Valuation Independence

The key reason for engaging a third party to provide valuation services in a regulatory environment is independence. Without an arm’s length transaction, the true value of an asset, business entity, or financial instrument are extremely hard to determine. Because valuer’s subjective judgment has such a dramatic impact on the value conclusion, the IRS and SEC are concerned that reporting entities would exploit the subjective nature of the valuation process to their advantage. Hiring an independent valuer is critical for building documentation that can withstand legal and regulatory scrutiny.

Who is independent and who is not? It is almost impossible to argue that entities preparing their own valuations are doing so objectively especially when valuation becomes critical to their financial position. An outside consulting firm can be viewed as lacking independence as well. We know that audit firms cannot provide valuation services to their audit clients. The lack of independence may also be perceived when valuation service is bundled or sold as a “loss leader” within a larger consulting arrangement. Finally, your valuation specialist should not be your investor. Your lender is a poor choice for achieving independence. Likewise, your valuer should not be remunerated in your company’s equity.

One way to know if your valuer meets the minimal requirements of independence is to ask whether the final report would contain the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (“USPAP”) certification. USPAP is a set of common-sense requirements for providing an unbiased, professional and independent opinion of value developed by the Appraisal Foundation. There is no legal or regulatory requirement to provide USPAP certifications, however, it is a very common way for valuation specialists to ascertain their independence.

More Updates

Technology Valuation: US GAAP View

It is hard to underestimate the importance of technology in modern enterprises.  From legacy manufacturing to artificial intelligence and life science breakthroughs, technology plays an ever-increasing role.  However, the need to assign a specific value to it may arise only when the enterprise is faced with a strategic transition, such as a merger or an acquisition.

Your Valuation Needs Income Approach

The value of any business is defined by the amount of future cash flows it can generate.  The three basic valuation methods are the income approach, the market approach, and the cost approach.   Only the income approach directly addresses the question of value.  It is the first on the list of recommended methods in all guideline literature.  In fact, the

Intellectual Property, Goodwill, and Other Intangible Assets

The predominant amount of S&P 500 value comes from intangible assets and goodwill (“Intangibles”) of the underlying companies. It is no surprise that patents and brands are more valuable than desks. Understanding the components of intangible value is of great relevance to tax authorities and financial stakeholders.

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