12 Things You Should Know
Before Retaining An Appraiser

  1. Is business appraisal the practitioner’s full-time profession?  (Many are CPAs and Investment Bankers performing 5 or fewer reports per annum).
  2. How many business appraisals has the practitioner performed and years performing this work? (Should exceed 20 per annum and 5+ years of practice.)
  3. How many annual hours of continuing business appraisal education does the practitioner have? (Even better, how often does appraiser present and write on topic.)
  4. Is the appraiser willing to provide a sample report so client can make an informed decision?  (Would you buy a car, house or business without verification?)
  5. How many times has the appraiser defended his appraisal?  (Nothing sharpens work product than having it challenged and found well-supported.)
  6. What is the appraiser’s annual investment in data?  (In order to have mastery of industry and market, the investment commonly exceeds $40,000 per annum)
  7. Will the appraiser provide a not to exceed fee quote and a guaranteed completion date?  (Also, what is appraiser’s guarantee in defending the opined value.)
  8. The hourly rate is not the best measure of quality of product.  (If it takes 20 hours at $600 an hour or 40 hours at $400 an hour, which is “better”?)
  9. How much time and resources allocated to identifying and measuring risk?  (Most reports provide a paragraph; yet, pages are needed as risk is central to value.)
  10. How much time and intellectual rigor in measuring the impairments (“discounts” or investor concessions) associated with a non-controlling interest and illiquidity?
  11. Does the appraiser provide advisory services beyond appraisal work product?  (Company value is about managing risk, not simply revenue and profit growth.)
  12. What is the appraiser’s ability to capture and articulate intangible asset values?  (If appraiser cannot test assumptions with sanity check, value is suspect.)



Carl Sheeler, PhD, ASA brings wisdom gained from his 25 years of strategic planning, governance, business
operations, finance and advanced analytics experiences to bring clarity to complex risk identification, measurement, management, and mitigation issues faced by family offices and businesses.  
He is the author of the John Wiley & Sons book titled Equity Valuation Enhancement, a treatise which addresses scaling 8- to 10-figure companies and has presented or published 200+ times for entities such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association and other organizations on value, strategy and governance.  He can be reached at carl@carlsheeler.com or 424-253-0110