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No Stupid Questions: How Does Someone Determine What My Practice Is Worth?

Posted by Betsy Krekling, ADA Advisor on 11/10/21 8:45 AM
Betsy Krekling, ADA Advisor


Once again, Chris Mayer of The Heimat Group is answering your questions on practice valuations. Check out his previous No Stupid Questions answers: 

Why (and when) should I get a practice valuation?
What are the three approaches to dental practice valuation?

This time, we asked Chris to describe the actual practice valuations process — the steps a professional valuator takes to determine what a practice is worth.

Chris responds:

The dental practice valuation process is complex and encompasses a complete evaluation and analysis of every aspect of a practice. Typical steps include investigation, analysis, valuation, and documentation.

Step 1: Investigation

During the investigation process, a practice valuator conducts interviews with key practice management, including the office manager, CPA, and practice owner. The goal is to develop an understanding of the practice’s overall health. The valuator will:  
    • Develop an understanding of the practice’s background
    • Evaluate historical financial results and statistics 
    • Review the past, present, and prospective operating results

Step 2: Analysis

Next, the valuator analyzes the historical operating and financial data. During this phase, the valuator will:
    • Analyze historical operational results and statistics
    • Prepare prospective operational and financial analysis, staffing, cost projections, capital expenditure requirements, working capital requirements, discount rate analysis, and cash flow projections
    • Evaluate competitive factors, such as how many dentists are providing similar services in the local market

Step 3: Valuation

Once the valuator has analyzed the data and the market, they will estimate the fair market value of the practice’s fixed and intangible assets according to the most appropriate valuation methodology: the asset approach, the market approach, and/or the income approach. A valuator should consider all three valuation approaches and rely upon the most appropriate to:
    • Estimate the value range based upon preliminary discounted cash flow, market approach, and cost approach
    • Review the preliminary analysis with the practice owner (and potentially, the buyer)  
    • Deliver a final estimation of fair market value 

Step 4: Documentation

Once a value has been established, the valuator will generate a report that outlines the analysis and findings, while also including the requisite source data that supports the recommendations. This report should be shared with potential buyers and their lender(s) as needed.  

Want more practice valuation resources? Watch the recent Dental Economics webinar, What's This Practice Actually Worth? Chris Meyer joined ADAPT's Dr. Suzanne Ebert, VP, Dental Practice & Relationships to explore how to evaluate a practice, including the less tangible items. 

Watch the On-Demand Webinar

Check out more on practice valuations:

Why and when should I get a practice valuation?
What are the three approaches to dental practice valuation?
What do I need for a practice valuation?

Topics: Real Talk, No Stupid Questions, practice valuation


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