The terms “fair value” and “fair market value” are sometimes used interchangeably. To a business valuation professional, however, they have very different meanings. This article explains the IRS definition of fair market value and how it’s used as a starting point for determining fair value in shareholder disputes and divorce cases. A sidebar shows how the meaning of fair value differs in a financial reporting context.
When high net worth individuals file for divorce, both sides have a financial incentive to hide assets owned by their spousal “partnership.” So, it’s important to inventory the marital estate as soon as possible. This article discusses some ways spouses may attempt to conceal their wealth and techniques that financial experts use to investigate.
The level of value used in a business valuation may affect an expert’s analyses and techniques. This article explains how experts determine the appropriate level of value and why it’s critical to make this determination before work begins.
Owners of privately held businesses may draw large salaries because of tax advantages or take little or no salary to enhance the company’s reported earnings. In these cases, the valuation expert needs to “normalize” owners’ compensation and adjust it to a reasonable level. This article identifies factors that valuators consider in determining reasonable owners’ compensation.
A buy-sell agreement can help avoid disputes over ownership rights, control and the value of a company when an owner leaves the business. Whether the agreement is triggered voluntarily or involuntarily, owners need to protect their financial interests with an agreement that’s legally enforceable and comprehensive. This article points out that it’s important to define buyout terms, avoid ambiguous or outdated valuation formulas and specify the financial data to be used in a buy-sell agreement.
When courts or shareholders question valuation results or the conclusions of opposing experts are widely divergent, a rebuttal report can bring much-needed objectivity. This article discusses various uses of rebuttal reports and situations in which they can be useful. It also explains how to determine the best rebuttal report format for a particular situation.
One of the most effective weapons in a forensic accountant’s arsenal is lifestyle analysis. This article talks about how experts seeking hidden assets and income sources conduct such analysis. It discusses several techniques, including the bank deposits, expenditures and asset methods. A sidebar illustrates how tax returns can be used as an investigative tool.
Struggling businesses face different financial challenges than healthy ones do. This article discusses how business valuation experts factor these differences into their estimations when valuing troubled companies.
Most business valuation professional standards recognize two types of engagements: calculations and valuations. This article explains the critical distinction between these types of assignments — and the reason a full valuation report is necessary in most litigation contexts.
In recent years, Delaware’s Supreme Court has shown its preference, under the right circumstances, for market-based indicators of value in statutory appraisal cases. This article summarizes a recent dissenting shareholders case in which the court concluded that the best evidence of fair value was the target company’s unaffected stock price. Conversely, a sidebar highlights another case in which the court relied on an expert’s discounted cash flow analysis in the absence of reliable market-based indicators of value.