February 3, 2017 | Valuations
The selection of a business valuation expert is critical when you or your clients have a need to know the value of their Maine-based business. Before selecting an expert, there are several considerations that must be made. The primary consideration is the purpose of the valuation. Filler & Associates has come up with some qualifications and characteristics that will help you or your clients choose a business valuation expert.
The following are questions that would apply in any engagement:
- Is the expert certified by a recognized national credentialing organization and subject to standards of work and ethics by that organization?
- Are they current in their education and knowledge?
- Is the expert experienced in valuing different types of businesses and not just the type of business you want valued?
- Do they have a depth of business knowledge outside of just valuing businesses?
- Do they and their firm have a reputation for being independent, objective, and reliable?
- Are they clear in their description of the work that is to be done, the information they will need to do the work, the time it will take, and the cost of the valuation engagement?
The following are unique considerations in the context of some of the most common uses of a business valuation.
No matter the type of court, there is often a need to determine the value of a business or an ownership interest in the business in the context of conflict and emotion. Information and documentation may not be readily available, complete, or accurate. The valuation expert must demonstrate the ability to:
- Make reasonable assumptions in the absence of reliable information
- Communicate and defend those assumptions and explain their ramification on the conclusions and opinions they express
- Maintain objectivity and independence in the face of significant pressure to become an advocate
- Deal with difficult people who may not want to be helpful
When it comes to the valuation of business interests for estate and gift tax purposes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a highly experienced player on the other team. The valuation expert should have an excellent understanding of the reporting requirements set by the IRS, as well as a current and working knowledge of relevant court cases and IRS regulations. A valuation expert engaged early in a planning setting is invaluable to preventing problems later on. Strong knowledge and experience in this type of an engagement is essential. If a family limited partnership (FLP), or similar entity, is being contemplated by the taxpayer, a skilled valuation expert can help design the entity to avoid later issues.
Every state’s family court is different, but usually they all have one thing in common: the most significant asset to be handled is a closely held business. After child custody issues, this issue is very often the most emotional matter as accusations and allegations are traded about hidden income, personal expenses paid and deducted through the business, etc.
Therefore, the valuation expert should be experienced in this area of litigation and need to bring certain skills to the table including:
- Knowledge in the area of forensic accounting
- Logical thinking and a level of objectivity in order to aid with settlement discussions
- Skills in working with opposing experts to identify the areas that need to be litigated if settlement is not possible
- A working knowledge of the legalities involved, such as an understanding of the interaction between business income and income for purposes of determining support.
Where Do I Find an Expert?
Call Filler & Associates about your valuation needs. We have the business valuation knowledge and skills to handle most tasks.