CPA P. Dermot O'Neill Adds "ABAR" to Long List of Professional Designations

Jul 18, 2013, 10:56 ET from P. Dermot O'Neill

GLEN MILLS, Pa., July 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In 40-plus years of public accounting, Glen Mills' P. Dermot O'Neill has earned many professional certifications.

Last June, he added the Accredited in Business Appraisal Review (ABAR) to his ever-growing list of acronyms.

This latest credential – from the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) – makes O'Neill one of only about 200 professionals in the country certified to review business appraisal reports in conformity with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

He already was accredited in Business Valuation and certified in Financial Forensics by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and designated as a Certified Valuation Analyst and a Master Analyst in Financial Forensics by the NACVA.

The new ABAR credential means he's specially trained to evaluate valuation reports submitted in litigation, buy/sell agreement disputes, partner split-ups, mergers and acquisitions, gifting programs, divorces, and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).

With 10,000 Baby Boomers reaching retirement age every day, according to the Pew Research Center, and many selling or gifting their businesses to family members, determining a proper value is critical.

O'Neill, director in the Business Valuation/Litigation Support Group in the Philadelphia office of EisnerAmper LLP, says, "Business valuation is both a science and an art. Numbers tell the story. But they are not the story."

Those numbers are pivotal, though, with competing valuations sometimes differing wildly. O'Neill cites one case in which the valuations for a business in a divorce case were $2,750,000 apart.

A graduate of Villanova University with a B.S. in Economics, O'Neill is also managing editor of the National Litigation Consultants' Review, a national newsletter for judges, attorneys, and consulting and testifying financial experts.

He's no stranger to a courtroom. O'Neill has qualified as an expert in lost profits damages, business valuation, and related financial and economic areas in Federal District Court, Federal Bankruptcy Court and the Delaware Court of Chancery, as well as six state courts. He routinely gives business valuation presentations and seminars around the country.

Some O'Neill observations:

  • The "flaw of averages" – On average, the average is usually wrong. Unless your company is "average," the average number will be misleading.
  • Many computerized "black box" valuations are mechanical, with little company specific input. They are cheap – $500 to $1500 – compared to $10,000 or more for an individual, professional evaluation. But black box assumptions don't hold up in court, or in adversarial or investigative inquiries, such as those performed by the IRS.
  • O'Neill analyzes a company, the economy and industry, using several data sources to predict trends. Moreover, he looks at ratios and percentage relationships, not only dollars, in order to compare the company to the industry and competitors.
  • Business valuation is based on expectations, not past performance. A purchaser buys tomorrow, not yesterday.

O'Neill, an adjunct instructor at the Rider University College of Business Administration, Graduate Studies, is a member of the AICPA, Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) and NACVA.


P. Dermot O'Neill                

Jim Murphy

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SOURCE P. Dermot O'Neill