Four GHJ Partners Among Forbes’ Top 200 CPAs in America

LOS ANGELES, CA (April 18, 2024) – GHJ, a national advisory and accounting firm, proudly announces that GHJ Managing Partner Tom Barry, State and Local Tax Practice Leader Frances Ellington Gutierrez, Audit and Assurance Practice Leader Satpal Nagpal and Nonprofit Practice Leader Donella Wilson made Forbes’ list of America’s Top 200 CPAs.

Forbes compiled its list to highlight CPAs who exemplify the highest standards of integrity, expertise and dedication. Editors selected professionals who not only excel in their field but also demonstrate a profound commitment to their clients and industries. This accolade is a testament to the exceptional service GHJ’s partners provide as trusted advisors.

GHJ believes that strong leadership and an unwavering dedication to client service are foundational to its success. By fostering a culture that values growth, innovation and collaborative success, GHJ nurtures a team that thrives on technical excellence and transformative service delivery to #BeMore together. This philosophy has been instrumental in propelling its partners like Tom, Frances, Satpal and Donella to the forefront of their profession.


Tom has distinguished himself through his entrepreneurial approach to leadership in accounting and views every challenge as an opportunity for innovation. His innovative approach to practice management and the ability to adapt strategically have set him apart as a leader not just within GHJ but across the accounting industry.

Tom can regularly be found sharing his knowledge with the accounting industry. He is the current chairman of HLB USA, sits on the Executive Committee of HLB International, is chairman of Loyola Marymount University’s Accounting Advisory Board and is Treasurer for GHJ Foundation, GHJ’s vehicle for purposeful and proactive giving to the community. Tom is also an active member of YPO - Santa Monica Bay, currently serving as Treasurer and as a member of the Executive Committee.

“It is profoundly gratifying to be recognized alongside my esteemed colleagues by Forbes,” said Tom. “At GHJ, our entrepreneurial spirit helps us understand and navigate our clients’ challenges and opportunities. We are proud to serve as strategic partners to our clients, and this recognition from Forbes reinforces the importance of client service that goes beyond traditional accounting work.”


Frances’ forward-thinking and client-focused state and local taxation insights have made her a standout in the field. She is a go-to expert on tax audit controversy, nexus and reporting requirements and various state tax planning initiatives and often shares her expertise through thought leadership. Her role as a mentor and educator enhances her impact and cements her role as a pivotal figure in shaping the future of tax professionals at GHJ.

Frances is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor for the University of North Carolina’s Master of Accounting program and has previously taught courses for UCLA Extension, Strafford Publications and The Knowledge Group. She is currently a Director on the Los Angeles Chapter Board of CalCPA with a focus on partnership and sponsorship initiatives for the accounting industry.

“I am honored by this recognition from Forbes, which reaffirms my commitment to leveraging my expertise not only to serve our clients but also to empower emerging talents within our firm,” Frances said. “My approach has always been to blend deep industry knowledge with a personal commitment to developing the careers of those around me and help them to realize their full potential.”


Satpal has revolutionized GHJ’s Audit and Assurance Practice with his innovative use of technology and commitment to high-quality standards. His leadership is defined by a proactive approach to change and a dedication to enhancing the efficacy and efficiency of audit processes.

In addition to leading one of GHJ’s largest departments, Satpal is known as the Firm’s go-to resource for out-of-the-box solutions. He is always open to embracing new ways of working and encourages his team to collaborate with other departments as well as other Firms to ensure everyone has all resources available.

"GHJ has taken a proactive approach to embracing change and setting new standards in audit and assurance and I am proud to lead a team that continues to innovate," said Satpal. "This recognition is an honor I am proud to accept and dedicate to my team as we explore new ways to work efficiently and effectively."


Donella is a leader in nonprofit accounting, where her expertise and passion for philanthropy drive significant social impact. She also serves as President and Chief Philanthropy Officer of GHJ Foundation. Under her leadership, GHJ’s Nonprofit Practice and GHJ Foundation have seen tremendous growth and success and she has set new standards for how accounting can be leveraged to benefit the broader community.

Donella is a member of the Southern California Grantmakers Audit Committee and Southern California Grantmakers Corporate Leadership Council. She is also on the Board of Directors of Food Forward, a nonprofit organization committed to fighting hunger and food waste, and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Downtown Women’s Center for 13 years.

“Being named in Forbes' list is not only a personal achievement but also a reflection of the critical work we do at GHJ,” Donella stated. “I am proud to work alongside nonprofits who are transforming our world and driving change, and I am proud to deliver value beyond the financial statements to the communities and causes we serve.”

About GHJ

GHJ is a national advisory and accounting firm with employees in nearly 30 states and clients around the world. Our team of experts meet clients where they are and provide personalized service for nonprofit, food and beverage, entertainment and media and health and wellness companies. Ranked as a Top-100 Firm, 7th Fastest-Growing Firm, Top Regional Leader in the West and Best Firm to Work For by Accounting Today, GHJ is passionate about helping clients and its people #BeMore by focusing on building thriving businesses and creating a better future.

Through its affiliation with HLB International, a global network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers, GHJ is able to partner with other top firms around the world. GHJ’s audit, tax and advisory teams leverage the HLB network to partner with its clients and give clients access to member firms in over 157 countries across the globe. GHJ has 21 partners and more than 200 staff members, who serve thousands of clients. The Firm is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the AICPA Governmental Audit Quality Center (GAQC), the California Society of CPAs and the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofit).