Menu
  • Which credential is best for performing business valuations?

    Demand for valuations of U.S. businesses remains solid, so some accountants and other advisors might be weighing whether to pursue valuation credentials with one or more of the professional organizations in order to expand their services. Do you need a credential in order to provide business valuations? “In the broad, global…
  • Setting goals for exiting your business: Why it’s important

    By John Brown, Founder of Business Enterprise Institute, Inc. Setting goals is critically important when you approach the inevitable exit from your business. Without goals, even the strongest systems fail, as they have no purpose to work toward. Your goals are what guide your process toward a successful exit, and without…
  • Ask these 3 questions before accepting a small-business valuation engagement

    Business valuations of small enterprises can be lucrative for valuation professionals, but the nature of smaller businesses means you need to vet opportunities well, according to Pasquale Rafanelli, CPA/ABV, ASA, CVA, CFE. Rafanelli, valuation manager at Grassi & Co. and a member of the CVA Exam & Grading Committee with…
  • Cash flow and quality of earnings

    By John F. Dini, CMBA, CExP Financial buyers, Private Equity Groups and Family Offices, acquire companies based on their Return on Investment (ROI). When the owner of a mid-market company receives an offer from a financial buyer, he or she logically expects detailed due diligence on the business’ assets and…
  • Business valuations: When speculation becomes fact

    By John F. Dini, CMBA, CExP As an exit planner, I hear lots of owners opine about the value of their company. Some are well informed, but more often than not, they don’t have the full picture. When asked about their reasons for the value they think their business has,…
  • Business valuation software: What are the benefits?

    In the same way that no two businesses are the same, no two business valuations are the same, either.  This is partly why the practice of business valuation is often said to be part art, part science. Valuation professionals must conduct research and apply professional standards, such as the AICPA’s…
  • How to prevent or close deal-breaking valuation gaps

    Whether a company is a Main Street florist or Fortune 100, executives and owners struggle with the gap between their perceived value of the business and the market value. In fact, this valuation gap is the top reason private-company transactions fail to close, according to the 2017 Private Capital Markets…
  • Poll: Top challenge of valuation practices is attracting new clients

    During a recent webinar, titled Calculation v. Valuation How Each Fits in Your Practice, Sageworks polled 275 valuation professionals and found that more than 41 percent recognize their biggest challenge as attracting new clients. In fact, attracting clients topped other challenges, such as “accuracy in valuations” and “not enough time,”…
  • Win new valuation engagements by asking business owners these 4 questions

    If the thought of finding your next valuation client causes a jump in your blood pressure, you’re not alone.  Attracting new clients is a common challenge for valuation professionals. Unlike traditional accounting services (such as tax preparation and audits) that some clients need each year, valuations are often performed to…
  • Business valuation pros: Avoid these common professional liability claims

    Business valuation specialists live within the tension of running an efficient practice and limiting exposure to professional liability claims.  Standards, such as the AICPA’s SSVS No. 1 (Statement on Standards for Valuations Services No. 1) provide guidance on best practices that can help professionals avoid liability while performing valuation services.…
  • Writing a business valuation report clients will want to read

    Americans spend a lot of time each year planning how to grow their retirement savings in 401(k) plans or other investments. But business owners, who typically have more than half of their net worth tied up in their businesses, may not devote a similar level of attention to ensuring their…
  • Help clients boost enterprise value by building collaborative decision-making

    By Rich Greene, CEO - Director, Clarus Advisors How a company interacts internally to overcome obstacles is a key to building and expanding the enterprise value of the organization. Is there an inclusive process to review, anticipate and plan for changes and disruptions in the business and marketplace? Or a…
  • Benefits of following SSVS No. 1 for business valuations

    Most professional services providers understand that “standards” are a way of doing things -- the norm, or what is approved by some authority. Thus, the AICPA’s Statement on Standards for Valuations Services No. 1, known as SSVS No. 1, outlines how the AICPA expects its members to provide valuations. But…
  • 8 fundamentals for increasing the value of your client's business

    As a business owner it is easy to get stuck in the weeds. The day-to-day commitments that a business deals with can prevent owners from thinking about the big picture. This reality is what hinders many companies from developing long-term plans for how to grow the value of their business.…
  • Tips to Prepare Your Client's Business for Sale

    The following is written by Mary Beth Koester, Manager of Business Valuations at Rea & Associates. As you prepare clients for an exit, there are a few key areas and metrics to consider. Keeping in mind that exit planning can, and should, begin years in advance, you will be able to…
  • What Oreos can teach accountants about growing the firm

