John Borrowman CPC
Borrowman Baker LLC
Gallatin, TN

If the growth of your BV practice is being stymied for lack of qualified and experienced staff, you’re feeling the personal effects of an industry-wide shortage.  BV has come into its own as an industry and a career path is opening up for individuals with a unique combination of skills and interests.  Training is a critical component in that path and must be encouraged if the industry ever hopes that supply will catch up to demand.

In the first in this series, we take a look at the recently revised BV curriculum required for the ASA accreditation. The ASA website lays out the specifics of the changes. For the back-story, we talked to John Barton who was active in the revision process.

Barton pointed out that the existing curriculum had evolved over the prior ten or fifteen years and certain problems had crept in. Teaching of the income approach, for example, had been done in both BV202 and BV204. As a result, skills gained in BV202, if not reinforced by practical experience, became rusty by the time BV204 came around.

Interestingly enough, the onslaught of technology into the profession was one major driver for the changes. Previously, Barton says, “the market approach was crammed into the third day of BV201. Of course, this was in the days when you didn`t have such easy access to market approach data through the internet. The lack of on-line databases made the market approach problematic and so it really just wasn’t covered much in the curriculum.”

Finally, while there were some topics that had been given too much space, there were some special topics like ESOPs, FLPs, stock options that received only the slightest dusting of coverage in BV204. Barton described a Catch-22 where, for the person who’d already done much in any of those areas, the curriculum didn’t give them anything they didn’t already know; while the person who really needed the information didn’t get anything he could really use.

The resulting changes take better account of the world of the BV professional today. BV201 is now an introductory course where students “get into the question of where do you start and what do you do when someone asks you to do a valuation”, says Barton. BV202 is devoted solely to the Income Approach, BV203 solely to the Market Approach, along with a section on Discounts and Premiums. BV204 is the Case Study that used to be part of BV203 and applies the principles of the preceding three courses.

Discussion about the upgrade began well over two years ago in the ASA BV Committee. A proposal of changes was unanimously approved and a year-long rollout finally came to a close with the introduction of the first BV203 course on March 3. ASA Candidates with questions about the courses are directed to the ASA website.

John Borrowman