James V. Godsey, CPA


James V. Godsey, CPA and Accountant Los AngelesOver 30 years’ experience in governmental auditing, training, accounting and management services. Areas of expertise include state and local governmental auditing, forensic audits, fraud audits, management audits and audits in compliance with the Single Audit Act. Jim has been asked and is currently serving on the AICPA’s working group to assist in the preparation of the second edition of the risk assessment audit guide.

Professional Associations and Leadership.

Advisor to the Fiscal Standards and Accountability Committee for the California Community Colleges
Member of the Board and Past President, National Association Job Training Assistance (NAJA)
Advisor to the Board of Directors, Civic Center Chapter of the Association of Government Accountants
Advisor to the Board of Directors, LAMAAA
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
California Society of Certified Public Accountants


George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
Bachelor of Science, Business Administration


Why are you passionate about public accounting?
It comes down to recognition and a sense of accomplishment. Public accounting is a noble profession; we are protecting the users of our clients’ financial statements, and I find that extremely fulfilling. For me personally, the acknowledgement I get for being a CPA and Partner in an exciting, growing firm is huge. I am in an optimal situation – MGO has the close relationships and flexibility of a small firm, allowing us to impact the process as individuals, and it also has the national “big player” element whereby we meet with organizations that are industry leaders and help set the standards for our profession.

Why do you like working at MGO?
It’s about the premier clients. There are many examples, but one that comes to mind is working with one of the largest cities in the world in implementing the GASB 34 changes that essentially revolutionized governmental accounting. When some of our state’s most influential people introduce me as the expert, it makes all the hard work worthwhile. Knowing that I helped them move smoothly through a huge transition is a constant source of pride.

Describe a favorite client or client story.
Recently I received a phone call on a Saturday from a prominent city official who was experiencing pressure from all sides in negotiating an approach to prior unresolved accounting issues affecting the City. I was able to meet with the officials to provide a level of comfort on their options and work through it in a meaningful way. While there were no great epiphanies that came out of the meeting, I felt I was able to put matters in perspective and help ease some pressure for a very important public figure.

What qualities do you look for in job applicants?
Honesty and integrity are the essence of our profession. I look for a sense of disquiet – almost trepidation – about the magnitude of the complexity and importance of the role that our profession plays in society. I seek candidates who are talented and have a sense of who they are, but also share a sense of awe about how big the world is and all of its uncharted waters.

Who are you outside the office?
I value challenge and family. I’m always looking for a challenge, from home projects to golf to self improvement. The biggest value of all in my life is family values – I am gratified by and enjoy watching my family demonstrate these same values in their own lives. Many of my family members are educators, which makes me proud.