    Accountants wanting to grow revenue by adding new services should look to the Oreo cookie for a few lessons, according to Katie Tolin, a member of the Association for Accounting Marketing’s Hall of Fame and founder of CPA Growth Guides. Tolin, who recently led a Sageworks webinar for accountants on…
  • How to market business valuation services

    Continuing to grow the business valuation practice is an ongoing concern for many practitioners. The one-and-done nature of many types of valuations means that repeat business with the same client isn’t as common as it is for some other professional services, so feeding the pipeline is a continuous process. In…
  • The past and future of the valuation industry

    The value of a business was once defined in simple terms. Prior to 1920, if someone had to value a business, there was no “valuation industry,” so it’s likely that the only reasonable or logical way to do it would have been to look at the business's assets, its liabilities…
  • What every business owner needs

    Would you like to provide more services to each client or to improve the quality of each client conversation? Conferring with a client for the first time, or perhaps a friend we've known for years who is now in need of a business valuation for exit planning or other reasons,…
  • Notes on normalizing adjustments to the income statement

    Valuation experts know that normalizing is an important and sometimes challenging step in the business valuation process. Business owners themselves may not realize how their own efforts can incorrectly inflate or deflate their sense of the valuation. Other owners may provide limited information on which to base the valuation, which…
  • Business valuation: In defense of simplicity

    By Erik Kobayashi-Solomon, Principal and Founder, IOI Investor Services Linda is 31 years old, single, outspoken and very bright. She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in anti-nuclear demonstrations. Which is more likely true about Linda?…
  • Avoiding the crushing sound of tax season

    “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” –Albert Einstein We could list many other amusing quotes about taxes and tax season. You can probably think of a famous quote right now. Tax season, as accounting firms know, is not just busy. It's the busiest time…
  • Are the biggest "referral killers" hurting your firm?

    Whether you're selling toys or financial services, business people dream of organic growth. Organic growth is defined by Investopedia as the "growth rate that a company can achieve by increasing output and enhancing sales". Financial services and accounting firms likely know how much work their team can accomplish. They may…
  • 7 marketing tips to engage your clients about starting a succession plan

    By Warren Sheydwasser With no shortage of tasks to complete during tax season, many financial professionals don’t need help expanding their to-do list. Given that it’s one of the few times during the year you will likely connect with all of your clients, some additional communication strategies can go a…
  • Advising your client: To sell valuation engagements, think like a business owner

    It takes a special kind of person to start and run a business. As valuation professionals know, however, some of the same traits that make a business owner a successful entrepreneur are qualities that can make it tough to land a business valuation engagement with them.  “It’s hard to sell…
  • [Handout] Show your clients how valuations can impact their businesses

    Selling valuations can be complex and business owners don't always know why they need one. Good news...sometimes the valuation professional doesn't need to sell the service at all. Educating business owners on why valuations matter and how they improve businesses in both the short and long term can help business…
  • Top 10 business valuation blog articles from 2015

    Did you miss them? Read the most popular business valuation articles published by Sageworks in 2015. Visit the Valuation Blog to read the latest. Most common challenges facing business valuation professionals  The process of valuing a business combines both art and science and can be arduous. Generally speaking, a detailed,…
  • 3 simple ways to differentiate a valuation practice in 2016

    Let's assume, for the purpose of this article, that you are operating a successful valuation or accounting firm. Or, perhaps you're an M&A professional or business broker, but no matter the nature of your work, you have a cash flow positive, successful organization. Yet your work valuing businesses and advising…
  • Most popular valuation webinars of 2015

    Looking back at 2015, the Sageworks valuation team hosted and attended webinars across a variety of topics from marketing a practice to finding the bias in a valuation. Each of the webinars listed below is available on demand to watch at no cost. In this article, we highlight some of…
  • Whitepaper: How technology is changing the way firms operate

    The following is an excerpt from the Sageworks whitepaper "The Automation Revolution: How Technology is Changing the Way Firms Operate". As consumers adopt the latest technology, businesses must do the same in order to provide services and customer experiences that align with today’s technology. The feeling of visiting a financial…
  • Tips for telling business owners why valuations matter

    Finding prospective valuation clients isn't always easy, and even once a firm has identified a prospect, communicating the value of valuations is critical to a successful relationship. Sageworks hosted a webinar on the topic, "How to Find New Business Valuation Clients" in order to explore tactics for identifying clients as well as the…
  • How to answer the question: "What is Valuation?"

