Equipment Appraisal Blog | Understanding Machinery Appraisals

Planning a Move? Consider a Tangible Personal Property Appraisal

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Feb 22, 2021 @ 08:00 AM

tangible personal property appraisal before you move

 

Whether your business is moving up a floor, downtown, or to a newly renovated home office, your tangible business assets should be accounted for during the process. Personal property appraisals can protect your owned equipment from any loss, damage, or liability resulting from the relocation effort. Learn what these appraisals are and why you should have an accredited equipment appraiser perform a tangible personal property valuation before this important step.

What is Tangible Personal Property?

Originally a tax term, "tangible personal property" refers to any piece of property that can be picked up and moved. “FF&E” is a common catchall term to describe many types of personal property. This acronym stands for furniture, fixtures & equipment and includes office furniture, (filing cabinets, chairs, desks, credenzas), office business equipment (printers, scanners, copiers, computers, servers and related IT assets), and other related assets. The fixtures component pertains to cabinetry, shelving, HVAC equipment, and similar items which, although installed on the premises, might be removable and worth relocating to a new facility. Appraising tangible personal property can also assist your business with insurance, property tax, and internal capitalization for accounting purposes.

While there are several reasons for hiring an equipment appraiser, relocation is an often-overlooked reason to have your tangible business property values updated.

Potential Claims & Uses

If you are working with a moving company, they probably offer liability coverage to protect themselves if they damage or lose your items during the move. One of the mistakes you can potentially make is trusting that this coverage will be sufficient to protect your property. This type of insurance typically covers claims by weight or assessed value, which is vague at best and not for your benefit as much as the movers. They will usually pay only a fraction of the real value of these assets if the liability is on their end. You need to consider your own interests in this scenario. There is also the potential for physical loss liability claims if someone is injured during the move and disruption costs to your business. For these reasons, we recommend obtaining an appraisal of your FF&E personal property so there is a clear understanding of value before your move.

These valuations can be completed by machinery & equipment and personal property appraisers. Personal property is considered a sub-class of machinery & equipment and, therefore, many equipment appraisers have experience with these types of assets.

Once you have the appraisal report, reach out to your business insurance provider and discuss covering your property for the purpose of the move. You can also consider using the report for longer-term insurance needs and other reasons such as property tax and accounting purposes.

Before they can cover a claim, insurance companies typically ask for an independent opinion of value for your FF&E. Take the extra step to protect your business assets with a tangible personal property FF&E appraisal. Even if nothing goes wrong in the move, you will have peace of mind knowing that vital business assets have been appraised at fair market value.

Tags: Equipment Appraisal, machinery appraisal, accredited appraisers, tangible personal property

Estate Taxes: A Detailed Asset Appraisal Will Protect Your Legacy

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Feb 08, 2021 @ 08:00 AM

machinery and equipment appraisal estate tax planning

 

You have spent years building up your business, invested wisely, accounted for risk, and sacrificed a lot to build your company into what it is today. You have groomed the next generation of your family and employees to one day take over the legacy you have created.

If you own a significant amount of machinery & equipment as part of your business, have you accounted for gift or estate taxes in your planning? With the potential liability of these taxes, failing to plan for them can leave your legacy open to unnecessary costs. You can avoid this pitfall by obtaining an accredited machinery & equipment appraisal with signed certification that attests to an objective, fair opinion of value.

Whether you are planning on handing down the business or just need to update the current value of your tangible machinery assets for internal or external purposes, a documented appraisal report will satisfy several needs. It can assist in limiting any disputes in value by those taking over the business, where one family member, partner, or vested employee thinks they are getting more or less than another. If your estate and it’s associated company is being divided up between several people, an accredited equipment appraisal will help determine how all the assets can be equally divided. If you are planning on using a living trust, it also has the advantage of keeping your loved ones out of probate and will keep your accounting and wealth private.

Making Arrangements for Estate and Gift Taxes

When you have a supportable, independent equipment appraisal report in hand, you can then estimate how much these burdensome taxes may be and make allowances for them either through life insurance, business insurance, or by leaving a certain amount of equity available to cover these estate costs.

If you are thinking of estimating these values internally by simply looking for similar equipment online or finding a broker, auctioneer, or other unaccredited third parties to estimate value, you risk not having an objective, reliable report. This may cause concern by those auditing your business for estate tax purposes.

Make sure you employ accredited valuation experts who are members of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA). This ensures they follow the protocols of providing objective, supportable reports that will hold up in any business situation.

Tags: machinery appraisal, accredited appraisers, estate taxes, equipment valuation

Need an Insurance Loss Settled? An Equipment Appraisal Can Help.

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Jan 25, 2021 @ 08:00 AM

Machinery and Equipment Appraisal Insurance Loss Settlement

 

Did you know that over one-third of businesses that go through a disaster or property loss never open their doors again? This is primarily due to insufficient insurance or the inability to prove the value of equipment and other assets lost in the event. How do you protect your business against this kind of unexpected problem? An accredited equipment appraisal with a signed certification can go a long way towards ensuring you have adequate insurance to protect against a loss and to support equipment values during an insurance loss settlement.

Involved in an Insurance Loss Claim for Machinery & Equipment? Accredited Appraisals Will Assist in the Process.

Determining Insurance Coverage

When you are buying business insurance, you want to make sure all your assets, including machinery & equipment, are being covered for their current market or replacement cost value. Many people rely on tax return depreciation as a quick guide to appraising it, but the actual value may be much different than what standard accounting depreciation allows.

If the machinery & equipment is overvalued, you may be paying too much for premiums and will not recover the full amount you have estimated during a loss claim. If the assets are undervalued, the insurance company may have concerns that you did not pay for sufficient coverage and not be willing to pay you a fair value for casualty claims. An accredited machinery & equipment appraisal can go a long way to providing proof of value for your assets and assist in determining how much coverage you need.

