Meet James McIlrath

James has been with Grand Strand CPAs since 1987, and he currently serves as our Principal of Small Business Services. As a top CPA in Myrtle Beach, SC, James works hard to make sure small businesses are getting the accounting services they need. His education, background, and service to our community speak volumes about who James is: a dedicated professional and outstanding community member.


One of the things that makes James uniquely well-rounded is his experience in a variety of places along the East Coast. Starting at Pennsylvania State University, James earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting, and chased the sunshine down to Florida as the Assistant Controller of ACE Auto Parts, Inc., in St. Petersburg, Florida. After coming to work with us as Grand Strand CPAs, James worked to receive a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.

James certainly puts his education to work for small businesses, and he continuously works to improve his knowledge of accounting for small businesses. He completed the Tax Planning and Advising for Closely Held Businesses Certificate of Educational Achievement Program through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He has also served on a variety of committees as both member and chairman for the South Carolina Association of CPAs, including the Membership; Continuing Professional Education; Management Advisory Services/Personal Financial Planning; and Management Advisory Services/Technical Information Committees.

In addition to maintaining professional excellence through training and service, James gives his time to the local community. He served as 2008-09 Governor of South Carolina District of Civitan International, an organization that works to connect volunteers with opportunities to serve in local communities. He was also the Scoutmaster of the Pee Dee Area Council’s 2010 National Jamboree Contingent. Other organizations have enjoyed James’s selfless service, including the Myrtle Beach Civitan Club, Cub Scout Pack/Boy Scout Troop 850, the Pee Dee Area Council, Waccamaw Youth Center, South Carolina and Horry County Special Olympics, and the United Way of Horry County. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of James’s work in the Myrtle Beach community!

When James isn’t tirelessly giving his time, you might see him and his wife Karen at St. Philip Lutheran Church. James and Karen married the same year he joined our firm, and since then, their family has grown with the addition of their daughter, Heather, and their two sons, CJ and Ian.

As his service record shows, James is a huge proponent of the community, which is a big part of why he’s a superb Principal of Small Business Services at Grand Strand CPAs. He knows how important small businesses are to local life, and you’ll certainly be in good hands with him. As one of the top CPAs in Myrtle Beach, SC, James is a community member you can trust.