ABV Exam

Exam Overview

The Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV®) credential is 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. In order to obtain the credential, you must pass the two-part, modular ABV Exam.



Steps to the Exam

Steps to ABV Exam

Exam Format

  • Exam Type — The ABV Exam is a computer-based, two-part, non-disclosed exam. This means the questions and answers are not published nor are you permitted to remove any exam materials from the testing site.
  • Grading — Each exam is carefully graded by our team of psychometricians to ensure that the questions are statistically valid.
  • Timing — You 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, including a 15-minute break.
  • Types of Questions — There are a total of 90 questions per exam module:
    • 78 discrete multiple-choice questions — A discrete multiple-choice question consists of a stem that includes factual data and provides multiple answer options.
    • 12 case studies with accompanying multiple-choice questions — The case studies vary in length and in 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 exam is designed to test the candidate’s analytical reasoning skills and ability to apply valuation theory and methodology.
    • During the exam, you 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.
  • Mock Exam Video — 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 used in this mock exam session are merely for demonstrative purposes only and do not reflect actual exam content.


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    Upcoming Exam Dates

    Note: Candidates may not retake either exam module during the Summer 2016 window if failed the exam during the Spring 2016 window.

    Exam Window  Dates Registration Deadlines  Early Bird Discount* Deadline 
    Fall 2016 Nov. 1 - Dec. 15      October 24  October 1 
     Winter 2017 February 1-28  January 24   January 1
    Spring 2017  May 1-31  April 24  April 1 
    Summer 2017  August 1-31   July 24 July 1 
     Fall 2017 November 1-30   October 24 October 1 

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


    Registrant Type Price (per module)
    First-time registrants (never registered for the ABV exam in the past)
    $176 - FVS Section members
    $220 - AICPA members
    $275 - non-members
    Exam Re-take from previous exam (completed a  ABV exam but did not pass)    $60

    Discount Pricing

    • Volume Pricing — A discount of $60 per exam module is available when registering two or more candidates from the same firm for any ABV Exam window. For further details and to submit request to obtain this discount, please email the FVS team.
    • 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.

    Registration Process

    If interested in taking the exam, register online and pay the required exam fee. Online registration is available to both AICPA and non-AICPA members. Upon registering, you will receive a confirmation of your purchase via email. This confirmation does not serve as the Notification to Schedule.


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    Content Specification Outline |  Exam Prep Tools 

    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 for knowledge and skill tested on the ABV Exam:
    • 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 you will most likely be better-prepared for the exam if you use the resources contained within the CSO and not just rely upon your individual experience. Go to ABV Exam Content Specification Outline References to see those references provided by the AICPA. 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 Tools

    The key to passing the exam is a combination of using the body of knowledge referred to 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 you choose to sit for the exam only after you 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. Take the assessment >>

    BV School

    The nationally recognized AICPA Business Valuation School is offered annually. Register for upcoming sessions.

    Dates Location
    June 6-10, 2016   Denver, CO Register now >> 

    ABV Exam Review Courses:

    • Self-study - Offered in text or online format, the self-study review course includes over 300 practice questions.
    • Virtual Group Study - Industry-leading valuation experts teach this virtual group-study course. Participants can ask questions online during the live broadcast, plus rewind, review and reinforce topics for up to three months using the recording. This course comes with the self-study textbook and is offered.
    • 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.
               Upcoming Live Group Study Session:

        Dates Location
        November 4-6, 2016 Nashville, TN Register now >>

    Candidate Study Plan

    The AICPA’s FVS Section has developed a prescribed four-month study plan for its ABV and CFF exam candidates. Review the study plan >>

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    Scheduling Process

    This process begins when you receive your Notice To Schedule (NTS) email six weeks prior to the beginning of the exam window for which you have registered. It contains instructions on how to schedule, a link to the test center, and your unique voucher code to enable you to schedule your specific date and location.
    After receiving your (NTS) email, you may schedule your exam. Please schedule early to improve your likelihood of obtaining your desired time and location. The NTS email will provide instructions on how to do so. Below is a snapshot of the process:
    1. Visit the ABV Exam Scheduling Website.
    2. Follow the steps to establish a test-taker account. If you have already established a test -taker account for a previous exam, use the username and password that was previously provided. For assistance with your username or password, please contact the AICPA Member Service at 888.777.7077 or email us.
    3. Upon receipt of email confirmation of your username and password, login to schedule.
    4. Click on the Schedule Exam link in the task bar at the top of the page.
    5. Select the ABV Exam and click on Register Now button.
    6. Select the desired HOST location (testing center).
    7. Select the desired date and time the desired location is available and proceed to checkout.
    8. Enter the voucher code that was provided in the NTS letter at checkout and click submit and done.
    9. A scheduling confirmation email will be sent to the email address provided. It is important to print and/or keep a copy of this confirmation page on file as it includes the Test Authorization Code required for exam admittance.

    For more detailed information of the process, download the process >>

    Testing Locations

    At this time, the ABV Exam is only offered in the United States and Canada. There are almost 300 locations nationwide. Find the closest one >>

    Test Regulations

    The Kryterion host location has procedures that must be followed. Please make sure to read their procedures document in full so you can be fully prepared. Read below are a list of approved calculators you can bring with you:
    • Any non-programmable calculator will be admitted into the examination room. We recommend you bring a financial calculator. 

    Additional Information

    To find a more detailed overview of the scheduling process including rescheduling, cancellations and refunds, download the ABV Credential Exam Registration and Scheduling Terms and Conditions document.


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