International Certified Valuation Specialist with Advanced Studies in Financial Instruments (ICVS-A) 

The International Association of Certified Valuation Specialists, in conjunction with the Center for International Business Valuation, has added an advanced level to the ICVS credential; valuators can now earn the ICVS with Advanced Studies in Financial Instruments (ICVS-A). The curriculum for the ICVS-A, which focuses on fair value concepts, was developed by Dr. Joel M. DiCicco, CPA, BCA, ICVS, a full-time member of the Executive Business and Department of Accounting faculty at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business. This advanced credential in the fair value of financial instruments can be earned along with the initial ICVS or can be added to enhance a current ICVS credential.

Unit 1: Introduction to Business Valuation

This unit introduces the basic concepts of business valuation.  One will learn to appreciate the art as well of science of this profession.  Students will be exposed to the various valuation methodologies, discounts/ premiums, forecasting techniques and the myriad of valuation standards applied to report writing.


Unit 2: Fair Value Accounting

This unit addresses the very controversial fair value accounting regime.  This accounting system is quite different than what most accountants have learned in the past.  Some of the topics included in this area include both GAAP & IFRS rules governing fair value accounting, the fair value hierarchy and its associated levels, and the pros and cons of this regime.


Unit 3: Valuing Equities

This unit address the various techniques of valuing equities.  Importantly, this course discusses the difference between valuing and pricing equities as these terms are incorrectly interchanged.  The concept of the cost of capital will be addressed at length due to its importance in the valuation of financial instruments.  There will be major emphasis placed on forecasting and discounted cash flow techniques.  Additional methods such as market multiples and the asset method will be discussed as well.


Unit 4: Valuation Techniques for Debt and Securitized Instruments

This unit covers the very complex area of debt instruments and the various securitized products.  We will first learn basic bond terminology and then progress to the very sophisticated, hybrid forms. We will also address the factors that affect yields and spreads.  An understanding of critical bond metrics such as duration and convexity will be explored and tie it into the field of valuation. Afterward, the unit focuses on defining the various types of securitized instruments along with its valuation techniques.


Unit 5: Valuing Derivative Products- Part 1

The topic of derivatives garners much commentary both pro and con.  In Part 1 of the course, we will first go over the basic definitions of derivatives. Subsequently, we will then focus solely in the area of options for the rest of the class.  Options can range from very basic to highly, complex, exotics.  We will learn the various valuation techniques used to values these derivatives.

Unit 6: Valuing Derivative Products- Part 2

This unit continues where we left off as we begin to learn the valuation techniques of other derivative products such as forwards, futures, and swaps.  As with Part 1, we will address the various techniques used to value these instruments. We will gain an understanding and appreciation of the similarities and dissimilarities in the methodologies used for these various types of instruments.  

Unit 7: ICVS-A Review (Optional)

This review course will go over concepts learned for students interested in obtaining the International Certified Valuation Specialist- Advanced Studies in Financial Instruments (ICVS-A) credential.  We will go over typical practice questions used in Part 1 of the examination and similar-type case studies used in Part 2

Dr. Joel DiCicco


Dr. Joel DiCicco  Joel lectures on Financial Risk Management and Derivatives, as well as Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation, for the Master of Science in Finance program.