James Kasim

Winning Financial Professional

About James Kasim

Results-driven financial executive James Kasim, MBA, applies his corporate finance and accounting experience in the financial services sector and his background as a chief financial officer (CFO) of publicly and privately held real estate companies.

An award-winning professional, James Kasim earned an undergraduate degree in business from California State University, Northridge, and his master’s degree from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. After completing his undergraduate education, he began his career as an accountant at Kenneth Leventhal & Company and Ernst & Young LLP. During his 11 years with the company’s Los Angeles office, James Kasim served as a senior manager of the Real Estate and Hospitality Group as well as the Retail, Distribution, and Consumer Products Group. In 1998, he was honored with an outstanding achievement award by the Ernst & Young Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group. A certified public accountant and certified management accountant, he actively participates in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and in other professional groups.

James Kasim spends his free time with his family. He also enjoys outdoor activities, including road bicycling.

USC Lusk Center for Real Estate Publishes Findings on Rising LA Rent

James Kasim, CPA, is a senior finance executive with over two decades of experience in all aspects of tax reporting and acquisitions. Prior to developing his career in the private sector, James Kasim worked for his alma mater as a graduate instructor for the USC Lusk Center Real Estate Development program.

As a cornerstone research center connecting USC students with the Southern California real estate market, the Lusk Center for Real Estate is at the forefront of changes in the financial landscape. While the recent downturn in the housing market has dampened rental increases in the Los Angeles region, recent findings by Lusk researchers indicate that prospective renters may be better off locking in their rates sooner rather than later.

Property prices in the Los Angeles region have famously outpaced income growth in the region for the past several years, and according to a 2014 report from the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, the trend will only continue throughout the next year. Although rent has only increased by 3 to 4 percent through 2014, the rate of inflation is expected to more than double at a rate of 8.2 percent by 2016. In other words, the average rent will jump from $1,716 to $1,856 per month. In Orange County and Inland Empire, rates are similarly projected to spike 8.6 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively, making average rent in those areas $1,806 per month and $1,246 per month.

Common Career Paths for Certified Public Accountants

An accomplished financial executive with many years of experience in accounting, James Kasim has served in various executive capacities in the corporate finance and commercial real estate industry. In addition, for more than 20 years, James Kasim has worked as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of California.

While many CPAs naturally pursue careers in accounting and finance, there are many other potential career paths for CPAs in the United States as well. Within the field of public accounting itself, CPAs can choose to work for companies of many different sizes, ranging from small local accounting firms to some of the largest corporations in the world.

In business and industry, CPAs often apply their talents in areas such as financial analysis, financial accounting and reporting, treasury and cash management, and management accounting. In many cases, CPAs represent a valuable resource for financial forensics and business valuation, as well as IT consulting and personal financial planning. Nonprofit and educational organizations also welcome CPAs in many different capacities.

Three Benefits of an AICPA Membership

James Kasim possesses years of experience as a financial executive within the commercial real estate sector and is a current member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). When professionals like James Kasim join AICPA, they become eligible to receive a number benefits, including:

--Enhanced networking capabilities. Membership into AICPA allows CPAs to meet like-minded professionals through sponsored conferences, volunteer committees, and resource panels. Joining the group brings together business networks by gathering industry professionals in pursuit of common goals.

--Group advocacy. AICPA is committed to protecting the professional interests of its members on a political level. Membership helps CPAs stay aware of trends in government legislation that can affect the way they perform their jobs and connects groups of CPAs who act as one voice to make their opinions on relevant matters known.

--Professional development. CPAs who become AICPA members gain access to over 300 online conferences, events, and independent-study courses, as well as Web-based courses designed to help them keep current on their compliance and competency requirements. Additional developmental benefits include exclusive job search tools, work-life balance services, and resources that educate members on CPA ethics.

ERP Systems Improve Company Performance

A California certified public accountant (CPA), James Kasim brings more than two decades of financial leadership experience to the various executive level positions he has held with commercial real estate companies. James Kasim has experience in implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that have succeeded in streamlining operational reporting and strengthening internal controls.

ERP systems compile data ranging from sales records to financial transactions in order to improve business processes. The system yields greater efficiency by giving company leaders the information necessary for planning employee workload.

Companies can integrate an ERP system that captures data from all areas of their operations. Doing so helps automate business processes that ensure necessary tasks are being completed, thus allowing a company to progress with reduced susceptibility to human error. In the same respect, the system removes duplication of tasks and helps employees more effectively work toward enhancing company performance. Because the technology houses all its information in a single location, executives and managers can produce comprehensive financial reports directly from the software in order to evaluate company performance.

How to Become a CPA in California

James Kasim serves as a corporate finance and capital markets executive with a commercial real estate company in Southern California. With more than 20 years of financial experience, James Kasim started his career in public accounting and grew to become a leading certified public accountant (CPA) in the Southern California area.

Becoming a CPA takes many years and a significant amount of hard work. Follow the steps below to earn a CPA license in California.

1. Complete your formal education. The state of California requires that CPA candidates hold at least a BA in accounting or a related field. In some cases, it may be necessary to take extra classes or pursue a higher-level degree to accrue the required 150 semester hours.

