Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) Examination 

    The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) established the Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) Credential in 1998 for CPAs who specialize in business valuation. The ABV credential is granted exclusively to CPAs who demonstrate considerable expertise in business valuation through their knowledge, skills, and experience. 

    Exam Registration & Scheduling
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     Exam Window


     Registration Deadline

    Early Bird Discount
    Registration Deadline*

     Fall 2015

    Nov 1 - Dec 15

    October 23

    September 1

      Summer 2016
    July 1 - Aug 15
     June 24  June 1

    *Sign-up by the early bird deadline and receive a 25% discount!

    Registration and Scheduling Terms and Conditions - Please read prior to registering for the exam. This document contains vital information related to scheduling, re-scheduling, exam deferral, and much more.

    ABV Exam Scheduling Process – Provides guidance surrounding the steps involved with scheduling an exam at a Kryterion HOST (High-Stakes Online Secured Testing) facility

    Test Center Locations - At this time, the ABV exam is offered in the United States and Canada. There are almost 300 locations nationwide. Find the closest one.

    Kryterion Test Center Regulations - Be prepared.  Know what to expect.

    List of Approved Calculators:
    The following are the calculators that approved to be admitted into the examination room:

    • Hewlett Packard 12C
    • Hewlett Packard 10B
    • Hewlett Packard 10bII
    • Hewlett Packard 10bII+ 
    • Hewlett Packard 17bII+
    • Texas Instruments TI BAII Plus
    • Texas Instruments TI BAII Plus Professional
    Exam Registrant Categories & Costs

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    Beginning with the Fall 2015 exam window, the ABV exam will be offered as a 2-part examination.

    First-time registrants have never registered or taken the ABV exam. The price for first-time registrants per module is:


    Current FVS Section members      
    Current AICPA members $220
    Non-AICPA members $275

    Exam retake registrants have previously taken the ABV exam and did not pass the exam. Beginning with the Fall 2015 exam window, the retake fee is $60 per exam module.

    Candidates are not allowed to retake an ABV exam module during the same exam window, but can take it during the next exam window. The retake price is available to candidates who previously failed the single-part exam.

    Volume Pricing: A discount of $60 per exam module is available when registering two or more candidates from the same firm for either ABV exam window. For further details and to submit request to obtain this discount, an email must be sent to

    Bundle: ABV Exam registrants can save $100 on their purchase of the live version of the ABV Exam Review course.  To take advantage of this offer, candidates must simultaneously register for both the ABV Exam and the ABV Exam Review Course by adding both items to their shopping cart.  The dates for the 2015 ABV Exam Review Courses are:

    Exam Content Specification Outline & Exam Preparation
      ABV Exam Content Specification Outline:
    The Content Specification Outline (CSO) has been developed through various sources to provide an overview of the knowledge that business valuation practitioners should possess. It is the comprehensive body of knowledge that will be tested on the ABV Exam. There are three major topical areas that provide a framework, or “blueprint”, for knowledge and skill tested on the ABV examination.

    The three major areas include:
    • Qualitative and Quantitative analysis (25 to 30% of the exam content)
    • Valuation Analysis (50 to 60% of the exam content)
    • Related Topics (15 to 20% of the exam content)
    It is important to note that candidates will most likely be better-prepared for the exam if they use the resources contained within the CSO and not just rely upon their individual experience. Please take this into consideration when preparing for the ABV Exam. Go to ABV Exam Content Specification Outline References to see those references provided by the AICPA.

    Beginning with the Fall 2015 exam window, ABV Exam module “Approaches” will cover the Valuation Analysis section of the CSO (Section II), and ABV Exam module “Analysis & Related” will cover the Qualitative and Quantitative Analyses and Related Topics sections of the CSO (Section I & III).

    Exam Preparation:
    The key to passing the examination is a combination of utilizing the body of knowledge referenced in the CSO coupled with applying this body of knowledge by obtaining relevant work experience in business valuation. Accordingly, although it is not a strict requirement, it is our recommendation that candidates choose to sit for the exam only after they have completed the required six (6) business valuation engagements or 150 hours of business valuation related work.
    To assist in exam preparation, the AICPA offers the following:
    • ABV Assessment Tool: Free for use as a preliminary means to identify candidates' strengths and weaknesses of their familiarity with the BV body of knowledge.
    • BV School: The nationally recognized AICPA Business Valuation School is offered annually. There are no more sessions scheduled for 2015 at this time.
    • ABV Exam Review Course (self-study): Offered in text or online format, the self-study review course includes over 300 practice questions.

    • ABV Exam Review Course (virtual group study): The virtual group study course is taught by industry leading valuation experts. Participants can ask questions online during the live broadcast, plus rewind, review and reinforce topics for up to 3 months using the recording. This course comes with the self-study textbook and is offered.

    • ABV Exam Review Course (live group study): The live group study course is taught by industry leading valuation experts. Participants can ask questions in-person. This course comes with the self-study textbook and is offered November 6-7 in Las Vegas.

    • Candidate Study Plan: The AICPA’s FVS Section has developed a prescribed 4-month study plan for its ABV & CFF exam candidates.
    Exam Format
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    Exam Format:
    The ABV Examination is a non-disclosed examination. This means the questions and answers are not published nor are candidates permitted to remove any examination materials from the testing site. Each examination is carefully graded by our team of psychometricians to ensure that the questions are statistically valid.

    The ABV Exam is a computer-based, 2-part examination. Candidates must pass both exam modules within 12 months (measured from the end of the exam window in which the first module was passed) to receive credit for passing the ABV Exam. Each exam module will last a total of 3 hours and 15 minutes in length, including a 15-minute break. Please note that there is not a particular point in the exam where this break is required but candidates are allowed to take up to 15 minutes for a break at one point or during multiple points of the exam.


    The ABV examination contains two areas of questioning: discrete multiple-choice questions and case studies with accompanying multiple-choice questions. There are a total of 90 questions per exam module, approximately 78 of which are discrete multiple choice and 12 of which are case study related multiple choice questions. During the examination, candidates will be able to access the International Glossary of Business Valuation Terms as well as Formulas & Variable Definitions via computer. These items are included as displays that can be accessed in the same manner as the information provided for the case studies.

    If you’d like to view a demonstration of a mock exam session, then watch our AICPA Specialty Exam Online Tutorial.

    Note:  The questions and exhibits utilized in this mock exam session are merely for demonstrative purposes only and do not reflect actual exam content.

    Multiple Choice Questions:
    A discrete multiple choice question consists of a stem that includes factual data and provides four answer options. 

    Case Study Questions:
    The case studies vary in length and the number of multiple-choice questions associated with each one. The fact pattern for each case study will contain sufficient information to enable the candidate to answer each question. This part of the examination is designed to test the candidate's analytical reasoning skills and ability to apply valuation theory and methodology.

    ABV Exam Item Development
     Hands Writing

    Interested in serving as an exam writer that contributes to question development?  Learn more about the responsibilities of being an exam writer as well as the style guidelines exam writers must adhere to when developing exam questions.  Also, if you are interested and have additional questions, please feel free to contact Paul Wapner, program manager. 

    For more information review the ABV Frequently Asked Questions, email the ABV group or call the Member Service Center at 888-777-7077 (M-F, 9am-6pm ET). Visit the ABV Credential Overview page for additional information.

    Copyright © 2006-2015 American Institute of CPAs.