    Business owners might ask the question "What is a valuation"?  Or, "Why does my business need a valuation?".Professor Aswath Damodaran, a Professor of Finance at NYU Stern and frequent writer and speaker on valuation, writes:"Knowing what an asset is worth and what determines that value is a prerequisite for intelligent decision…
  • Why business owners can fail, even during growth

    By Bakley Smith, CFA Most business owners - especially those in the startup space - have an eye fixed on valuation. At what level does the market value the company? The media, of course, feeds the frenzy with television shows, articles, podcasts and a steady stream of click bait, aimed…
  • Why your business should have a buy-sell agreement in place

    By Rachel Flaskey, CPA/ABV/CFF/CGMA Building a strong business foundation begins with you, the owner. Having a formal written document to detail ownership transition plans is a best practice that should be utilized by business owners, regardless of when the business transition will be happening. The article below outlines four key benefits…
  • How business brokers can add value and create growth opportunities for clients

    Remember the days of yellow mustard, when there was only plain, yellow mustard? Malcolm Gladwell published a story about how the mustard market changed forever in the 1980's. All of a sudden mustard came in glass jars, had French-sounding names, and was featured in commercials with a Rolls-Royce driving down a country…
  • Attracting and retaining female staff

    It will come as no surprise that one of the largest concerns facing accounting firms today is staffing. For some firms, the way to solve this is by ensuring there is a greater gender balance among the staff. Although women are entering the profession in higher numbers than ever before,…
  • Goodwill is a function of jurisdiction, appraiser says

    Republished with permission from Business Valuation Resources (www.bvresources.com). No two cases are alike, and different jurisdictions approach goodwill and noncompete agreements differently, cautions Jim Alerding (Alerding Consulting LLC), in response to the BVWire item on the Mauceri Texas divorce case, in which Bob Dohmeyer (Dohmeyer Valuation Corp.) was the prevailing expert. Therefore, it would be a mistake to…
  • 8 steps to an accurate business valuation

    Valuation is as much an art as it is a science, and it is commonly considered to be a statement of opinion rather than a mathematically proven fact.  The numbers, models and metrics are not the only factors of a business valuation. In his video of an introduction to valuation, Professor…
  • The Bermuda Triangle of Valuation: Bias, Uncertainty and Complexity

    By Aswath DamodaranProfessor of Finance, NYU Stern School of Business Introduction from Sageworks: Studies have shown that sizable numbers of business owners look to transfer their ownership interests in the next decade, and a major concern for many is whether they’ll get out of the business what they expect. Gaps…
  • Why fair value isn't always the right value

    By Bakley Smith, CFA The debate between fair value and historical cost accounting is a hot topic for academics, regulators and investors. As noted by a University of Chicago Booth School research paper and Harvard Business Review, the debate centers on the use of fair value accounting and its impact…
  • The deception of capital expenditure and working capital in business valuation

    The demand for business valuations continues to grow with the improvement of the economy and the rise of baby boomer retirement. Performing high quality valuations has become more important than ever before to meet client expectations and compete in the industry. To reach the true value of a company, one must…
  • How to build your valuation practice

    Business valuations are one of the fastest-growing services offered by accountants. With a projected growth of nearly three percent each year through 2019, the industry is truly thriving. Much of the demand comes from the shift in business owner demographics as our nation’s baby boomers reach retirement age and step…
  • Survey: Trends in technology decision-making

    Companies across the globe ask themselves the same question: Is adopting new technology worth it? As you can imagine, this question is not new. Businesses of the past have debated whether or not they should install telephones to connect to customers more easily, use refrigeration to extend shelf life of…
  • Effective LinkedIn strategies for marketing and thought leadership

    Remember the days of the rolodex on your desk? Well, even if you don’t, you probably realize that with today’s digital technology, the rolodex is pretty much extinct. Today, Outlook or Gmail contacts, your phone’s address book and LinkedIn have replaced the reams of paper we once used. You might…
  • Video: Introduction to business valuation by Aswath Damodaran

    Aswath Damodaran is a business valuation expert and Professor of Finance at New York University Stern School of Business. In this video, he reviews the importance of valuation and offers three main reasons why valuations fail—bias, uncertainty and complexity. According to Damodaran, human nature and the emotional connection to a…
  • The benefit of a business philosophy

    In a recent Sageworks webinar, we explored the importance of sole proprietors and small business valuation teams maintaining a strong work and life balance. This balance is, in many ways, the core of their ability to be successful in their work. Like training for a high impact sport such as…
  • Building your valuation practice? Know your marketing message.

