Our firm presently has fifteen employees, including eight partners. Our organizational structure consists of three departments; audit and accounting, taxation and administration.
David Larson, CPA – Managing Partner
Joseph Lanza, CPA – Partner, Director of Tax
Chrisley Reed, CPA – Partner, Director of Audit and Accounting
Patricia Krout, CPA – Partner, Tax
Stephen Smith, CPA – Partner, Audit and Accounting
Scott Davis, CPA – Partner, Audit and Accounting
Richard Hilliard, CPA – Partner, Tax
Carla O’Neill, CPA – Partner, Tax
Beverly Robinson – Administrative Assistant
David Larson, CPA
After spending the first four years of his career with Arthur & Young’s tax department in Beverly Hills, David joined the firm in 1987. His areas of expertise include high net worth individuals (professionals, retirees and business owners). Industry expertise includes real estate (brokers, developers and investors), and technology. His expertise also includes planning and compliance for pass through entities (S corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies). David supervises many business management and personal financial services engagements. He serves as trustee for a number of trusts including a nonprofit. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and also received a Master of Science Degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University. David became licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in 1984. He is an avid cyclist and runner.
Joseph Lanza, CPA
Partner, Director of Tax
Joe has been working in public accounting since 1976 and in Santa Barbara since 1984. He provides expertise in tax planning and financial management. He specializes in estate and trust taxation, high net worth individuals, and private companies in the real estate, construction, insurance and high-tech industries. Joe served as President of the Santa Barbara Estate Planning Council in 2008, as President of the Channel Counties Chapter of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA) for 2004-2005, and as President of the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara North for 2006-2007. He also holds an Accredited Estate Planner designation from the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. Joe graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting in 1976 and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1979.
Chrisley Reed, CPA
Partner, Director of Audit and Accounting
Chris Reed has been with McGowan Guntermann since 1989. He was promoted to a Partner as the Director of the Audit and Accounting department in 1999, with expertise in employee benefit plans and non-profit organizations. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics from University of California, Santa Barbara in 1987, and became licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in 1990. Chris is a member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (1991) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (2002). For the years 1998 to 2003 he served as Chairman of the Channel Counties Chapter of the Accounting Principles and Auditing Standards Committee. He is the current Chair of the California State Peer Review Committee (2002).
Patricia Krout, CPA
Patricia has been a member of our firm since 1991. She started her career in private industry setting up accounting departments and computer systems as well as hiring and managing staff. She also provided accounting and bookkeeping services for other accounting firms and small to medium sized businesses. Patricia was licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in 1992 and is currently a Partner in the Tax Department and a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Patricia has served as the President of the American Society of Women Accountants as the President of the Channel Counties Chapter of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. Patricia received a Master’s Degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University and Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Patricia’s current emphasis is in the tax arena, she specializes in closely held businesses, partnerships, limited liability companies, real estate and high net worth individuals.
Stephen Smith, CPA
Partner, Audit and Accounting
Steve joined McGowan Guntermann in 2008 as a Manager of our Audit and Accounting Department and he was promoted to Partner in 2017. Prior to joining us, Steve worked for an accounting firm in Oxnard for five years and as a CFO in private industry for one year. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from California State University, Northridge. Steve became a licensed Certified Public Accountant in 2005 and is a member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Steve works primarily in the areas of audit and review, small business accounting and consulting, and non-profit, individual, partnership and corporate taxation and planning. He is currently on the Board of the Camarillo Pony Baseball Association and volunteers at various organizations including American Youth Soccer Organization, Camarillo Pony Baseball Association and his local YMCA.
Scott Davis, CPA
Audit and Accounting Partner
Scott has been a member of our firm since 1977. He specializes in small to medium-sized companies. His areas of expertise in Audit and Accounting include: Government Entities, Non-profit Entities, Manufacturing, Construction, Start-up Companies, Business Consulting, Internal Audit, Litigation Support, and Forensic Accounting. In the income tax area he works with individual, trust and business income tax returns. Scott received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Economics from University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1981, and became a licensed Certified Public Accountant in 1983. He is a member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is a past member of the California State Peer Review Committee, and served as President of the Channel Counties Chapter of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA) for 1996-1997.
