Hi CPA friend,
I hope you had a great Holiday Season. It’s an opportunity to take a breath, enjoy time with family and friends, and gather your strength for the New Year. Unlike The Day the Earth Stood Still, I bring no giant robots, lasers, or mass destruction. I come in peace as a resource for your business valuation challenges like these:
You don’t have time. As a former tax professional for fifteen years, I admire your dedication. You’ll have your hands full with the biggest tax changes in 30 years. Your clients will ask you more questions in two months than they did the other ten. You may not have time to work up a rule-of-thumb, let alone a written valuation report. I can help solve your client’s valuation problem now, and you can focus on your deadlines.
You’ll lose your client to a competitor. You could refer your client to another CPA firm. Many CPA firms offering valuation also do taxes and audits and you risk losing that client. I built my practice around business valuation only. By staying in my lane of expertise, I can keep a great relationship with you and solve your client’s problem. There’s no elephant in the room when you work with me.
You’ll lose your client in a sale. As you look across your client base, how many will need an exit plan for their business in the next few years? Probably most of them. If you don’t reach out with a solution, how many will you lose? I can help you keep those clients by developing a valuation “bridge” to the next generation.
You have a conflict of interest. “A member should maintain objectivity and be free of conflicts of interest in discharging professional responsibilities. A member in public practice should be independent in fact and appearance…” ** When valuation and audit, divorce, or litigation collide, conflicts are often unavoidable. Can you advise your clients objectively on valuation when they have conflicting goals? I don’t have a traditional book of business full of client conflicts. This allows me to step in and help CPA firms in tough situations.
You’ll break CPA standards. Whether you have a business valuation credential or not, you must follow VS Section 100. The easiest way to figure this out is to ask, “am I using professional judgment on valuation?” If you are, you must follow the standard. BTW, the standard is nearly 40 pages long.
You’re facing big risks. Imagine this. A client calls and asks you the value of their business. You jump into action on a spreadsheet or 10-key, give them a number, and hang up the phone. Whoops! You just violated VS Section 100. It may not matter whether you gave the client a “good” number or not. Your malpractice insurance may not cover a lawsuit when you broke professional standards. Please don’t put your practice at risk.
As you meet with clients this busy season, many will ask about the value of their business. You can make them happy, keep them at your firm, and stay out of trouble. Call or email me with questions. I come in peace.
Joshua L. Horn, CPA, CVA
Email: [email protected]
Horn Valuation determines business value for CPAs and their clients as a one-on-one specialist. My goal is to provide a solution at a fixed fee. I’ve been a CPA since 1999 and a certified business valuation analyst since 2008. Check out my background and follow me on social media below.
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** AICPA Code of Professional Conduct