David C. Whitney, a supervisor in the audit and accounting practice group at Sansiveri, Kimball & Co. recently earned two accounting designations: certified valuation analyst from The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts and accreditation in business valuations from the American Institute of CPAs.
In addition to his business-valuation work, Whitney holds more than five years of experience providing audit and consulting services to clients in various industries, including manufacturing, distribution, nonprofit and professional services.
Whitney holds a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in accounting and finance from Bryant University.
PBN: Tell me a little bit about what you do and who you serve.
WHITNEY: I’m an audit supervisor so I am running the day-to-day audits with my clients. I also do a few reviews, but generally I’m doing mostly audits. I’ve been a CPA for six years. I’ve just recently started getting into the business valuation end of things. Being a CPA, there’s a lot of competition out there and this is one more line of expertise that I can provide to my clients or potential clients. Most of my clients are manufacturing entities in Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts I also have some professional services and a handful of nonprofits.
PBN: What factors play into the value of a business?
WHITNEY: There are a lot of different aspects that go into it. First, there’s financial-statement analysis that’s basically looking at the financial health of the company over the last five years of the last business cycle. Then there are numerous other factors such as what risks are in that industry? Is it stable? There’s also marketability – is there a market to sell the business? [Are] people out there willing to buy and accept that risk? Buying 75 percent of a business is different from buying 10 percent of a business because there are control implications. You can make business decisions when you’re a majority owner, but if you’re a minority owner you’re just kind of along for the ride. There’s also economic [factors] both local and nationally.
PBN: Should owners only value a business when they are looking to sell?
WHITNEY: There are so many different times that a valuation would be needed – especially with the baby boomer generation coming up. If they’re getting towards retirement [and] looking to sell a lot of people will say “alright what is a fair number that I should be asking to sell my business” or on the other side if they’re going to be gifting a portion of their business to family they’re going to want to know what the tax implications of gifting a portion of that business will be to them and to the giftee. There [are also] marital disputes, [like] in divorce cases, where there’s a business involved. A valuation will be needed and sometimes there’s a need for expert testimony. •