When it comes to data-gathering for M&E appraisal, being prepared can make the process smoother and more cost-effective. While the process itself may not take too long, it does require some intensive preparation and attention to detail. It’s important to have all the necessary information on hand.

Importance of M&E Appraisals

Relying on less accurate methods won’t suffice for businesses with specific needs and legal obligations. Performing a new or used equipment appraisal serves a crucial purpose for companies, and there are several compelling reasons why this practice is essential. Some of these reasons and key benefits include:

Business Valuation & Financial Planning

Appraisals provide a clear understanding of the current value of your machinery and equipment. This knowledge is invaluable for effective financial planning, allowing you to assess the worth of your assets at a specific point in time. Data-gathering for M&E appraisal that leads to accurate appraisals enables you to make informed decisions regarding budgeting, asset allocation, and overall financial strategies. Machinery and equipment are integral components of many businesses. Appraisals aid in assessing the overall value of a company, providing crucial insights for financial reporting, strategic planning, tax matters, and exit strategies.

Securing Lending

When seeking financing or loans, accurate machinery and equipment appraisals provide lenders with a reliable basis for determining the asset’s value, enabling businesses to secure the necessary funds.

Selling Equipment

Before selling machinery or equipment, it is vital to understand its true value. An appraisal ensures fair pricing, maximizing the return on investment and enhancing the chances of a successful sale.

Litigation Support

In legal disputes involving machinery or equipment, appraisals play a pivotal role. These assessments provide objective, well-documented valuations that can serve as evidence in litigation proceedings.

Facilitating Mergers or Acquisitions

During business mergers or acquisitions, appraisals help determine the value of machinery and equipment involved. Accurate assessments contribute to fair negotiations and ensure informed decision-making.This can also aid financial decision makers in optimizing tax strategies.

Dissolving a Partnership

When partnerships dissolve, machinery and equipment assets need to be fairly distributed or sold. Appraisals help determine equitable divisions or establish appropriate sale values.

Bankruptcy Proceedings

In cases of bankruptcy, machinery and equipment appraisals provide an accurate valuation of assets, aiding in the assessment of available funds and distribution among creditors.

What kind of data should be captured for an appraisal?

As an appraiser, data-gathering for M&E appraisal is the most important step in capturing the right data and ultimate values. An esteemed member of the NEBB Institute’s Board of Advisors, John R. Harris, ASA, BCA, MCBC lined up this valuable checklist:


When appraising equipment, it’s crucial to use the same terminology as your client. Even if you call a machine a forklift, your client may refer to it as a lift truck or a goose. Knowing the exact type of equipment being appraised ensures clarity in communication.


Knowing the manufacturer is another key component of equipment appraisal. Whether it’s a Ford, Chevy, Mercedes Benz, or Toyota, the manufacturer can have a significant impact on the value of the equipment.


The model of the equipment is also important in determining its value. Different models of the same equipment can have vastly different values, depending on the features they offer. A model number can also provide information pertaining to the physical age of the equipment, and possibly information pertaining to functional and economic obsolescence.

Serial or ID Number

The serial or ID number of the equipment is used to identify it in the manufacturer’s records. This number is vital for determining the exact specifications of the equipment, which can affect its value.


Age is an essential component of equipment appraisal. Knowing the age of the equipment can give you an idea of its expected lifespan, how much wear and tear it has experienced, and how much longer it’s likely to remain in use.


Finally, assessing the condition of the equipment is crucial. Since it’s not always practical to test every piece of equipment thoroughly, appraisers may use a scale ranging from poor to fair, good, very good, or excellent to describe the condition. It’s also important to ask the client about any recent repairs or upgrades they may have made to the equipment.


Data-gathering for M&E appraisal, as a prerequisite to preparing one’s report, is a crucial step. Capturing the right data is critical to an accurate equipment appraisal. By understanding the type, manufacturer, model, serial or ID number, age, and condition of the equipment, machinery, and equipment appraisers can provide more accurate valuations and help their clients make informed decisions.

Join a select group of appraisers who are certified to value machinery and equipment. The CMEA credential is recognized by the, IRS, and major lending institutions across the United States. Check out NEBB’s free self-paced trial today.

Recommended Reading

Valuing Machinery and Equipment 101

Reasons Why You Need the CMEA Credential