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A business valuation professional provides independent unbiased opinions of value for businesses and business interests. A professional receiving an accreditation by the American Society of Appraisers as an Accredited Senior Appraiser (“ASA”) is recognized as having achieved the highest level of education, training, and report writing for business valuations. The ASA designation is the gold standard for a business valuation professional.

The Internal Revenue Service states that an appraisal will be treated “as a qualified appraisal” within its regulations by meeting three qualifications. The appraiser should be qualified by a recognized association such as the American Society of Appraisers; the appraiser must have the education and experience in valuing the type of property subject to the appraisal; and a qualified appraisal needs to be conducted in accordance with generally accepted appraisal standards which specifically refers to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (“USPAP”) as developed by the Appraisal Standards Board of the Appraisal Foundation. ASA prepared valuation reports require certification to these qualifications; a standard which may not apply in other appraisal organizations.

Business valuations are important not only when delivered, but also serve as important historical records. As such, the reports must be thorough and complete to stand the test of time. Some of the major areas of business valuations that require professional ASA opinions of value include:

The valuations follow standard practices but the professional has to determine what approaches and methods apply within these practices and must justify the reasons for their selections. The valuations must be based on assertions of fact proven by a preponderance of the evidence. Where judgment is needed, the basis for that judgment must be explained. For these reasons, the American Society of Appraisers requires not only extensive training and education but also five years of full-time appraisal experience.

The American Society of Appraisers and our chapter are recognized in having the highest standards in education, training, and certification for business valuation. We are dedicated to supporting our members in meeting valuation challenges, mentoring, sharing technical issues, keeping informed on changes in valuation processes and methods and networking with others to continue to be recognized as the leaders in our profession.