The Barson Group

Volume 11 - Issue 3                                                             

Fall, 2012                                                                                   



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We Have Gone Green.  All issues are e-only!!

In This Edition
When We (Think We) Know Better
The Insanity of a Sanity Check
Focus on Fun
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 The BARSON GROUP is proud to announce the publication of


"Divorce: The Accountant as Financial Expert" 

 by Kalman A. Barson, CPA/ABV, CFE, CFF 




***We are delighted to announce that the book is in its second printing!***


This is Kal's 6th text focusing on divorce related accounting services, including investigative accounting, business valuations, funds flow tracing and related issues.  While its primary audience is fellow CPAs, as well as attorneys practicing family law and judges sitting in the family section of the court, it is written in such a fashion so that it would be readily understood by the general lay public.  All royalties have been assigned to three charities devoted to helping women and children.


Kal's book can be purchased directly through the AICPA -



Our Mini-Books: 


Reading & Understanding Tax Returns, Financial Issues in Divorce Practice; Business Valuation - The Basics; The Majesty & Glory of Unreported Income; Divorce, It Can Get Personal - Life Style Analysis & Related Matters - complimentary copies for the asking.  Contact us if you haven't received your copy.



When We (Think We) Know Better


Every once in a while, you run into a valuation expert who really believes that he/she knows better how to run the business being valued than the current owner/operator - even when that owner/operator has been running the business for say 20 years or more.  The purpose of this article is to deal with that type of situation under one set of financial facts that we believe raise interesting issues. 


As part of our routine forensic investigation and related financial analysis, we will often review various expenses of a business in order to give us a comfort level as to whether any adjustments need to be made (for instance for the typical owner benefits/perquisites often run through a business, or perhaps for a more benign non-recurring situation). We also often look to compare various operating expenses (as a percentage) to a benchmark, if available. The benchmarking typically comes from proprietary databases to which we subscribe where those databases cull information from a variety of sources on a variety of businesses.


Click To Read The Entire Article



The Insanity of a Sanity Check


Before anyone suggest that I am totally against the concept of a sanity check (perhaps a reasonable interpretation based on this article's title), understand that is not the case - I just believe that a lot of skepticism is often warranted when faced with the use of a so-called sanity check.


The concept of a sanity check in business valuation is that an expert will use a source - typically a rule of thumb approach to valuation derived from some authoritative/credible source - to provide support (actually more in the form of a comfort level) for the valuation number already determined by that expert. Assume the expert has done a valuation, and with perhaps the benefit of say two income methods, or perhaps an income and a market method or whatever - that expert has determined what he/she believes to be the appropriate valuation number. That number is typically backed up by analysis, explanations and the like - sometimes of considerable substance and volume. Thus, the expert, to his/her satisfaction, has taken all the appropriate steps and derived a value number that expert believes is correct. For many valuation experts, that is sufficient enough support for the valuation determination.


Click To Read The Entire Article




 Focus on Fun


Accountants & Humor

A Sociological Fable


An unidentified man from Gary, Indiana attempted to cash a $50,000 check reputedly signed by God himself. Obviously distressed by such blasphemy, the Bank of America in nearby Hobart decided to call the police. The cops found several other checks in the guy's possession including one for $100,000 signed by "King/Savior, King of the Kings, Lord of Lords/Servant R.E.E."    


Click Here For More 'Focus on Fun'