To save even more money, could a business owner use the company's accountant...

To save even more money, could a business owner use the company's accountant, who is clearly very familiar with the business and values the business, instead of hiring an outside professional?

By Alison C. Leslie, Esq.
February 02, 2016

This is one thing that I just would not recommend. I wouldn’t recommend this because it's very difficult for the accountant to determine what the evaluation is. A forensic business evaluator has gone through special training in order to value business. It's much different than being a CPA or certified public accountant who prepares taxes. Albeit it’s very complex taxes at times, depending on the business, it's a different standard that is utilized.

The other issue too is that the company's accountant may not be as independent as a joint independent business valuator would be, even when you're talking about the two spouses hiring their own experts. Obviously, there is some bias in there, but generally you will find when you do have two separate business valuators, there are certain expenses and there are certain issues that they can agree upon. There may be other issues that they disagree upon but you will not have that same objectiveness that you will with the company's accountant.

Alison Leslie is heavily involved with the New Jersey State Bar Association as a past chair of the Solo Small Firm Section. She served on the Family Law Executive Committee and is a member of the statewide Ethics Committee. Alison owned her own successful divorce firm for more than 10 years, and she frequently represents both the business owner and the non-business owning spouse in divorce. For more information about Alison and her firm, visit

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February 02, 2016
Categories:  Financial Issues|FAQs

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