    Marketing your valuation business is more important than ever. With the rise of social media and other new communication techniques, industries that may have once been considered “traditional” must seek new ways to engage potential clients and to reengage existing clients. While many business professionals can still keep their companies…
  • Here’s what business valuation pros didn’t learn in school

    Chances are, most business valuation professionals took accounting, finance or economic classes in college – courses that focused on areas to provide them general competency in their jobs today. It’s less likely that many of these valuation professionals took marketing classes, especially not one that incorporated the seismic shifts that…
  • What to consider when pricing business valuations

    A recent survey by Pepperdine University found that 64 percent of business owners intend to transfer their ownership interests within the next 10 years. For those considering selling their business, a valuation professional could be seen as friend or foe – either delivering the good news that their business is…
  • 3 scenarios that demand a valuation professional

    While business owners are the captains of the ship, in many cases they operate leanly -- with a small crew or perhaps no crew at all. With more than 70 percent of all businesses in the U.S. owned by sole proprietors, a significant number of people control their professional destiny,…
  • As baby boomers age, valuation professionals adapt to help close “value gap”

    Written by Zeb Zilar, Project Lead, Sageworks Valuation Solution Baby boomers are hitting age 65 at a rate of 10,000 a day until 2030, according to the Pew Research Center. Another study showed that 65 percent of new business sellers in Q1 of 2014 were baby boomers.  The transfer of wealth that…
  • Creating repeat valuation and consulting work: Optimize value of clients’ businesses

    Business appraisers have an excellent vantage point to see deep into the workings of a business in the process of doing their appraisal. They can then offer their insights to owners who would like to increase the value of their business.  A home is a useful metaphor for valuation professionals…
  • Shoot and score: Tips for winning a new business valuation client

    If you’re a sports basketball fan, you know that the NBA playoff matchups are underway. As it stands, the average field goal percentage for the current season is .449. Of all 30 NBA teams – from first place standing in the Eastern Conference to last place in the West –…
  • Leverage social media to market business valuation services

    Much like peanut butter and jelly, social media and content marketing are two things that go together in the world of forward-thinking marketers and business owners. So how does a firm get started using social media to build their valuation practice? Given the competing pressures on business valuation professionals or…
  • Beyond efficiency: Using technology to ramp up a valuation business

    By Brad Spence, Director of Sageworks Valuation Solution What drives new business for your valuation practice? Referrals? Marketing? Cross-selling current accounting clients? How about technology? Is your firm using technology to drive new valuation engagements?  Many accounting firms view technology expenses as overhead – costs that chew up precious revenue dollars…
  • Lessons to apply to business valuations

    By Bakley Smith, CFA Most business owners - especially those in the startup space - have an eye on valuation. At what level does the market value the company? The media, of course, feeds the frenzy with television shows, articles, podcasts and a steady stream of click bait, aimed at…
  • How to simplify valuation report writing

    When confronted with multiple clients, each requiring days of your time or your employees’ time to produce a customized valuation report, it is common to ask: How can I make this process easier? How can I make this process more productive for my bottom line?  In speaking with financial professionals…
  • Marketing tips to boost your valuation business

    Unlike many traditional accounting services, such as tax preparation and auditing, valuation work is often a one-and-done kind of engagement. Recurring projects with the same client aren’t very common, unless it’s an annual assessment of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) or something similar.  As a result, bringing in new…
  • Valuation vs. calculation engagements: What’s the difference?

    By Brad Spence, Director of Valuation Solutions, Sageworks Accountants, other professionals and their clients encounter many circumstances that may generate the need for an appraisal of a business or part of a business: • Divorce • Tax planning • Buy-side due diligence on a merger or acquisition or sell-side advice…
  • Stop creating “Frankenstein” business valuation reports

    By Mike McCaffery, Regional Consultant – Valuation Solutions, Sageworks Business valuation professionals know that writing the report is a major component of performing valuations.  For one thing, valuation analysts spend a lot of time on each report. In fact, writing the report is the most time-consuming part of the process…
  • How to reduce professional liability risk when performing valuations

    By Brad Spence, Director of Valuation Solutions, Sageworks Remember the old saying, “Make hay while the sun shines”? It’s a good reminder that one should take advantage of opportunities while they’re available. Valuation services represent one good opportunity for growth that many accountants recognize and are taking steps to address.…
  • How to get referrals and grow your firm

    By Natasha Closs, Director of ProfitCents Consulting & Advisory Services An ongoing challenge for accountants and other financial services professionals is attracting new clients. In fact, bringing in new clients is at or near the top of the list of challenges facing accounting firms of all sizes, and it’s a…
  • Business valuation solutions: To build or to buy?

