Practitioners who are new to using the AICPA Statement on Standards for Valuation Services, Valuation of a Business, Business Ownership Interest, Security, or Intangible Asset (“VS Section 100” or “SSVS”) often want to learn more about the standard and when it applies. This fact sheet answers those questions and more.
To Whom the Standard Applies
VS Section 100 applies to all AICPA members who perform valuation services for various purposes (such as transactions, financings, taxation, financial accounting, bankruptcy, management and financial planning and litigation) as well as for various disciplines in the profession (including consulting, litigation services, personal financial planning, tax and
accounting). The Standard contains several exceptions when the requirements do not apply. All AICPA members, regardless of discipline, should follow VS Section 100 when they perform an engagement or any part of an engagement that estimates a value resulting in an expression of either a conclusion of value or a calculated value, unless a specified exception applies to them.
VS SECTION 100 is effective for engagements accepted on or after January 1, 2008. The AICPA encourages earlier adoption.
VS Section 100 was issued by the AICPA Consulting Services Executive Committee June 2007.
The Standard is intended to provide AICPA members guidelines for developing estimates of value and reporting on the results. It applies to AICPA members who perform an engagement that estimates the value of a business, business interest, security or intangible asset for numerous purposes, including sales transactions, financing, taxation, financial reporting, mergers and acquisitions, management and financial planning and litigation. A copy of the Standard and additional resources are available on the AICPA Web site at https://future.aicpa.org/resources/toolkit/vs-section-100-toolkit.
Rationale for the Standard
The AICPA developed the Standard to improve the consistency and quality of practice among its members who perform engagements that estimate values. Congress, government agencies and accounting regulators have recently focused their attention on appraisal issues – such activity shows the importance of valuation to the business community and individuals. The Standard promotes greater transparency and provides our members with a set of guidelines in the unique context of a CPA practice. In addition, an increasing number of CPAs offer valuation services.
The demand for valuation services has significantly increased over the past 20 years. The Standard should benefit the public because it promotes consistent practice among CPAs performing valuation services and adequate disclosures for users of these services.
Based on years of deliberation and debate encompassing numerous groups within the AICPA, VS Section 100 provides professional guidance that encourages consistency, transparency, communication, structured service levels, and well-defined reporting options for members, clients and other users.
Scope of the Standard
When VS Section 100 Applies:
VS Section 100 specifies two types of engagements: valuation engagements and calculation engagements. For valuation engagements, two types of written reports are permitted – detailed reports and summary reports. For calculation engagements, one type of written report is permitted – calculation reports. Oral reports are allowed for all engagements under the Standard.
VS Section 100 applies to an engagement or any part of an engagement that estimates value when the member (1) applies valuation approaches and methods and (2) uses professional judgment in that application.
When VS Section 100 Does Not Apply:
VS Section 100 does not apply where:
The value of the subject interest is provided to the member by the client or a third party and the member (1) does not apply valuation approaches and methods and (2) does not report on the value of the subject interest
The member estimates a value as part of an audit, review or compilation engagement
Internal use assignments from employers to employee members who are not in the practice of public accounting
Engagements are exclusively for the purpose of determining economic damages (unless such determination is used to estimate value of a subject interest)
Mechanical computations do not rise to the level of engagement to estimate value (i.e., where the member does not apply valuation approaches and methods and use professional judgment)
There is a jurisdictional exemption whereby the VS Section 100 differs from published governmental judicial or accounting authority
Benefits to Members
VS Section 100 benefits all AICPA members, particularly those performing valuation engagements, as well as clients of CPAs, courts, government agencies, regulators and others who rely on valuation services.
Other benefits to AICPA members include:
The Standard provides professional guidance as to generally accepted “best practices” within the valuation and business communities
The Standard reduces member uncertainty as to what type of analyses and/or what content of reports is appropriate
In defending the valuation work during a contrarian challenge, the member will have the
assurance that his/her analysis and report are prepared in accordance with VS Section 100
Members and clients benefit from a common vocabulary. The Standard adopts a glossary and a set of valuation terminology that should allow members to more effectively and efficiently communicate with (1) each other, (2) other (non-CPA) valuation analysts, (3) clients and (4) other parties who rely on valuation reports
Members may rely on VS Section 100 for professional guidance with regard to what are considered generally accepted valuation approaches
Members may rely on VS Section 100 for professional guidance with regard to the type of documents and documentation (both financial and non-financial) that should be considered in the valuation process
The valuation standard development process started in 2001. The AICPA Business Valuation Committee formed a standard writing task force to develop a practice standard in valuation. Over a six year period, numerous AICPA members from various disciplines and outside parties were consulted for input. The first public exposure draft of the Standard was published in 2005. After receiving numerous comments and further deliberations, a second exposure draft was published in 2006. The Standard was issued by the AICPA Consulting Services Executive Committee in June 2007. VS Section 100 is effective for all members who accept an engagement on or after January 1, 2008 that estimates value. The following AICPA groups were consulted in the development of VS Section 100: Tax Executive Committee, SSARS Committee, Auditing Standards Committee, Members in Industry Committee, PFP Executive Committee, PCPS Executive Committee, Business Valuation Committee, Forensic & Litigation Services Committee, Consulting Services Executive Committee, BVFLS Executive Committee and AICPA General Counsel.