Website of the Month: Valuation Resources

Article excerpt

ValuationResources.com is a wellorganized collection of materials pertaining to business valuation in the United States and Canada, as well as general business advising. Even CPAs who do not have a specific interest in valuation issues can find many useful resources on mis website. Although the site does promote commercial products and services, free resources are emphasized.

On the homepage, the menu bar lists the main sections of the website: business valuation, industry resources, industry outlook, financial ratios, salary surveys, economic data, and more resources. Users can find additional key topics as they scroll down the main page, such as cost of equity capital, public company market data, merger and acquisition transaction data, business valuation multiples, and legal and tax resources. Each section contains a brief abstract and links mat highlight some available materials.

The business valuation and economic data sections are quite large and contain subsidiary menu bars - for example, on the business valuation webpage, the top menu bar expands to include links to books and publications, as well as public market data. Another major focus of the website is the industry resources section, which uses U.S. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes as its index.

Business Valuation

The books and publications subsection of the business valuation section provides an extensive listing of commercial handbooks, guides, and reference materials. Publications are grouped under 20 subject-matter headings, such as general business valuation, estate and gift tax valuation, and litigation support services. Each individual publication listing includes an abstract, a publication date or frequency of publication, and a link to the vendor. Most of these resources are for purchase, but many offer a free preview or a table of contents.

One subject-matter heading - business valuation standards - includes several resources with free online access, such as the International Glossary of Business Valuation Terms, the AICPA Statement on Standards for Valuation Services, and the Institute of Business Appraisers (IB A) business appraisal standards. Another subjectmatter heading - business valuation newsletters - identifies 10 sources, some of which are available for free. Similarly, the business valuation subject-matter heading provides links to eight publication sources, most of which are free as well.

The public company market data subsection of the business valuation section presents useful links to investment research reports, company profiles, market data, and stock quotes. These tools are grouped under seven categories, including options for finding public companies by industry and for viewing current and historical price quotes. Many resources are free or offer free summaries, and the brief descriptions accompanying each link make it easy to identify the publisher of the information. The merger and acquisition transaction data subsection of the business valuation section identifies 10 databases, provides brief explanations of each, and lists their primary features. Three featured providers, including Factset Mergerstat, offer some free online materials. A third subsection of the business valuation section - legal and tax resources - provides information on seven tax law sources specific to business valuation, including free materials - for example, Banister Financial offers business valuation cases and IRS rulings for estates and gifts, divorce, shareholder disputes, and valuation discounts.

Industry Information

The industry resources section, the website's most extensive area, has background information, research, and analysis. Materials are grouped by SIC code under the following headings: agriculture and forestry, mining and construction, manufacturing, transportation and storage, communications, utilities, wholesale, retail, finance and insurance, real estate, and services. Custom webpages are included for more man 400 specific industries, and each has links to an industry overview, issues, trends, and outlook; financial information and financial ratios; compensation and salary surveys; and additional business valuation resources. …