AICPA Council votes to move forward with expanded eligibility for ABV credential

October 23, 2018

Members of AICPA’s governing Council voted Sunday to continue to implement an earlier decision to expand eligibility for the Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) credential.

Council members did not support a motion brought forth by five Council members to suspend the earlier vote and further study the credential changes, which expanded eligibility to other qualified professionals who are not CPAs.

Sunday’s vote followed a panel discussion on market demand for valuation services and the ABV credential, which included participants who are in favor of and opposed to the expanded eligibility.

AICPA Chair Eric Hansen told Council members prior to the panel that opening the ABV to other qualified professionals was intended to enhance quality, consistency, and transparency in business valuation services.

AICPA Council in May voted to approve a proposal from the National Accreditation Commission (NAC), which had been approved by the AICPA board, to expand eligibility for the ABV credential beyond CPAs to other qualified professionals meeting rigorous requirements. Under the measure, the exam requirements for other qualified professionals are the same as those for CPAs. Additional requirements for other qualified professionals were recently updated and include training on and adherence to the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct, a minimum of 4,500 hours of valuation experience, and 75 hours of valuation-related continuing professional development within the five-year period before the date of the credential application, as well as complying with ABV recertification steps, such as CPD and ongoing experience.

Discussion on the change began in 2015 and ultimately involved the AICPA governing Council, the AICPA board of directors, NAC, the ABV Credential Committee, the Forensic and Valuation Services Executive Committee, and the Business Valuations Committee.

Opponents said that all ABV credential holders and AICPA members should have been consulted prior to the change. Among their concerns was the potential for confusion in the marketplace caused by having CPAs and non-CPAs hold the credential.

This story was originally published by Journal of Accountancy.

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