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Fair Value: A Hot Topic at the FVS Conference

Fair-valueA recent report published in August 2012 by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board outlines certain deficiencies in audit procedures with respect to a clients’ fair value determinations. The report explains these deficiencies, which included, among others, fair value determinations of investment securities and business combinations. With the increased scrutiny on fair value measurements and the increase in business combinations during 2012, how will audit firms and valuation professionals educate themselves to improve the quality of their work?

In November, more than 1,000 professionals attended the 2012 AICPA Forensic and Valuation Services Conference in Orlando. In addition to providing 70 overlapping sessions on forensic and valuation competencies, the conference addressed specific fair value issues in the current legal, regulatory, and auditing environment through presentations given by recognized experts in fair value. 
  • Renowned expert Jim Hitchner, CPA/ABV/CFF, of Financial Valuation Advisors, an authority in fair value and author of numerous books and courses on fair value, moderated a panel of four experts on various topics including changes in fair value for financial reporting.  The session offered participants a chance to ask practical questions and obtain answers directly from leading experts. 
  • Mark Edwards, CPA/ABV, manager of the Southeast region of Grant Thornton’s valuation service line and member of the AICPA Goodwill Impairment Task Force, presented a complete “soup to nuts” walk through of ASC 350, including step 1, step 2 and the new qualitative testing option. He explained the entire process through detailed schedules and focused on the importance of the fair value concepts. 

Auditors and valuation professionals both had ample opportunity to learn from the experience of these speakers and other distinguished presenters. This was a great opportunity to hone their technical skills and gain theoretical knowledge and insights into the ever-changing landscape of fair value.

Numerous additional sessions were geared to the forensic and valuation professional and covered such topics as current issues in various valuation methods, best practices in forensic investigations, and tips on running and growing a small practice, among others.

I have attended numerous conferences in the past, and this conference was by far the most complete in terms of the breadth of topics and the quality of the speakers.  It was also a great opportunity to network with other professionals and experts. 

Planning for next year’s conference in Las Vegas is already under way and will include a fair value track.  If this year’s conference is any indication, it will surely be the must-attend event of 2013 for forensic and valuation professionals!

Nathan DiNatale, CPA/ABV, CVA, Sr. Manager, SC&H Group, LLC. Nathan manages SC&H’s Business Valuation and Litigation Support Services Group. He has more than 18 years of experience in public accounting and focuses his practice on fair value valuations for financial reporting. He is a member of the AICPA Business Valuation Committee and the current chairman of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants BVFLS Committee.

Edited: Jan. 15, 2013

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