Comment: The mission of the ABV Credential program is to provide a community of business valuation experts with specialized access to information, education, tools, and support that enhance their ability to make a genuine difference for their clients and employers. The ABV Credential program allows credential holders to brand or position themselves as CPAs who are premier business valuation service providers. ABV Credential holders differentiate themselves by going beyond the core service of reaching a conclusion of value, by also creating value for clients through the strategic application of this analysis.
Comment: The ACFE administers the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential, which denotes proven expertise in fraud prevention, detection, deterrence and investigation. CFEs must meet stringent academic, professional and character requirements; comply with the ACFE Code of Professional Ethics; and continually build their skills through ongoing professional education.
Comment: The AICPA has established the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) credential for CPAs who specialize in personal financial planning. This designation can only be acquired by CPAs who are AICPA members, have business experience and lifelong learning within the five-year period preceding the date of application in addition to passing any one of six financial planning related exams. Personal Financial Specialists strive to demonstrate their knowledge, skill and experience by earning this exclusive credential. For further information on how to obtain the PFS credential, please visit the personal financial planning Web site.
Comment: The credential Certified in Financial Forensics combines specialized forensic accounting expertise with the core knowledge and skills that make CPAs among the most trusted business advisers. The CFF encompasses fundamental and specialized forensic accounting skills that CPA practitioners apply in a variety of service areas, including: bankruptcy and insolvency; computer forensics; economic damages; family law; fraud investigations; litigation support; stakeholder disputes and valuations. To qualify, a CPA must be an AICPA member in good standing, have at least five years of experience in practicing accounting, and meet minimum requirements in relevant business experience and continuing professional education.
Granted by: Individual state boards
Comment: The Certified Public Accountant is state licensed and has been tested on subjects including auditing, accounting and taxation. While many CPAs perform business valuations, their education does not include the skills to competently perform business valuations; this knowledge can, however, be gained through additional education and experience. The ABV and CFF designations represent enhancements to the CPA designation to indicate competency in the area of business valuation and financial forensics.
Comment: The CVA professional membership designation is awarded to individuals who fulfill specific, educational, work experience and examination requirements required to hold the Certified Valuation Analyst designation. Individuals also need to be a licensed Certified Public Accountant in good standing to hold the CVA and are required to complete a recertification program that requires continuing education and peer review every three years.
Comment: ASAs must demonstrate five years of full-time equivalent experience (ASA AM members need two years) in business valuation to get their professional designation. ASAs have experience in appraising a wide variety of companies – public and closely held, large and small – and have experience in appraising a wide variety of business intangible assets. ASA has an extensive, long-established educational program including a core series of courses, various advanced courses and seminars, an annual cross-discipline international conference, and an annual advanced business valuation conference. Candidates for an ASA designation must complete the core series of four three-day courses in business valuation and successfully finish a half-day test following each course. To retain their designations, ASAs must demonstrate participation in continuing education. Ron Seigneur is a candidate member for the ASA credential and is in the final process of submitting the required report to complete the last step for the ASA credential. Matt Lauer is also a candidate member, having successfully completed all education and testing requirements and is in the process of submitting his report for peer review to become an ASA AM credentialed member.