ASA or ABV - your views

Anyone know anything about ASA (American Society of Appraisers) or ABV (Accredited in Business Valuation)? What are your views on it? I understand you must be a CPA for the ABV… Anything else would be extremely helpful. Thanks in advance guys.

they’re both cake from what i understand. everyone in my firm is doing the asa and isn’t near as intensive as the cfa. you just show up on thursday, study a little off and on over the next couple days as you take the course, cram saturday night and take it sunday afternoon before you fly home. since i’m not planning on staying in valuation, i’m not going to do it. as far as abv goes, if you’ve got your asa, you get it for free. if you’ve passed the cfa exams, you get a waiver from one of the two exams.

Where do you work, if you don’t mind me asking? You dont have to be specific. Also, what city are you based in?

Where do you work, if you don’t mind me asking? You dont have to be specific. Also, what city are you based in?

These credentials are relevant if you are in the business valuation field, e.g., valuing closely-held business, intangible assets, public companies for financial reporting purposes, etc. The primary difference is that the ABV is strictly for CPAs, whereas the ASA does not have this restriction. Note that “ASA” refers to both the organization (Amercan Society of Appraisers) and the designation (Accredited Senior Appraiser). From my experience, the ASA carries more weight; among other things it requires 5 years of experience and the submission of two valuation reports for peer review. As mlh97 mentioned, the courses aren’t that difficult (four three-day courses with a test at the end of each course). These credentials do have some value in the business valuation field. Of course the CFA requires much more knowledge and is therefore transferable across many areas of finance. The ASA and ABV credentials don’t have much value at all in other areas of finance.

thank you. youve both been v. helpful. I will look into these myself.

what he said. i work in business valuation for a firm in atlanta. i’m looking to go back to school though. most of the work we do, the stuff for which asa and cpa/abv would be helpful, are compliance related, ie tax and financial reporting. we also do some litigation support. the cfa is way overkill, i think, for someone in this field. you learn tons, but for all of the work more than asa, you don’t get much in return. others may disagree, but that has been my experience.

I’m now CFA, CPA, ABV. I took the ABV exam between CFA levels 2 and 3. The ABV exam was much harder than any of the CPA exams but not nearly as hard as Level 2 or 3. The ABV exam is 8 hours long so it is grueling. I’m pretty sure that CFA Charterholders can now get the ABV without taking the exam. You just need an ABV to sign off on you. CFA Charterholders also get a waiver of the 4 ASA courses. You still need the work experience and have to submit reports. I work in a CPA firm doing valuations and litigation support. CFA level knowledge rarely comes into play but it’s nice to have it behind me.

A CFA charterholder can only skip the first (of four) class of the ASA program. It used to be that you could skip the first two, but they changed this in the past year or so. The content in the ASA program is not very complex as it really only brushes the surface of business valuation. For a person that has been in valuation for more than two years, you should be able to pass these exams with very little effort (attending the 3 day class and study an hour or two for the exam).

I think the CFA only lets you out of BV201 now (the first class). I finished the second of four classes last month. I took the first one while I was studying for Level II in January. Like some posters said, you do have to study a bit, but of course you can’t really even begin to compare it to CFA. Think of a BV class as going for a light jog in the summer before football season starts and you have three-a-day workouts. Sitting through classes all day isn’t really my cup of tea, but some people are good at it. The good thing is the class I took was at a Westin, and they have fantastic beds. I actually got home from the class and bought a new bed.