Date posted: 31/07/2017 4 min read

BV Specialisation gives a point of difference

Corporate finance executive Nadine Marke CA talks about the benefits of attaining the CA Business Valuation specialisation for her work in litigation, especially expert witness work, by giving her a point of difference and establishing credibility.

In brief

  • The BV specialisation drove UK-credentialed Nadine Marke’s decision to become a member of CA ANZ.
  • She says the specialisation sets a CA apart and establishes their credibility.
  • In courtroom proceedings, Marke finds the specialisation bolsters the authority of her opinion.

For Nadine Marke CA, director of the Corporate Finance division of Perth firm RSM Australia Pty Ltd, attaining the BV specialisation in 2015 through postgraduate study has presented significant advantages in the courtroom. Here she talks about the benefits the specialisation has brought her, and why she wants to spread the word to the legal community.

I initially qualified in the UK as a CA working in audit and assurance, and then moved into an independent business review team doing reviews of debt-distressed businesses on behalf of banks in London. I did that for nearly three years and then made the move to Australia, where I went straight into the corporate finance division at RSM in Perth.

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I qualified with the ICAEW in the UK, and when I moved to Australia ten years ago, I continued to operate under that accreditation because we’re all part of the Global Accounting Alliance. Initially, there wasn’t a burning need to change over. But when I did change over to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, that change was driven by the fact that I wanted to do their Business Valuation (BV) specialisation. 

My decision was driven by the ability to gain recognition for the work RSM specialises in. As a practice, our core skill set is valuations, even though we apply it to a lot of different types of assignments. As both a point of distinction and to demonstrate our expertise, the specialisation was something that we, as a team, definitely wanted to pursue. It sits very well with who we are and what we can offer to the market, both clients and referrers.  

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When you learn something on the job you don’t really think about how you’re learning it; you pick things up as you go and obviously supplement that with research where possible. So the course was quite a nice way to consolidate all our learning and our knowledge, and to see how it fits together in more of a structured way. 

I was lucky because there were three of us from RSM doing the course at the same time. We were very structured in our learning, putting aside one lunchtime every week to do one module, when we would talk it over and bounce ideas around. Having other people to discuss it with really helped to keep me on track. Otherwise, as everyone knows, you get busy in your normal job and realise you haven’t done any study, and suddenly you’ve got an exam looming. 

Doing it this way prompted discussions about how we do things as a firm. Once we started thinking about the theory behind the practice, we had some good discussions about the methodologies and the approaches we use. 

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The main benefit of the BV specialisation for me is in the litigation space, particularly where we’re doing expert witness work. One of the things that we’re noticing is the recognition our specialisation brings as a point of difference and to establish credibility.

"One of the things that we're noticing is the recognition our specialisation bring as a point of difference and to establish credibility."

BV specialisation is a core skill – we’ve been through an accreditation process and we’re recognised as experts in this area by our professional body. It puts us in a different category to, say, an accountant who’s not accredited. This is particularly so in contested valuations and court proceedings. If you have two experts in a courtroom – one on either side of a case – and you can say, “I’m a Business Valuation specialist,” and the other one can’t say that, it does provide more authority to your opinion. 

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For this reason, we’re trying to raise awareness about the specialisation amongst the legal fraternity, because it really can assist them in their proceedings.

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