Richard Hilliard, CPA
A 1964 California State University Northridge graduate with a major in Finance, Richard moved his family to Santa Barbara in 1970 from Van Nuys and began practicing public accounting, first as a partner of a local CPA firm then starting his own firm in 1977 to be joined shortly thereafter by Carla O’Neill. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Santa Barbara Estate Planning Council. His professional emphasis is in taxation, business succession strategies and trust and estate planning. His pastimes include golf, vintage car racing, cooking and taking in everything Italian. Other enjoyments include music and live theatre. Richard is a past President of the Navy League and the Channel Counties CPA Society and has been an officer of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Lobero Theatre Foundation and various car clubs.
Carla O’Neill, CPA
Before joining our firm in January, 2016, Carla spent over 35 years in practice locally with her partner Richard Hilliard, CPA. She is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, attended graduate school at U.C. Santa Barbara and became licensed as a CPA in 1982. Carla is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Santa Barbara Estate Planning Council. Her areas of expertise include trust and estate taxation, trust accounting and tax planning and compliance for high net worth individuals and their business interests. Carla has served on the Board of the Santa Barbara Symphony and on the Board of Trustees of Bishop Garcia Diego High School. She grew up in the Goleta Valley, attended local schools and considers herself “almost” a native. Her husband, Desmond O’Neill, is a retired attorney and she is mother to grown twin daughters, Siobhan and Eileen, and grandmother to her adorable grandson, Alan. When not in the office Carla spends time reading, knitting, travelling and whenever possible indulging in her passion for musical theatre.
Elizabeth Shasberger, CPA
Elizabeth joined the team in October of 2005. She is a 1984 Biola University Magna Cum Laude graduate in Accounting, and has over 20 years of varied experience in the profession. She earned her CPA license in Indiana in 1987. She has worked for major accounting firms including Ernst & Whinney and Blue & Company, served as Controller for Amber Homes of Colorado, and maintained an active independent practice in personal tax and corporate financial services. In 2012, Elizabeth became a licensed Certified Public Accountant in California.
Catherine Lauber, CPA – Accountant
Catherine has been working in the accounting industry with local businesses and individuals in the Santa Barbara area since she graduated from University of California Santa Barbara in 2012. She has worked as a CPA in public accounting and spent several years as a bookkeeper prior to joining the McGowan Guntermann team. She has utilized her skills in accounting and financial analysis to aid companies and individuals in cash flow management and tax strategies. Outside of the office, Catherine enjoys playing in her soccer league, taking yoga classes, going camping and strolling the local farmers market. Catherine is also a notary public.
Jennifer Smith, Accountant
Jennifer joined McGowan Guntermann in January 2019. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Economics with an Accounting Emphasis from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2011. She has been working in the accounting industry since she graduated. Jennifer has extensive bookkeeping knowledge and specializes in taxes. She is currently working towards obtaining her CPA license. When she is not in the office or studying, she loves traveling, volunteering at local events, taking yoga classes, reading and watching sports.
Julia Walther, Accountant
Julia has worked in public accounting since receiving her Master of Business Taxation from the University of Southern California in 2015. She is active in the Channel Islands Chapter CalCPA and serves on the chair for Financial Literacy and Emerging Professionals. She also serves as the Assistant Treasurer for Santa Barbara Beekeeper’s Association, a local non-profit. Julia’s experience has been focused on S Corporations, partnerships and high net worth individuals. She enjoys beekeeping, pottery and hiking.
Lisa Fernandez, Bookkeeper
Lisa joined McGowan Guntermann in January 2019. Lisa is a graduate of California State University Channel Islands where she received a Bachelor of Science in Business. Prior to joining McGowan Guntermann, Lisa worked within the Santa Barbara County public education system for over a decade and served as an executive secretary in her last position. Lisa comes to McGowan Guntermann with the desire to pursue a CPA certification. Lisa is a Santa Barbara resident and enjoys the outdoors and playing guitar.
Beverly joined Mcgowan Guntermann in February, 2018 as part of our administrative team. Beverly studied at Santa Barbara City College. Working for over 18 years at a local CPA firm, she brings experience and great customer service skills. She enjoys the outdoors in her off time. Beverly is also a California Notary Public.