John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker LLC
Throughout the country there are practices where BV professionals are two-position players. One foot in business valuation and the other in _______ (fill in the blank).
Maybe you’re one of them. And, maybe you’d like to go full-time into BV. You can do it, but you have to be prepared for an uphill climb.
Two-position players are most common in BV practices inside smaller CPA firms. The principal (usually a Partner) has been able to generate enough business to need someone in a production capacity. But, generally, not enough to warrant having a full-time BV staffer.
It often happens that the production person gets a taste of BV, likes it and wants to do it full-time. If that’s you, here are some tips for making the leap:
- Start where you are. Let the boss know of your interest. Declare it as your objective. (No one is going to show you the door because you said you wanted to do BV full-time.) You might be surprised to learn that the boss wants to develop the BV practice even further and was simply uncertain about your own interests. If push comes to shove and you end up changing employers in order to go full-time in BV, you will have laid a predicate that will make your departure more understandable.
- Pursue credentials. Lobby your employer for more training with the argument that it will make you more productive (translation: profitable). Then, make sure it does.
- Read. Read. Read. Buy books and other materials that discuss methodologies and approaches.
- Be prepared for an interim step. You may not be able to get into BV full-time in a single leap. If you’re only doing BV 30% of the time, and you move into a position doing it 50% (or 60% or 70%), you’re still ahead of the game. Also, the higher the percentage, the greater the likelihood you’ll rise to 100% without another move.
- Re-assess your flexibility on comp. Don’t forget that part of your value lies in the fact that you are chargeable in areas other than BV. Assuming that a potential employer is prepared to pay your current comp to hire someone for a full-time BV position, you may find yourself uncompetitive as against the candidate he can hire who already brings full-time experience.
- Be prepared for relocation. If the firm where you work is one of the larger in the market, and the BV revenue stream is such that you’re a two-position player, there may not be another practice in the same market that will enable you to advance much beyond where you are. Being open to relocation can materially increase your universe of potential opportunities.
As a two-position player, you can transition into full-time BV. It won’t be easy. But, it can be done.