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What data is processed in a company assessment?

A frequently asked question in practice is: In which assessment processes is which data processed? At the core, the question is based on whether certain processes process past data and other processes plan data. The answer is often provided based on which the earnings values process will process the past data. Another reason to dedicate a few lines to this question.

The company assessment is future-oriented since the “salesman knows there is no profit in the past”. In other words, a company evaluation in the framework of a transaction consultation has to process plan data because only then meaningful conclusions can be made regarding the future ability to cover interest and principal payments on the investment. This statement applies not only for transaction consultations but also to all kinds of company assessments by an overall assessment system. Once again to be clear, it is irrelevant whether earnings values processes or discounted cash-flow processes are used for assessment, the processed data is always derived from a company plan. This planning data is not only required to present the documentation of the realizations derived from the past analyses, they also have to illustrate the future market development and the consequences for the company’s performance.

The reason for many misunderstandings may be the simplified earnings value process which is only regulated for tax purposes in §§ 199 et seq. of the BewG (Valuation Act). In certain ways, this process is a successor of the Stuttgart process. The simplified earnings value process is generally used with the objective of simplifying the administration and application or in conjunction with very small companies and generally processes past data. However, only assuming that this past data is representative for the future (§ 201 Para.1 of the BewG). Should this condition not be fulfilled, this process also leads to obviously inaccurate results (§ 199 Para.1 of the BewG), which cannot be used as the reason for the tax assessment.