Washington (Oct. 21, 2003) -- Business valuations, already a strong business niche for many accounting firms, is getting even stronger because of the Sarbanes-Oxley law, which set tighter standards for accounting, reports the American Society of Appraisers.

"Many of our members are experiencing growth in their practices as companies of all sizes increasingly seek credible, independent valuations of their businesses and financial assets," added Bruce Bingham, chairman of the trade association's business valuation committee, in summarizing results of a survey for the Washington-based group's business valuation professional members.

Some 49 percent of those business valuation professionals say the law, enacted in the summer of 2002, is changing their business and that 50 percent of their new business over the past years has come from first-time clients. They also "foresee increases in revenue in 2003 as compared to 2002" the Washington-based ASA said.

Seventy-seven of the firms in Accounting Today's Top 100 Firms list identified business valuation as a growth area in a survey complete earlier this year. It was the practice niche most often cited as a growth area.

-- John M. Covaleski

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