2. Prepare for and pass the Uniform CPA Exam. You will need to have your college transcript sent to the California Board of Accountancy. Register online, complete the necessary paperwork, and submit your application and fee. After your paperwork and application have been received and approved, you will be able to take the examination in one of eight cities in California.

3. Gain practical experience. You will need to demonstrate proof of one full year of general accounting experience as well as 500 hours of experience performing attest functions.

4. When you have met these requirements, apply for your CPA license.

MBA Students at USC Marshall School of Business Win Award for Charity

Real estate investment professional James Kasim has more than 20 years of executive leadership experience in the finance industry. Prior to building his career in finance and real estate investment, James Kasim attended the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, from which he earned his MBA with honors.


In February 2016, the Marshall School of Business earned its second consecutive US President’s Volunteer Service Award for the charitable work performed by its MBA students between 2014 and 2015. Sponsored by the Corporation for National & Community Service and the nonprofit Points of Light, the award can be given to individuals, families, or groups of people who are lawful American residents, who have donated volunteer hours without any form of compensation, and whose services were approved by a recognized certifying organization.

For contributing more than 5,000 hours’ worth of volunteer work in a 12-month period, USC Marshall achieved the bronze level award, the same level achieved by organizations such as JP Morgan Chase and Microsoft. USC Marshall was honored along with 59 other organizations by the group Junior Achievement USA in March at a New York City ceremony.

A Snapshot of the Ernst & Young/Kenneth Leventhal Merger

As a senior finance and operations executive residing in Southern California, James Kasim holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge, and a master’s from University of Southern California with an emphasis in accounting and business. Certified as an accountant to serve in the State of California since 1994, James Kasim was awarded the outstanding achievement award by the Ernst & Young Kenneth Leventhal Group when he acted as senior manager at the Los Angeles-based company.

Ernst & Young, known as one of the country’s largest accounting firms, merged with Kenneth Leventhal & Company in 1995. Kenneth Leventhal, a boutique accounting and consulting firm concentrated in real estate, brought in revenues of around $195 million. Together, the firms kept 1,825 partners with a total revenue of over $2 billion.

Kenneth Leventhal passed away in 2012 at the age of 91 and was known as a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and businessman. He led a fundraising effort for USC which collected over $2.85 billion, one of the most successful endeavors for higher education.

Core Learning at the USC Marshall School of Business

James Kasim, also known as Jim, is a proficient CPA who currently serves as a chief financial officer and treasurer in the real estate sector. In addition, James Kasim holds an MBA from the University of Southern California, where he graduated with honors from the Marshall School of Business.

The Marshall School of Business was originally founded in 1920 as the College of Commerce and Business Administration. The school, which emphasizes entrepreneurship, innovation, research, and social responsibility, is AACSB-accredited and maintains an alumni network that is 70,000 strong.

The MBA program at the school focuses on a combination of in-class study and real world experience. In addition to studying accounting, data analysis, operations management, business strategy, marketing, communications, and finance basics, students participate in a seven-week-long consulting internship. Students also participate in global business coursework that includes a ten-day, real-world learning experience abroad, referred to as PRIME International Experiential Learning.

USC Marshall’s MBA Program: The Student Experience

California CPA James Kasim has honed his skills in business leadership and accounting for over 20 years. In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree in accounting from California State University, James Kasim also graduated with honors from the University of Southern California MBA program.


The USC MBA program falls within the scope of the Marshall School of Business, which offers students an innovative and research-focused academic environment centered in the thriving economic hub of downtown Los Angeles. USC Marshall ranked 25th in Bloomberg Businessweek’s ranking of full-time MBA programs, while the school also came in at number three on Forbes’ list of The Most Satisfied Business School Graduates.

The USC Marshall full-time MBA program affords students numerous opportunities to hone their business acumen, explore new facets of the business world, and network with other promising professionals. Students expand their capacity for problem solving and innovation through both internal and external case competitions, and have the opportunity to pursue full-time internships with such prominent firms as eBay, GE, Ernst & Young, and Apple.

Students and graduates of the USC Marshall MBA program also benefit from the support of a robust alumni network. Comprising over 375,000 members around the world, the group earned distinction from The Economist as one of the top ten business school alumni networks.

When speaking about their experience, Marshall MBA grads have praised the passion and dedication of the school’s faculty, its equally collaborative and competitive environment, and the strength and diversity of its community, all of which combine to create a truly enriching professional development experience.

Career Paths for Certified Public Accountants

James “Jim” Kasim took up business administration as a student at California State University, Northridge. Pursuing a career in finance, James Kasim also became a CPA and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

CPAs have a variety of career options from which they can choose. According to AICPA, there are five common career paths for CPAs: public accounting, academia, corporate accounting, government, and non-profit.

Positions for CPAs in public accounting include staff auditor, tax senior, and consulting manager, serving clients in an advisory capacity. Meanwhile, CPAs employed by federal, state, or local governments are tasked with evaluating the efficiency and performance of various government units.

Career opportunities for CPAs in corporate accounting are offered by family-owned businesses or major companies such as Fortune 500 firms. In these settings, CPAs serve as strategic business partners.

In academia, CPAs can also work as accounting educators, teaching courses on business administration or accountancy in colleges and universities. Non-profit organizations employ CPAs to address tax problems and implement internal control systems.

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