The most qualified individuals to handle the valuation of a business in a divorce matter are CPAs who are accredited in business valuation. The Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) credential is only awarded to CPAs who have met specific requirements. These include receiving 75 hours of valuation-related continuing professional education, completing 6 business valuation engagements or obtaining 150 hours of experience within the 5-year period preceding the date of the credential application, and passing the ABV examination. Of course, those CPAs who maintain their accreditation and also have several years of experience conducting valuations are usually the ideal choice.
Forensic Accountants who are ABVs know exactly what documents are needed to thoroughly value a business and how to analyze all records. You should expect your properly accredited Forensic Accountant to ask for and analyze historical financial statements, income tax returns, savings and checking account statements, credit card statements, general ledger details, images of checks written and deposited, accounts receivable ledgers, fixed asset ledgers, ledgers of unbilled work-in-progress and accounts payable ledgers. Experienced CPA/ABVs will not only be able to analyze these documents, but will also most likely have the greatest ability to successfully trace unreported income hidden by parties involved in marriage dissolutions.
Equally important is to ensure your Forensic Accountant can and will simplify complex business financial and accounting issues so that attorneys, clients and the courts will have no trouble comprehending them. Choosing an accountant that meets all of the above criteria best ensures a business valuation done right.