CBV Chartered Business Valuator

Has anyone completed the CBV designation or currently pursuing? I just sat for CFA Level II and am waiting for results. I intend to start the CBV course while working on CFA Level III.

How well will the CFA have prepared me for CBV? I have no business course experience from university as I was a Math major. Would it be wise to pursue additional accounting education?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks

It’s easy compared to LII. The CBV is more about learning rote valuation procedures than finance theory. There is more detail on DCF, Market, and Cost methods, DLOM, cost of capital, and market data sources.

Knowing more accounting would help, as financial statement adjustments are one of the key aspects of deriving FCF.

I passed the CBV challenge exam-- was 400 Q, but decided instead to attain the AICPA version- the ABV since I am a CPA.

The CBV is a quick and dirty way to pick up a BV designation.

Before five minutes ago, I had never heard of the CBV. I googled it to see what it’s about.

It looks like another run-of-the-mill business valuation program. Doesn’t really look like it offers anything more than the others.

The IRS has specifically said that it recognizes four BV credentials–CVA, ABV, CBA, and ASA. If you have any of those, the IRS will recognize you as having a valid credential. Any other credential is open to scrutiny (including CFA).

That being said, I wouldn’t consider any business valuation credential other than the four listed above. (And ABV is limited to CPA’s, so that limits you to three.)

One good note about CBV–it is holding a joint conference with ASA this year, so maybe it’s not as fourth-rate as I originally thought.

It’s basically the ABV for Canadians if I remember correctly.

Thank you for the help and sorry for the confusion. I can understand why the IRS does not recognize the CBV as it is a Canadian recognized designation.

Calvol…why did you start the CBV if you are American?

Sorry, I did CVA, got my letters mixed up.


Yeah, it’s well respected in Canada.

ABV is a CPA only designation in the U.S. It’s a 6 hour, 240 question test.

ASA is hardest to get, four 1-week courses with exam at the end. Five-year experience requirement to get the full ASA designation.

CVA is easiest to get, one 1-week course with exam, and final valuation report to get designated.

Look, more letters!

I’m a Director at a 20 person BV shop and a CBV would mean little to us. CFA is mandatory and the only other acceptable designation is the ASA.

You’ve made the CFA mandatory? Is that for consideration in the hiring process or you require new hires to enroll in the program and pass within a certain amount of time?

We require all of our Analysts/Associates to enroll after they start if they haven’t already. Nearly all of our VP/Directors/MDs have the charter, so unless you have a unique skill or bring in a ton of work, it’s tough to get promoted to the management level without passing at least L2.

^Why is CFA mandatory and ASA “acceptable”? It seems that if anything, ASA would be preferred because it’s 100% valuation, with no GIPS compliance and rebalancing techniques in the curriculum.

And if ASA is the only other “acceptable” designation, would you turn down the CPA+ABV?

Our mix of work is more CFA material (L2 mostly) focused than ASA for the most part. More than half of our practice is in Financial Reporting with micro and small cap public companies (ASC 805/815/820/complex securities). The ASA is definitely applicable to the rest of the practice (estate/gift, ESOPs, fairness opinions, etc.), and we’d support anyone that wanted to go for it. Everyone I work with that has finished the CFA program called it quits on studying for more designations. We don’t have any CPAs in our group, so I honestly don’t know much about the ABV.

Any organization that administers “exams” and does not publish official pass/fail rates, # of candidates taking the exam/awarded the designation, and similar stats, automatically falls into the scammer category regardless of how sincere their credentialing intentions are. I suspect all of the above organizations, apart from CFA of course, do not publish that info and are therefore by default junk. There is only one legit ASA designation - the one administered by the society of actuaries!

re: ASA / Associate of the Society of Actuaries … saying it’s legit is underplaying things … those tests make the CFA exams look like the PSAT

ASA in this context is “American Society of Appraisers”. (www.appraisers.org)

It is the highest standard for BV because it’s 4 courses + 5 years BV experience.

Four instructor-led, weekend courses with a three-hour test that follows. During the weekend course, the instructor often emphasizes what will be tested at the end of the weekend.

Highest standard? Maybe. Most common? Absolutely.

The 5yrs BV experience could very easily be in a shop that does the bare minimum to avoid audits/scrutiny. Thus, the quality of that 5yrs experience varies greatly.

I was thinking of doing the CBV at the same time as the CFA, and met with someone who had just completed the program to discuss the curriculum/time committment etc. It seems that the CBV is a little more focused on the development of models whereas CFA is a little more oriented towards valuation theory. I decided not to pursue the designation but I actually have all the CBV course docs saved on my lappy - and am planning to read through them next summer after writing whatever exam I happen to be on (depending on how results are at the end of the month, haha)