Valuation Certifications

Hello, in May I received a Bachelors degree with a major in Finance. I am now working full-time as a Business Valuation Analyst at a regional accounting firm. I was wondering which certifications I should pursue to have a successful career in valuation or similar fields. CPA would require me to go back to school for a year, so not sure if this is worth it. CFA interests me, but the people I work alongside do not have this certification so I am unsure about this. And then there are a lot of valuation specific certifications that could benefit me but I don’t know much about them, so if anyone has experience or an opinion on this topic please let me know. Any information is helpful, thanks!

The CBV would be right up your ally. I work with a few in our valuation dept and it’s a highly recognized designation. If you plan to stick with valuation I’d likely skip the CFA and go right to CBV. Most CBVs also have a CPA, which is something you could pursue after the fact if you so choose.

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Seems like the higher ups in valuation that I’ve met have ASAs

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Completely agree. Thank you for your insight, means a lot!

I am unfamiliar with this one so I will have to look into it. Thank you for your input, I appreciate it!

BSD is the only certification recognized on the street.


No problem, before you do any certification, what I would do is go to linkedin and look up people in your area or wherever you want to live, that have it and see what role they are in. See how common it is and if it’s a role you want to be in. Good so you don’t waste your time and money on something that’s not in demand.

Search job ads too, see how in demand it is. I don’t get any certification unless it can make me money :moneybag:

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That’s a good point. CBV Institute is based out of Toronto… really don’t know how in demand that is in the US. In Canada it’s big, but worth looking into.

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I’d agree with Voyager3 on your situation. All the best!

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No worries, I will research it. Thanks!

I’ll research it now. Thanks!

I’m a CPA and have never heard of the CBV. Are you sure you’re not talking about the ABV? (Accredited in Business Valuation–a designation offered by the AICPA)

Never heard of it. I have heard of ASA and CVA. If I wanted a valuation designation, I’d go with ASA.

(IMHO) For any credential to have value, it must have two elements: 1.) Educational rigor, and 2.) Recognition by its intended audience. I don’t know if ASA has #1, but it definitely has #2.

Another caveat - If you’re a CPA, I would recommend the ABV. Even though I’ve never done it, I’ve got other credentials from AICPA, and they deliver high-quality content.

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I agree with @Greenman72. I work with a lot of BV professionals. The ASA and CFA designations seem to be the most prominent in the industry. That said, the ABV is also quite good and I believe the AICPA recently opened up the designation to non-CPAs.

Most CVAs are part-time valuation professionals with a focus on other areas like tax or accounting.


Could be it’s primarily a Canadian designation. The guys I work with have it and it’s well known in Toronto… apparently not the case in the US.

Thank you for this insight. It is greatly appreciated!

Thank you for your input! This helps out a lot

Thank you for all of these details! This is great information for me.

Well, I inadvertently deleted what I had previously posted, so I’m going to post again.

Like my colleague, Chad Sandstedt, who has already commented in this forum, I recommend the investment-related valuation training available from the American Society of Appraisers. It is truly first-rate. However, I would not waste time or money pursing the ASA (Accredited Senior Appraiser) designation. I speak as a former ASA designation-holder. As I said, the training is truly outstanding, but, in the twelve or thirteen years that I held the designation, I never met any client, money manager, or commercial banker who had ever heard of it. In addition, holding the designation is expensive: $700+/yr. Even if one could afford it, which I certainly could, it simply wasn’t worth the money for a credential no one I met had ever heard of. Again, the training is first-rate, and I recommend getting that valuation-related training without any hesitation whatsoever.

I also strongly recommend pursuing the CFA designation. I was in my 60s when I obtained it, and I’ve never regretted it. The curriculum is rigorous and demanding, and the CFA Institute doesn’t hesitate to sanction members who wander from its strong ethical code. Those are two really good reasons to have this designation.

I’m also a CPA. Back in the early 1990s, when I obtained that credential, one could substitute industry experience (which I had plenty of, both as the Controller of one company and as the CFO of another) for experience in auditing and/or preparing tax returns. Nowadays, it appears that substitution is no longer allowed. Still and all, I heartily recommend getting the CPA designation, and for one reason: I’ve NEVER met anyone who has not heard of it. It has awesome brand power, and that is why I recommend pursuing it. Even if you have to spend several years working in a CPA firm to get it, it’s well worth having.

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