We exist to be a guide to emerging small businesses by promoting their growth and well-being through better understanding of their financial past, present and future.

About Arete Partners

Arete is the Greek term for “Excellence.” Our driving force is to be our clients’ “Partner in Excellence.” Our team brings a combined experience of over 25 years serving the business community in many capacities. Our network of attorneys, marketing experts, banking and finance professionals, and IT personnel will enable us to truly be our clients’ “trusted adviser.”

Our objective with each client is to earn the position of trusted advisor while working within our core accounting and tax services. The Arete team approach enables us to provide a wealth of experience and knowledge in each engagement. Our goal is to always exceed expectations.

Our mission is to provide superior service and value added solutions that enhance our clients’ success, inspire our team to do extraordinary work, and positively impact our community.

New Orleans Accountants

About Our Founders

About James Mendez
James A. Mendez, CPA

James is the managing member of Arete Partners. He has been serving in this role since the firm’s founding in 2011. Through Arete Partners, James primarily works with small business owners, entrepreneurs, and many other professionals in a variety of industries. Overall, he works with his clients through business coaching, serving as a virtual CFO, and providing tax and accounting services.

James attended the University of Phoenix where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. Before starting his firm, he worked in a management position with a 40 person regional CPA firm. During his 16 year tenure, he oversaw the small business services area of the practice. It was here that he discovered his passion for the entrepreneurial spirit and realized a genuine need of many small business owners for the right mentors and advisors, but at an affordable cost.

Furthermore, James is active within his industry. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Louisiana State Society of CPAs.He has also served on the boards of the New Orleans Chapter of Association for Corporate Growth and the New Orleans Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Additionally, he has taught on subjects such as business budgets and forecasts as well as business accounting and QuickBooks. Most recently, James is a proud graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.

Headshot of Kerri Lally
Kerri Lally

Kerri, a founding member, serves as a managing member with Arete Partners. She works with many businesses and individuals in various areas such as accounting, consulting, tax planning, and payroll tax preparation. She is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor and as such works with our business clients in setting up and maintaining their QuickBooks accounting systems.

Kerri graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. After graduation, she worked for several years with a local CPA firm where she specialized in financial statement auditing and tax preparation. She later moved on to work for one of the country’s largest privately held liquor distributors within their accounting operation.

Kerri continued to excel in her career when she joined one of the area’s largest contractors, serving as the assistant controller. After a few years, she decided that it was time to return to public accounting. Upon rejoining the CPA firm where she started, she picked up her role as a financial statement auditor and tax preparer. Additionally, Kerri has served on the Board for the American Marketing Association and as a treasury to various non-profit organizations.

Through these experiences, Kerri has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and skills that continue to serve our clients well. As a business owner herself, she brings a unique perspective to women-owned businesses.