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Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) Certification

Written by AnonymousAugust 2, 2011

If you’re looking to improve your career in accounting, obtaining an accounting certificate is an excellent first step. Accounting certifications can expand your accounting knowledge and increase your proficiency in a specific area of the accounting field.

Introduction to Certified Valuation Analyst Certification

Business valuation is a process to determine the worth of an entire privately held company or an individual’s partial ownership interest in that company, often in the event of a merger, acquisition, or — on the opposite end of the spectrum — a divorce or partner breakup. Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) is a designation issued to accounting professionals who wish to increase their knowledge and expertise in business valuation services. A CVA credential can open the door to providing job opportunities in a growing marketplace. To get CVA designation, you must go through a testing program, so becoming certified lets clients and employers know that you’ve worked hard to achieve expertise in the field — as determined by the standards of practice set forth by National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA).

Key Steps to Certified Valuation Analyst Certification

In order to be eligible for CVA designation, you’re required to meet a strict set of criteria. You must 

  • Be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a valid and unrevoked license issued by a legally constituted state authority
  • Have a NACVA Practitioner membership in good standing
  • Submit three personal and three business references
  • Pass the CVA exam
  • Meet NACVA’s “experience threshold” requirement by submitting a sample case study (an in-depth investigation and reporting of a business valuation) or an actual and sanitized fair market value (FMV) valuation report.

If you don’t produce evidence that you’ve fulfilled the “experience threshold” requirement within three years of applying for the credential — even if you have passed the exam — you’ll lose the right to use both the CVA designation and the designation “CVA Candidate.”

Details of the Certified Valuation Analyst Exam

The CVA exam consists of two parts: 

  • Part One, the proctored portion, is a five-hour, multiple-choice test — the content is built around NACVA’s Body of Knowledge. The test is administered at the end of NACVA’s five-day training program, held at various locations throughout the country. Notification of your test results is given within one to two weeks.
  • Part Two is a 40 to 60 hour take-home case study designed to evaluate your applied experience. Notification of the take-home exam results is given within two to four months.

The proctored exam is delivered online (with the rare exception of paper-and-pencil tests given in the event of a web malfunction), but computers aren’t provided so don’t forget to bring your laptop on the day of the test. Basic calculators are also permitted.

You only have two months from the date of application approval to take the proctored exam, so be sure to mark your calendar. 

If for whatever reason you wish to cancel your exam, you can do so by contacting NACVA either by phone or in writing. If you cancel at least two weeks before the scheduled exam, you’ll receive a near-full refund; if you cancel less than two weeks before the scheduled exam, you’ll receive credit toward the purchase of any future NACVA exam, product, or training.

Though you have the option of retaking the exam for a small fee should you fail, remember that certain restrictions apply. You’re allowed to take the exam a maximum of six times per year and can’t take it more than once a month.

Maintaining the Certified Valuation Analyst Designation

The NACVA’s recertification process is designed to make sure that credential holders keep up with changes in the constantly evolving valuation field. In order to ensure that CVAs continue to adhere to the industry’s high standards, recertification is required every three years.

The recertification process is based around a 100-point system, with CVAs required to obtain 100 points within a three-year period. Certification-holders can earn these points by completing a number of different tasks. These tasks are

  • Obtaining continuing professional education (CPE) hours: You must acquire a minimum of 36 hours of CPE in business valuation, litigation support, fraud consulting, or other relevant areas — the completion of which gives you 50 recertification points. An additional 25 points can be awarded if you can demonstrate that you earned 25 CPE hours or more outside of the required 36. The NACVA recommends earning these extra 25 points by participating in their “Current Update in Valuations” and “Knowledge of Quality Issues” courses.
  • Authorship, course development, and instructing: You can earn up to 25 recertification points for writing books or articles and by developing or teaching courses about subject matters related to valuation, litigation or financial forensics.
  • Amassing relevant work experience: NACVA will award up to 25 points for 1,500 hours of qualifying activities during the three year reporting cycle. Examples of such activities include working on an engagement, project, or assignment designed to determine or improve the value for an entity or any valuation work; and services or tasks performed as an employee, independent contractor, graduate student, or business owner/operator.

Governing Board Information 

CVA designation is issued by 

The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts
111 Brickyard Road, Suite 200
Salt Lake City, UT 84106