accredited senior appraiser

Does accreditation matter for machinery and equipment appraisers?

Typically, you don’t know the appraiser personally, so how do you choose one from the herd?  On paper, they all look about the same.  But there are ways that you can differentiate some aspects to help you decide who to select for an appraisal quote.  Do yourself a favor, save time by first vetting the appraiser before getting an appraisal quote.  Choose an ASA – an Accredited Senior Appraiser. We’ll show you how!

Why Accreditation Matters – Accredited Senior Appraiser

When it comes to inventory appraisal – and especially machinery and equipment appraisal – there appears to be no shortage of options for candidates.   Yet, with a closer look, there is a keen difference among the options: credentials.  In the industry of Machinery & Equipment (M&E) appraisal, the term “certified equipment appraiser” or “accredited” appraiser are both used to describe an M&E appraiser who is a member of an accrediting agency.

Founded in 1936, The American Society of Appraisers (ASA), is the largest multi-discipline organization representing appraisers.  When you hire an Accredited Senior Appraiser(ASA) designated in Machinery & Equipment (M&E), you can be assured that the appraiser passed the most rigid requirements for machinery appraisal.   All ASAs must comply with the appraisal processing and reporting standards of USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice).

The ASA’s accreditation process requires the applicant to meet the following requirements:

  • 4 Machinery & Equipment appraisal courses with exams
  • USPAP course with exam
  • Ethics test
  • 5 years full time M&E appraisal experience
  • 4-year degree or equivalent work experience
  • Peer review of appraisal reports
  • Continuing education
  • Reaccreditation every 5 years

ASA members must adhere to highest levels of ethical and professional standards.  As a result, many institutions and regulatory agencies will only accept an appraisal signed by an Accredited Senior Appraiser.

Determine if the appraiser has an active accreditation from a respected organization.  Ensure that the appraiser’s accreditation is in “active” status in good standing with the ASA by searching the website.

Differentiating Appraisal Disciplines

The appraisal discipline is important to getting credible results.  For Machinery & Equipment appraisals, as well as Inventory appraisals, but sure to select an appraiser with an Machinery & Technical Specialties accreditation (i.e. a Machinery & Equipment appraiser).  M&E research and analysis is much different than other appraisal disciplines, like Real Property, Business Valuation, and Personal Property.  M&E appraisers rely heavily on research and data from numerous resources.  Once the research is performed, the data must be analyzed with professionally accepted appraisal practices that lead to the development of credible valuations.  M&E appraisal methodology is much more complex with a variety of valuation factors to consider.

Experience and Reliability

Over time, an appraiser develops their knowledge of the valuation process, which leads to increased efficiency and accuracy.  Even if the appraiser is educated in machinery appraisals or inventory valuation, his/her lack of experience can end up costing you more.  Unless you’re quoted a flat rate, the inspection, data research, and analysis could take a newer appraiser much longer to perform – especially if the property is special use or a complex property.  Appraising these scenarios with limited experience can be quite costly or fail to meet your deadline. In addition, an appraiser needs proven methods and data analysis in order to produce accurate, objective results in asset valuation.

Understanding the applicability of the professional standards (USPAP) also comes with experience.  An appraisal is more than just the dollar figure on page 2.  The report should include a thorough discussion of the source data the appraiser relied upon, the analysis and considerations made, and the appraisal methodologies applied.  An appraisal compliant with USPAP provides the necessary details to allow the reader to follow the logic that the appraiser used to determine the final value.  For proper, comprehensive reporting, consider hiring an appraisal expert.

Last by not least, any legitimate valuation requires a machinery appraiser to have no conflicts of interest, being solely interested in fair, accurate results.  An appraiser’s strong sense of ethics also means that reasonable quotes are provided, along with honest expectations at the beginning of process.

About the Author

Tammy Blackburn, ASA is Accredited Senior Appraiser with over 16 years of experience performing Machinery & Equipment appraisals and Inventory valuations. As an expert witness, Ms. Blackburn has defended her appraisals in Federal bankruptcy court, circuit court, and in Value Adjustment Board hearings. Having served 7 years as a Special Magistrate in 10 counties for ad valorem Tangible Personal Property, Ms. Blackburn is uniquely qualified to perform appraisals to be used for establishing taxable value.