Las Vegas is calling—pack your bags!!

The biennial AICPA/ASA National Business Valuation Conference is November 8-10 in Las Vegas and if you’re one of the few who haven’t already registered for this must-attend event, there’s still time to do so. It promises to be a great meeting full of opportunities for both networking and skills-building. One interesting and new addition to the conference, at least from an administrative side, is the AICPA/ASA Conference “Eco-Friendly” Initiative. As a result of this new initiative, participants can access session materials beginning on Monday, October 27. While the environmental advantages are great, the approach means you can better structure your time prior to the event by gathering detailed insights on individual sessions, avoid weighing down your carry-ons with conference materials, etc. To gain access, provide your e-mail address when you register and you’ll receive instructions on how to access the speaker materials Web site. 

SIC codes that are searched most by the business appraisers

We wondered about this—as have a number of our readers. So, with an eye on identifying those that are the most appraised, we analyzed all Pratt’s Stats® searches since February 2008 and sorted the results by the total number of searches.  Not surprisingly, the SIC Code 5812 (Eating Places)—including restaurant franchises and standalones—was the most searched SIC code in Pratt’s Stats with a total of 1,302 searches.  Also among the top 10: Insurance Agents, Brokers, and business services.

Number of Searches





Eating Places



Prepackaged Software



Plumbing, Heating and Air-Conditioning



Engineering Services



Electrical Work



Offices and Clinics of Doctors of Medicine



Business Services, Not Elsewhere Classified



Offices and Clinics of Dentists



Insurance Agents, Brokers, and Service



Management Consulting Services

Pratt’s Stats is one of four transaction databases covered in The Comprehensive Guide to the Use and Application of the Transaction Databases, authored by Nancy J. Fannon, ASA, MCBA, CPA, ABV, BVAL and Heidi Walker’s, ASA, CPA, ABV—both of Fannon Valuation Group in Portland, Maine. Other databases covered in this Guide are BIZCOMPS®, Done Deals® and Factset Mergerstat Global Mergers and Acquisitions Information.

Want to learn more about using these databases? Fannon and Walker will be presenting a special teleconference tomorrow, Thursday October 23rd that will discuss how to use these transaction databases (register here). This is your opportunity to learn, in detail, about the transaction databases and to get your questions answered by these two top experts who also authored The Comprehensive Guide to the Use and Application of the Transaction Databases. To download the introductory chapter, visit our Free Downloads page.

One BV expert’s response to the current woes on Wall Street

Who didn’t see the financial meltdown coming? A number of prognosticators ranging from Texas congressman and one-time presidential hopeful Ron Paul  and New York University Economics professor Nouriel Roubini, to actor/comedian Kelsey Grammer—yes, we’re talking Frasier Crane of Cheers fame—all say they saw it coming.

On the investment banking and BV side, Rob Slee of Robertson & Foley in Charlotte has been predicting the current financial crisis for over a year.  We first heard his dire assessments in June 2007, at the IBA’s annual National Symposium, where he told attendees that the coming “economic apocalypse” would make the Great Depression “look like a cake walk.”  

Earlier this year, Slee told the BVWire that the subprime slide was “only a drop in the bucket,” and that valuation consultants should tell business owners (per his February 1st blog) to “Get Strategic—or Get Out.”  Slee has since broadcast the same message to banks and specific businesses groups, such as these articles to credit unions and design firms.  Over the past eighteen months, Slee estimates that he has “done fifty live events, two dozen webcasts, and a dozen or so articles” on what business owners and their valuation consultants can do to survive these difficult times.

New data suggest the financial crisis will spur litigation

No surprises here: It’s a contention made by a host of respected BV industry experts (see the November 2008 issue of Business Valuation Update) and others. However, if you need additional confirmation, check out the results from the recently-released 2008 Litigation Trends Survey, conducted by the international law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski.

After two straight years of reporting declines in the number of new lawsuits and regulatory proceedings—including a drop in large-dollar cases—this new data found that U.S. companies now anticipate an uptick in new actions and government probes. According to Stephen Dillard, who chairs the firm’s global litigation practice, “This year’s survey appears to mark an inflection point for American business, between the end of a prolonged period of prosperity and the start of a period of economic challenge that is likely to fuel litigation over who is to blame and who should pay for the consequences. Given that we were polling in-house counsel on the cusp of that transition, it’s no wonder that this year’s findings highlight both the evident calm before the storm, as well as the sense that disputes are on the rise.”

In the News

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will host the first of two roundtables on “mark-to-market” accounting and current market conditions on October 29, 2008 at 9 a.m. ET at the commission’s headquarters in Washington, DC. The roundtables—aimed at allowing the SEC to gain insights as part of a congressionally mandated study pursuant to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008—will consist of two panels. The first, will discuss the interaction between mark-to-market accounting financial institutions and the current economic situation, while the second will cover potential improvements to the current accounting model and implications of possible changes. The Commission is seeking feedback from investors, financial institutions, auditors and others on the topics to be discussed at the roundtable and on the SEC's study of mark-to-market accounting applicable to financial institutions. Comments may be submitted by using the Commission's Internet comment form, or you can send an e-mail message to: (take care to include File Number 4-573 on the subject line.) The roundtable also will be webcast on the SEC website.


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