BVR Logo May 22, 2024 | Issue #260-4

BVWire is your go-to source for the latest in the business valuation profession. Highlights for this week include:

Takeaways from the NYSSCPA valuation conference

BVWire attended last week’s annual New York State Society of CPAs’ Business Valuation and Litigation Services Conference, and—as usual—it was an excellent event. This was a full-day conference, and here are some main points from the morning sessions—we’ll have takeaways from the afternoon sessions in the next issue:

  • A visual such as a graph can go a long way toward explaining a complex valuation to a judge—and consider showing the visual first, before you start explaining things;
  • For funds with complex capital structures, ask about the original intent of the structure at the outset to get a better understanding of the setup;
  • A fund management company may have goodwill, but the trick is calculating it;
  • The value of stock options for divorce purposes may be split into three equal components: for past, current, and future work;
  • Investors are paying what many say are too-high prices for music industry assets—in the 8%-to-11% range in terms of expected returns;
  • Unpublished music by famous artists who have passed away is generally not that valuable because it’s usually of lesser quality—otherwise it would have been released while the artist was still alive;
  • The IRS is on a hiring binge (including adding many business valuation experts), but much time will be spent on their training, so audit quality will suffer in the meantime;
  • One-third of valuations done for the IRS contain math errors;
  • Marketability discounts, reasonable comp, and S corps are still the main valuation issues on the IRS’ radar; and
  • Litigation finance is providing the funds to bring more IP-related cases to trial that would otherwise be too expensive to pursue, triggering the need for more valuations and damage estimates, especially for patents.

We’ll have more takeaways from other sessions in the next issue. A detailed recap will be in the July issue of Business Valuation Update.

Expert partially excluded in damages case

In Nevada, an expert was to testify in the Las Vegas Sun’s antitrust lawsuit against the Las Vegas Review-Journal. His testimony was to be on behalf of the defendant concerning a breach of provisions in a joint operating agreement. The plaintiff argued that the expert’s testimony is inadmissible because it is unreliable under Daubert and it offers improper legal opinion.

Off limits: The district court ruled that the expert may not offer any testimony that interprets provisions of the agreement or makes a conclusion about whether the plaintiff breached it. He also may not opine on the plaintiff’s intent with respect to certain matters. These subjects are related to either legal conclusions or intent, neither of which are admissible as expert testimony. However, the district court disagreed that the expert’s testimony was unreliable under Daubert, so that part of the motion was denied. The court also limited some discovery in the case.

The case is Las Vegas Sun, Inc. v. Adelson, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59414; 2024 WL 1377275, and a case analysis and full court opinion are on the BVLaw platform.

BV firms look to nonfinance candidates for entry-level jobs

In the face of a lack of qualified candidates to fill entry-level roles, BV firms and practices are considering nonaccounting, noneconomics, and nonfinance majors to fill these positions, according to a BVWire survey. We must point out that there was a very small sample of respondents, so we cannot draw any meaningful conclusions from the data. Be that as it may, here are more results:

  • Almost three-quarters (72%) have visited or made an informational/recruiting presentation to a college or university campus;
  • The bulk (80%) of these visits occurred a year ago or longer; and
  • Over half (57%) say they will maintain the same pace of these visits, but a third say they will increase the frequency.

This was the latest in our monthly “Two-Minute Practice Builder” surveys, and we thank those of you who participated. We will have another survey in the next issue.

Full schedule available for the ASA Conference in Portland, Ore., September 15-17

The American Society of Appraisers (ASA) has posted the schedule for this year’s International Appraisers Conference to be held September 15-17 in Portland, Ore. The conference brings together appraisers of all disciplines, and the schedule-at-a-glance is available if you click here, which shows 70 educational sessions across six discipline tracks. There are also some preconference courses and events, including a golf outing. Sessions include artificial intelligence, a cost of capital update, a panel with IRS staff, economic obsolescence, a mock trial, rethinking DLOCs and DLOMs, multidiscipline issues, and much more.

This will be a hybrid event (in-person and online), and early-bird pricing is currently available. For details and to register, click here.

Report examines dental practice financials

PKF O’Connor Davies has released its 2023 edition of “Dental Practices by the Numbers,” which provides key financial benchmarks. Data include average collection and expense amounts, such as staff compensation, services costs, facilities costs, and administrative costs organized by practice and by individual general dentist. The report also contains an average statement of revenues and expenses for specialists, including pediatric dentists, oral surgeons, and periodontists. To download the free report, click here.

