Archive 2013-64: How to Detect and Attack a ‘Rigged’ Valuation




2013-64: How to Detect and Attack a ‘Rigged’ Valuation: Preparing the Case Against an Unethical Valuation

**Webinar 64 Live Broadcast Date: August 15, 2013 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 pm EDT**

presented by Jim Hitchner, CPA/ABV/CFF, ASA, and Harold Martin, CPA/ABV/CFF, ASA, CFE

VPS StraightTalk Webinar Series: How to Detect and Attack a ‘Rigged’ Valuation: Preparing the Case Against an Unethical Valuation

Have you ever read a business valuation report where you knew the valuation was rigged to obtain a higher or lower value? Did the biased assumptions and inputs make you want to scream? Learn the tricks of the trade on how some valuation analysts can manipulate the process in order to please their client and/or win at all costs. Learn how to detect and attack biases. We will focus on the income approach including choice of methods, projections/forecasts, normalization adjustments, historical weightings, taxes, discount rates, growth rates and reconciling values.

Learning Objectives:

  • The participant will learn how valuation analysts rig their valuations to obtain a desired result
  • The participant will learn how to detect valuation biases and to present them in an understandable manner
  • The participant will learn how to convince a trier of fact that two different values do not always mean both sides are biased
  • The participant will learn how to avoid unwanted biases in their own valuations
  • The participant will learn the key value drivers and how they can be manipulated

Webinar Outline:

Methods and data used to rig a valuation and how to detect and attack them:

    • Benchmarks and data ranges for discount rates
    • Benchmarks and data ranges for long-term growth rates
    • Unsupportable interim growth rates
    • Working capital manipulations
    • Discounted vs. capitalized cash flow methods
    • Projections and forecasts – valuation’s dirty little secret
    • Control vs. minority cash flows
    • Debt/equity structure
    • DCF terminal year choices and checks
    • Normalization vs. nonnormalization adjustments
    • Weighting historical earnings
    • Taxes – S corps and C corps
    • Compensation adjustments
    • When is an operating asset nonoperating and vice versa?
    • Reconciling values – are you kidding me?
    • Is your valuation biased and you don’t know it?

While it is the rare case that a valuation would be rigged, we want to make sure that you know how to detect it when it does occur. Rigging a valuation is disappointing to the honest practitioner and we want to give you the tools to help you detect problems in those circumstances where somebody is working outside of our ethical standards.


  • VPS Webinar PowerPoint slides
  • Related articles
  • Following the webinar, attendees will receive a webinar transcript along with an interactive video of the webinar showing the audio synced to the slide
    presentation in real time


Information on CPE credits, refund policies, and complaint resolution can be found at

Included in this downloadable archived webinar package:

  • Audio/Video file
  • Webinar transcript
  • Original Webinar handouts

The archived webinar package is an Adobe Presenter PDF file that allows you to view the video of the webinar with the synced audio so that you see the presentation just as it was presented “live.” The Presenter format also allows for easy navigation through the webinar so you can quickly go to a specific section in the presentation. The handout materials are included in the file. To view the Webinar Presenter file, you must have Adobe Reader software version 9 or higher. You can download the free current version of Adobe Reader at

Additional information

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