Why Hire an ASA?

business valuation


  • Experience  –  ASAs must demonstrate five years of full-time equivalent experience in business valuation to get their professional designation. The American Society of Appraisers also awards the professional designation AM (Accredited Member) requiring demonstration of two years of full-time equivalent experience. ASAs have experience in appraising a wide variety of companies – public and closely held, large and small – and have experience in appraising a wide variety of business intangible assets.
  • Education  –  ASA has an extensive, long-established educational program including a core series of courses, various advanced courses and seminars, an annual cross-discipline international conference, and an annual advanced business valuation conference. To get their designations, candidates for an ASA or AM designation must complete the core series of four three-day courses in business valuation and successfully finish a half-day test following each course. (Alternatively, a candidate for a designation may challenge and pass the final eight-hour comprehensive examination.) To retain their designations, ASAs must demonstrate participation in continuing education.
  • Standards  –  In their business valuation work, ASAs and AMs are required to adhere to clearly defined standards. The compliance of ASAs and AMs with these standards assures those who rely on their appraisals that there are standards for the techniques utilized and that the techniques are accepted in the professional community. The American Society of Appraisers, through its Business Valuation Committee has developed a set of Business Valuation Standards (click here to see these standards). These standards are to be used in conjunction with the Uniform Standards of Appraisal Practice (USPAP) developed and published by The Appraisal Foundation, which was authorized by Congress as the source of appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications. (The USPAP Standards can be purchased from the Appraisal Foundation at: www.appraisalfoundation.org/ )
  • Tested  –  To get their designations, candidates for an ASA or an AM must pass (with a score of 75%) four half-day tests following the first three core level courses (or they must pass an 8-hour challenge examination). In addition, they must pass a 1-hour ethics examination.
  • Review  –  An ASA’s work product has undergone strict professional review. To get the ASA or the AM designation, a business appraiser must submit two appraisal reports that meet the examining committee’s approval.
  • Ethics  –  One of ASA’s primary objectives is to ensure ethical practices and procedures on the part of its members. The society is diligent in its efforts to strengthen and uphold the Principles of Appraisal Practice and Code of Ethics (the code of conduct to which all members must subscribe) in order to protect the client.
  • Professional Journal  –  The Business Valuation Committee of ASA has published a quarterly technical journal, Business Valuation Review, since 1982. This professional journal gives ASA members access to innovative discussions of business valuation theory and practice.
  • Multi-discipline Appraisal Organization  –  The multi-discipline nature of ASA strengthens business valuation members of ASA. They have the opportunity to share information with and learn from appraisers in other appraisal disciplines, such as real property and machinery and equipment.


The meticulous ASA accreditation process ensures that ASA-accredited appraisers are accurate, impartial, and credible. They are educated and experienced in their fields and are respected members of their communities. ASAs include leaders in the business valuation field and the authors of many of the most authoritative business valuation texts. Among the ASAs who have authored leading texts, are the following:

  • Shannon P. Pratt, FASA, is the author of many texts in this field, including the pioneering Valuing a Business and The Lawyer’s Business Valuation Handbook recently published by the American Bar Association.
  • Gordon V. Smith, ASA, and Russell L. Parr, ASA, are authors of a number of books, including the recently updated Valuation of Intellectual Property and Intangible Assets.
  • Z. Christopher Mercer, ASA, is also a widely-published author and his books include Quantifying Marketability Discounts and Valuing Financial Institutions.
  • Robert F. Reilly, ASA, and Robert P. Schweihs, ASA, who along with Shannon Pratt have authored editions of Valuing a Business and Valuing Small Businesses & Professional Practices and who together authored The Handbook of Advanced Business Valuation and Valuing Intangible Assets.
  • Jay E. Fishman, ASA, along with Shannon Prat are the authors of Guide To Business Valuations, volumes 1,2 and 3.


In short, ASA-accredited appraisers have the valuation expertise you need.