Bloom or bust for landscaping businesses?

It’s that time of year when flowers and trees emerge and grow. But the growth outlook for the landscaping businesses has wilted, according to the 2024 edition of the Business Reference Guide (BRG). The industry’s revenue will grow at a CAGR of 3.0% over the next five years, less than half the rate of the past five years. This business is tied to the health of the housing and property markets, as well as the level of per-capita disposable income because landscaping services are often discretionary. Median valuation multiples for a small landscaper (those with under $1 million in net sales) are:

  • Market value of invested capital (MVIC)/net sales: 0.60;
  • MVIC/gross profit: 0.75;
  • MVIC/seller’s discretionary earnings (SDE): 1.84; and
  • MVIC/EBITDA: 2.29.

When valuing these businesses, focus on the management team, customer concentration, AR aging, employee retention, financials, and equipment. Ask these questions: Does the company have contracts with its clients? Are all employees legal? How many customers are built on relationships with the seller, and what will happen to them if the business is sold?

This is just a small sample of the information in the Business Reference Guide, which is the primary source for rules of thumb, pricing tips, benchmarking information, industry resources, and general industry data on nearly 700 types of businesses. There is also an online version with a fully searchable database, and it includes the print version of the guide.

A sad note . . .

BVR is saddened to learn that Eric Allen Adamy, known as Rick, who founded an accounting firm, a business valuation firm, and helped lead civic organizations in West Michigan, passed away at age 76. In the early 1980s, he and his accounting firm partner accepted their first business valuation assignment not knowing what they were getting into but spent the next four decades as a trusted advisor to hundreds of business owners, executives, and other professionals. Plus, he launched rewarding careers for dozens of employees and served several community organizations well into retirement. His business legacy continues with Adamy Valuation, now led by his son, Nick, and the CPA firm, which he transitioned to his partners and is now Baker Holtz.

Last chance! Take the IVSC survey on ESG

To investigate the evolution of how environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are being incorporated into the valuation process, the International Valuation Standards Council has launched a survey. The survey relates to all types of valuations including those for financial reporting, market capitalizations, secured lending, and tax reporting purposes and will only take approximately five to 10 minutes to complete. The survey will be open until May 31, and the results are expected to be published during the latter half of 2024. To access the survey, click here.

Extra: A recent KPMG study found that most companies plan to spend more on ESG over the next three years, mostly for dedicated ESG personnel, software, and more employee training and education.

BV movers . . .

People: Dr. Simon von Witzleben has joined Lincoln International, a global investment banking advisory firm, as a managing director in the firm’s Valuations & Opinions Group in London; he will head the firm’s European transaction opinions offering, providing fairness and solvency opinion advisory services to private equity firms, public and private companies, and boards of directors … Timothy R. Lee, ASA, the managing director of corporate valuation services and a board member at Mercer Capital, has been selected to serve another annual term on The ESOP Association’s Advisory Committee on Valuation; he has served on the committee for over 10 years.

Firms: Naperville, Ill.-based Sikich LLP has sold a minority stake in its firm to Bain Capital for $250 million … Chicago-based Baker Tilly will acquire Redwood City, Calif.-based Seiler, a firm that serves family offices and ultra-high-net-worth clients.

Please send your professional and firm news to us at

CPE events

Power Panel: Trends and Issues in Business Valuation, May 23, 10:00 a.m.-11:40 a.m. PT/1:00 p.m.-2:40 p.m. ET. Featuring: Ken Pia (Marcum), Jeffrey S. Tarbell (Houlihan Lokey), Neil J. Beaton (Alvarez & Marsal), and Michelle F. Gallagher (Adamy Valuation). CPE credits: 2.0.

Back by popular demand—the panel provides an overview of some of the hottest topics in the business valuation profession.


Valuation of Crypto Companies: Regulatory Landscape, Valuation Challenges, and Opportunities, May 29, 10:00 a.m.-11:40 a.m. PT/1:00 p.m.-2:40 p.m. ET. Featuring: Antonella Puca (BlueVal Group) and Jay Baris (Sidley Austin LLP). CPE credits: 2.0.

This presentation includes a summary overview of the crypto industry and key valuation issues, plus case studies for the valuation of a crypto miner, a blockchain startup integrating AI, and a crypto joint venture.


Holiday Break

BVWire will not be published next week due to the Memorial Day holiday. We will return on June 5. Have a happy and safe holiday!

We welcome your feedback and comments. Contact Andy Dzamba (Executive Editor) at:


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