Dealing with a Loss

When your business suffers an actual casualty loss, during this stressful time, you will want to reach a fair settlement as quickly as possible, to avoid business interruption. Can you prove what your equipment was actually worth? Having support documentation completed by an accredited machinery & equipment appraiser with signed certification helps to prove the real market value and can be utilized in an insurance settlement. The valuation is an objective, unbiased, defendable report that you can present to the insurance company during the claim process.

Even if you have not had a report completed before the loss, appraisers can retrospectively value the machinery & equipment as of the casualty loss date. An accredited equipment appraiser will sign a certification attesting to the value as of the prior loss date. They have the experience and expertise to research the market and make the appropriate adjustments to reflect market value as of the effective date. Make sure the firm employs accredited valuation experts who are members of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA). This ensures they follow the protocols of providing objective, supportable reports that will hold up in any settlement negotiation.

Tags: Insurance Loss, machinery & equipment appraisal, appraisal, equipment valuation, Insurance Claim Asset Appraisal

Material Handling Equipment Valuations - Why Many Companies Need Them

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Jan 11, 2021 @ 08:00 AM

Material Handling Appraisal

 

Virtually every business in the world that manufactures, transports, warehouses or otherwise supports any tangible product needs some type of material handling equipment to manage their inventory. It is important to understand the value of these types of assets when considering any financial transaction within your business so you can be sure to get the most benefit from the utilization and strength of these long lived machines.

What Types of Machinery are Considered Material Handing?

The first thing that comes to mind when discussing material handling for most businesses is forklift trucks. Forklifts are the most common type of equipment that falls into the material handling category, however, there is a considerably diverse amount of lift equipment that belongs as well.

Forklift Trucks

Forklift trucks alone have an immensely broad range of sizes, builds, and other specifications which can be overwhelming and fall into different categories of material handling. From the smallest manual pallet jacks to the largest type of container handler, there are hundreds of makes and models in between. From lifting a 500 lb. box to a 90,000 lb. shipping container, these types of assets are critical to effectively moving product from place to place.

The most common types of forklift trucks you see generally range from 3000-15,000 lb. capacities and are used in and around warehouses, loading docks and shipping centers. The lifts can be powered by rechargeable battery, propane gas, or diesel. Several domestic and international manufacturers compete in the industry, many with solid reputations for quality, producing long life durable machinery. Even if you have a 20+-year-old forklift, as long as it has been well maintained throughout its life, you can expect it to hold value over time.

What are Other Types of Material Handling Equipment?

The answer to this question may be a little subjective depending upon the industry or business you work in. I would consider these types of equipment to be included:

  • Order Pickers
  • Narrow Aisle Reach Trucks
  • Automated Pick & Place Retrieval Conveying Systems
  • Bulk Processing Equipment (Including Conveyors, Hoppers, Elevator Lifts & Augurs)
  • Pallet Racking, Shelving & Related Storage Equipment
  • Aerial Boom Lifts
  • Certain Types of Cranes

Similar to forklift trucks, these assets are typically long lived and hold their value well over time.

In summary, always consider material handling machinery & equipment as part of your asset listing when you need an updated appraisal. When deciding to engage a professional for this task, the best choice is an accredited ASA appraiser.

Tags: valuation, forklift appraisal, certified appraisal, material handling equipment

Determining Depreciation and Useful Life for Machinery & Equipment

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Dec 28, 2020 @ 08:00 AM

Machinery Equipment Appraisers Depreciation Useful Life

When appraisers look at variables in an equipment valuation, two of the key factors taken into account are useful life and depreciation. Though the process may seem straightforward, machinery & equipment appraisers look at different characteristics that assist in determining useful life and depreciation within the current market. This differs from the prescribed approach a certified accountant takes.

Accounting Methodology of Determining Depreciation and Useful life

When it comes to capitalized machinery & equipment on a company’s books, accountants treat depreciation and useful life according to accepted principles. One such principle is the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS). This method is based around a uniform, straight line reduction in value, or depreciation, which starts with the acquisition price of the equipment and amortizes that price, or initial value, equally over a standardized term, usually five to seven years. The endpoint of the depreciation is typically zero.

An Appraiser’s Market Driven Methodology of Determining Depreciation and Useful Life

When appraisers value machinery & equipment, they research the market to find as much information as reasonably possible to estimate its current value. Depreciation and useful life are two components of this analysis, and can be determined through relevant third party sources that buy, sell and utilize the type of assets being appraised. This is a direct market derived approach to understanding these variables more in tune with the reality of how they are valued over time and how long they can reasonably be expected to operate effectively before needing major rebuilds/overhauls or retire from service entirely.

It is important to understand these factors and take them into account as part of a complete market analysis which will also include reviewing comparable sales of the equipment being appraised. Market comparable data can oftentimes be limited or inconsistent across different sources and a balanced understanding of market depreciation and useful life can complement this data and provide reasonableness checks to the comparable sales.

Developing Market Depreciation Curves for Asset Classes of Machinery & Equipment

Once an appraiser has completed a number of valuations in specific markets and industries, they can consider creating a database of values which results in the development of market driven depreciation curves that will further serve as a reasonable source of historical data to consider on future valuations. This would be similar to the concept of subscription databases that are publicly available in certain markets such as construction, automotive and over the road transportation in today’s resource networks.

In summary, when your business needs an updated true market assessment of value for their capital assets, always look to an accredited equipment appraiser to complete the assignment.

Tags: understanding fair market value, depreciation of equipment, equipment valuation, market value, useful life