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Michelle Ausburn is a partner in the assurance services practice group of BPM. Her area of expertise is GAAP-compliant financial accounting and reporting. She serves middle-market, privately-held, family owner-managed, and institutionally owned businesses and publicly held companies mostly within the California wine industry. She has experience working with companies in the start-up phase through ownership transition, including IPO. In addition to providing traditional audit and review services, she offers guidance in the areas of business combinations, consolidations, lease accounting, inventory valuation, revenue recognition, and evaluation of internal control. She also has over 15 years of experience in the area of audits of employee benefit plans and serves over 20 employee benefit plan clients.
Ausburn holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from Saint Mary’s College of California. Her professional affiliations include service as a member of the AICPA and CalCPA and board member of the North Bay Leadership Council Awards. In 2014 she was named to North Bay Business Journal’s Top Women in Business, and in 2010 she received North Bay Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 award. Ausburn is a fifth-generation Californian. She was born and raised in the agricultural community of the Central Coast where her great grandparents were cattle ranchers.
Cameron L. Hess, CPA, Esq. is a partner with Wagner Kirkman Blaine Klomparens & Youmans LLP and practices in the transaction department in the areas of taxation and business law. A CPA, formerly practicing with the international accounting firm of KPMG, Hess’ practice includes entity formation (limited liability companies, family limited partnerships, nonprofit organizations and other) and state and local tax controversies (sales tax, franchise tax and property tax). Hess has over 25 years of experience in representing a diversity of industries and closely held businesses in real estate, construction, manufacturing and services. In real estate law, Hess handles negotiations and contracting for real estate acquisitions, financing, development and syndication, including community association development and loan opinions. His clients include both investment groups and builders/developers in commercial, multifamily and residential developments. Hess has handled among the largest Sacramento area real estate home builder/developer acquisitions. He has chaired the CalCPA Sacramento Chapter’s Real Estate Committee for 25 years, and its annual real estate conference for 14 years. Hess is a past chair for the Cal CPA Education Foundation’s Real Estate Conference and continues on the TAXI Conference as a planning committee member.
In business law, Hess represents closely held business owners with business transactions, including contracts, acquisitions, financing and sales. He has served has counsel for Sacramento area manufacturers, fabricators, medical, accountants/financial, including formation, mergers, sales and succession planning. His practice emphasizes the use of pass-through entities, including partnerships, limited liability partnerships and limited liability companies. In nonprofit law/planned giving, Hess represents nonprofit entities with respect to nonprofit formation, administration and fund raising. He advises local and statewide nonprofits in formation, board management, affiliation, planned giving and unrelated business income tax, and planned giving. Hess has lectured extensively, including before the Nonprofit Resource Center and the CalCPA Nonprofit Committee. In federal and state taxation law, Hess handles federal and state tax controversy representation, including audits, appeals and Tax Court representation. His representation has included manufacturers, real estate, general businesses (reasonable compensation, character of gain, debt relief income, independent contractor), and individuals. His complex tax cases have included reconstruction of foreign business records, Section 1031 multi-property exchanges, and janitorial, and examples of tax controversies include employment, unitary/combined reporting issues, real and personal properties tax appeals, sales taxes and local business taxes. Hess has been successful in obtaining significant property tax reductions on a number of major properties. While with KPMG in Los Angeles, Hess was a manager and participated in the start-up of its state and local tax practice. In estate planning law, Hess represents high net worth individuals with estate planning, focusing on succession planning, irrevocable trusts (life insurance, charitable, granter retained annuity/unitrusts), and family limited partnerships/LLCs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration (accounting) from the University of California, Berkeley in 1980 and his juris doctor and master of business taxation degrees from the University of Southern California in 1983.
Hess has written/presented over 200 articles over the past 30 years, including before local, state and national conferences and webinars. His publications include Spidell’s California Taxletter (past columnist, contributing writer), CCH Taxes (1984), The Tax Executive (1986), The California Constructor (1991), SVAA Rental Property Management, and Los Angeles Lawyer. He has served as an instructor at Cosumnes River College (adjunct, intermediate taxation); U.C. Davis’ CFP Program (adjunct instructor, taxation, 1998-2004); State Bar of California; CalCPA Education Foundation; Strafford Seminars; CSEA; ISTC; SCA; Lorman Education Services; National Business Institute; Nonprofit Resource Center (Sacramento); and the Strafford Group. His admissions to practice include the State Bar of California, 1984; U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, 1984; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, 1984; U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1991; U.S. Tax Court, 1991. He became a Certified Public Accountant in 1988.