    By Brad Spence, Director of Sageworks Valuation Solution It’s a classic conundrum – to build versus to buy. Make dinner at home versus take-out. While there are certainly people constructing their own coffee table – measuring, cutting, sanding and staining – most will drop a bill or two on a…
  • Effective and efficient business valuation report writing

    Business valuation services are among the highest-growing niche services among Top 100 accounting firms, according to Accounting Today. One aspect of providing this service, however, is notoriously time-consuming and frustrating: Writing business valuation reports. At the same time, it’s crucial that you produce a quality report, according to Rod Burkert,…
  • Address your top pain points in performing valuations

    Demand for valuation services is growing, according to a recent AICPA survey, with increased opportunities expected in shareholder/partner disputes, contractual disputes, family law, and gift and estate taxes, among other areas.  Indeed, most valuation professionals in the survey said they expect between 10 percent and 50 percent growth in their…
  • Poll: 36% of finance professionals send clients to a third party for business valuation services

    During a recent webinar on how to prepare for booming growth in the valuation industry, Sageworks polled over 135 finance professionals and found that more than 35 percent are sending their clients to a third party to complete a business valuation.     During the webinar, Paul Wapner, CPA/ABV, CGMA,…
  • The truth about valuations in 2014

    Low interest rates. Ample bank financing. Record capital committed to private equity funds. The highest value of private-equity backed buyout deals since 2007. These factors and others are contributing to intensifying deal competition, which means private equity firms on both sides of transactions must increasingly find an edge to win without…
  • Most common challenges facing business valuation professionals

    The process of valuing a business combines both art and science and can be arduous. Generally speaking, a detailed, comprehensive analysis and the ability to develop accurate projections and assumptions are necessities. Business valuation also requires the application of finance theory in the appropriate places and using professional judgment. With…
  • Understanding a business valuation

    It has come to our attention that many accountants are interested in expanding their firm by adding a business valuation practice, however there isn’t much existing easy-to-understand literature on what exactly a business valuation is as well as its components. A business valuation is a set of processes and procedures…
  • Valuation best practices for private equity firms

    Whether being used for performance data or to win deals, valuations that private equity firms develop should be supported by a methodology that is: • Robust • Consistent, and • Transparent Robust. Valuations are most accurate (and defensible) when they are developed through a robust process. As the International Private…
  • Business valuations: Opportunities for accountants

    Have you ever had a business client who was terrific to work with but who stopped being a client because he or she retired?  If you’ve been an accountant for long, chances are you’ve seen a business client or two drop off of your list because the owner retired and…
  • Infographic: Challenges facing private equity firms

    Private equity firms are increasingly facing challenges when it comes to portfolio valuations. These challenges include protecting the firm's reputation, information asymmetry, and transparency of information. This infographic identifies these challenges, provides solutions to create thorough valuations and the benefits of technological solutions.  Click here to download the full infographic. 
  • How to develop valuations with Sageworks Valuation Solution precision

    Sageworks, the leader in the financial analysis of privately held companies and maker of ProfitCents, today unveiled a business valuation platform that helps CPA firms, private equity firms and valuation firms determine an accurate and legally defensible value for private companies. Sageworks Valuation Solution, a commercial grade, web-based solution, will…
  • Valuations: 4 things that make private companies different

    While Wall Street firms get a lot of publicity (especially when it comes to mergers and acquisitions), most of the 27 million U.S. businesses are privately held. For accountants and others in financial services, that means a multitude of opportunities can arise to use valuations in planning for succession, evaluating…
  • Investors may like Facebook, but it is richly valued - Sageworks CEO

    Facebook’s initial public offering, scheduled to begin trading on May 18, will have a rich valuation compared to other big tech players, according to Sageworks CEO Brian Hamilton, a noted expert on privately held companies. “To put Facebook’s valuation in perspective, if Apple, which manufactures tangible products, was valued at…