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it - Oscar Wilde

needhelp Wrote:
——————————————————-
> saw several jobs with accounting firms requiring
> ASA. do these guys get paid a lot?

Depends on your definition of a lot. ASA designation requires 5 years of valuation experience. Assuming someone has just 5 years, they would likely slot in as the equivalent of a senior consultant or manager. That would bring something in the $75k-$100k range in the north east.

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100% CFA. I used to work in valuation. I also interviewed with PWC val group in the spring. CFA is without a doubt the sought after designation. CPA is only common because a lot of people got the CPA while working in audit and then moved into the transaction groups or into independent valuation shops. It may be common among the senior guys in Big 4 but only because the designation is valued by non valuation guys in the firms.

I was specifically told by a managing partner (or whatever his goofy designation was) at PWC and the MD of a small shop that the CPA really is not necessary. They loved the fact that I had passed LIII, however.

ASA is common

higgmond Wrote:
——————————————————-
> glendronach Wrote:
> ————————————————–
> —–
> > I’m assuming most of you are from the US, so I
> was
> > wondering if anyone is aware of the credibility
> of
> > the CBV designation (Chartered Business
> Valuator)
> > outside of Canada with respect to firms
> involved
> > with Business Valuations?
> >
> > https://www.cicbv.ca/?page=home&v=1
> >
> > Thanks
>
>
> Equivalent to ASA.

Good to know! I had the impression that the CBV was relatively unknown / unrecognized outside of Canada.

glendronach Wrote:
——————————————————-
>
> Good to know! I had the impression that the CBV
> was relatively unknown / unrecognized outside of
> Canada.

Anyone actively involved in BV will know both and consider them equivalent. I’m fairly certain there is a reciprocity program between ASA and CIBV that would allow you to get ASA pretty easily if you already have CBV.

This space available.

higgmond Wrote:
——————————————————-
>
> Anyone actively involved in BV will know both and
> consider them equivalent. I’m fairly certain
> there is a reciprocity program between ASA and
> CIBV that would allow you to get ASA pretty easily
> if you already have CBV.

Thanks again higgmond. I started researching the ASA and it does indeed give credit to CBV holders. I’m considering starting the CBV program this fall (now that I no longer have to study for the CFA), but was concerned about the credibility of the program outside of Canada. The fact that those in BV consider them equivalent is great to know!!

I think a lot of smaller regional and local firms prefer the AM and ASA designations because they are specifically focused on BV, respected in the industry, and they are easier to get than the CFA. To get the AM you just have to go to four 3-days classes and pass a test at the end of each, have one report reviewed, and have two years of experience. Plus, its easier to hire someone and send them to ASA classes than it is to expect someone to go through the CFA program or pay to actually hire a CFA charterholder. That being said, I think the CFA designation is more desired by the larger firms and definitely by the big-4. The CFA exams are much harder than the ASA tests and show a high level of commitment and dedication. As far as CFA vs CPA, almost all the new people I see entering the industry directly out of school have a finance degree. Most of the folks with the CPAs started out in audit and made a move to advisory services after they had gotten the CPA.

buyicide Wrote:
——————————————————-
> 100% CFA. I used to work in valuation. I also
> interviewed with PWC val group in the spring. CFA
> is without a doubt the sought after designation.
> CPA is only common because a lot of people got the
> CPA while working in audit and then moved into the
> transaction groups or into independent valuation
> shops. It may be common among the senior guys in
> Big 4 but only because the designation is valued
> by non valuation guys in the firms.
>
> I was specifically told by a managing partner (or
> whatever his goofy designation was) at PWC and the
> MD of a small shop that the CPA really is not
> necessary. They loved the fact that I had passed
> LIII, however.
>
> ASA is common

Did you have purchase price allocation experience prior to interviewing with PwC? From what I have heard, 141/142 work is mostly all they do.

great comments!

CPA would give you the accounting knowledge req’d for all the PPA and impairment testing crap

CFA pretty inapplicable IMO

bhill020 Wrote:
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> CPA would give you the accounting knowledge req’d
> for all the PPA and impairment testing crap
>
> CFA pretty inapplicable IMO

The accounting knowledge required is pretty basic and not really an issue. The majority of CFA material is inapplicable, but is very well regarded. If you are doing debt instruments or exotic derivatives, CFA skills are a must.

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Bread and butter for a lot of shops is goodwill impairment testing, purchase price allocations, solvency opinions and fairness opinions. The acctg on these jobs is generally light. You don’t need a cpa to perform discounted cash flow valuation and or market multiple valuation. Valuation is more of a finance than acctg job.

buyicide Wrote:
——————————————————-
> Bread and butter for a lot of shops is goodwill
> impairment testing, purchase price allocations,
> solvency opinions and fairness opinions. The
> acctg on these jobs is generally light. You don’t
> need a cpa to perform discounted cash flow
> valuation and or market multiple valuation.
> Valuation is more of a finance than acctg job.

+1

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depends whether you’re valuing pubcos and complex pubco instruments OR private companies. CFA fairly inapplicable to private co valuation.

some aspects (not all) of valuation are monkey work IMO. don’t really need either.

Have you ever worked in valuation?

bhill020 Wrote:
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CFA
> fairly inapplicable to private co valuation.
>

totally false. there is a good portion of material in CFAI textbooks dedicated to the valuation of illiquid investments. relative company valuation and selection of multiples from guideline public companies, levering/unlevering betas from a pool of guideline companies, illiquidity discounts, valuation of early stage companies.

bhill020 Wrote:
——————————————————-
> depends whether you’re valuing pubcos and complex
> pubco instruments OR private companies. CFA
> fairly inapplicable to private co valuation.
>
> some aspects (not all) of valuation are monkey
> work IMO. don’t really need either.

Not all private companies are mom & pop candy stores on the corner. Private company work is often far more complex than anything you would encounter with a public company. Work for public companies is often much larger is scope, but usually relatively straight-forward from a technical perspective.

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higgmond Wrote:
——————————————————-
> Not all private companies are mom & pop candy
> stores on the corner. Private company work is
> often far more complex than anything you would
> encounter with a public company. Work for public
> companies is often much larger is scope, but
> usually relatively straight-forward from a
> technical perspective.

+1

how to value a public company for financial reporting purposes - check the stock price, multiply by number of outstaning shares, done :p

^I agree with higgmond and Mobius Striptease. Private company valuation work is often complex because you are not dealing with a set of financial statements that has been audited for SEC purposes. Many times, the adjustments are far more complex than the traditional public company adjustments. In addition, many private companies are niche companies where it is difficult to come up with suitable guideline public companies so valuation is tricky and requires a high degree of critical thinking skills.