Credentials for Accountants: Certified Valuation Analyst
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The CVA isn’t like other certifications in that if you’re going for one, you’re probably trying to add to your arsenal of professional credentials and have a few days to spare for the intensive training.
What’s it take?
This is directly from the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA):
The Business Valuation Certification and Training Center’s compact five-day intermediate level curriculum is comprehensive and substantive, providing value from beginning to end. A good understanding of accounting, taxes, economics, finance, and a basic understanding of business valuation fundamentals are prerequisites. The BVTC’s primary goal is to provide you with information that will serve as a solid foundation for your professional valuation endeavors, whether or not you plan to pursue a designation.
The five-hour CVA exam is administered in a rotating yearly schedule in 13 U.S. cities (twice yearly in Chicago) following the five-day training.
The NACVA is a NASBA-recognized CPE provider, meaning the training and certification can satisfy CPE requirements for CPAs. State boards have the final say on what counts for CPE purposes so check with yours if you are interested in completing this program to satisfy CPE requirements. The NACVA has trained 15,000 CVAs since its inception in 1990 and its members are subject to the same sort of ethical standards as CPAs.
The entire program – not counting the exams and any study materials – runs about $3,555 (by comparison, the CPA exam costs around $1000 – $1500 just to sit, excluding CPA review fees or retakes) and the exam itself is $595.
Who would want a CVA?
Tax professionals, for one, but also M&A consultants, investment professionals, financial analysts, financial officers and of course accountants interested in valuation and providing this service to their clients.
Why would you want a CVA?
Businesses need to be valued for all sorts of reasons. Mergers and acquisitions make up a large part of this but the CVA also comes in handy for estate taxes, employee stock ownership plans, divorce, and partner break-ups. This makes it an always-in-demand credential in a constantly-evolving marketplace.
Salary is impacted according to one’s position or other credentials. For example, a CFO with a CVA can expect to make a median salary of $125,000 according to PayScale. On the other side of the spectrum, a senior tax accountant with a CVA weighs in at an average of $60,000. But we knew tax was a thankless gig to begin with, didn’t we?
Since CVAs can also unravel bankruptcies and liquidations, the career options may be just about endless moving forward. Better start saving your pennies for that 5-day excursion.
Adrienne Gonzalez is the founder of Jr. Deputy Accountant, a former CPA wrangler and a Going Concern contributor . You can see more of her posts for GC here.