About Us

Esther Phahla, CPA, CTS, MST
President & CEO

Esther Phahla is the Founder of Esther N. Phahla, CPA, A Professional Corporation, a Temecula, California, Professional Tax Services Firm. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Tax Strategist (CTS) dedicated to helping small business owners and individuals design an optimal tax strategy to help them keep more of what they earned. Esther holds a Master of Science in Taxation degree from Golden Gate University. She also holds a law degree from South Africa. She has been working in the Tax Field for over 18 years. Esther uses a Close Personal Attention approach in serving her clients because every client’s needs and goals are different. She keeps up to date with tax law changes by taking professional education coursework every year.


  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – California Board of Accountancy
  • Masters of Science in Taxation – Golden Gate University
  • Certified Tax Strategist (CTS) – American Institute of Certified Tax Coaches
  • Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor
  • LLB (Law) – University of South Africa
  • (BProc) Law – University of Kwazulu Natal (FNA: University of Durban Westville), South Africa


  • 2018 Penny Cole Achievement Award, Toastmasters District 12
  • 2016 Woman to Watch: Experienced Leader, CalCPA and AICPA
  • 2016 President’s Distinguished District Director, Toastmasters International District 12
  • 2016 Milestone Award, Toastmasters International Region 10
  • 2014 Lead By Example Firm Leadership Award, American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants (AWSCPA)
  • 2014 Best Selling Co-Author, “Why Didn’t My CPA Tell me THAT”
  • 2014 Excellence in Marketing, Toastmasters International
  • 2014 Spirit Award, Toastmasters International Region 10
  • 2013 Sterling Business of the Year, Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • 2013 “40 Under Forty”, Murrieta Chamber of Commerce
  • 2013 One of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Public Accounting, CPA Practice Advisor
  • 2012 Division Governor of the Year, Toastmasters International District 12
  • 2012 Lydia Boyd Leadership Excellence Team, Toastmasters International District 12
  • 2011 Area Governor of the Year Runner-Up, Toastmasters International District 12
  • Taxation and Estate Planning Merit Award– University of Kwazulu Natal (FNA: University of Durban Westville)
  • First Degree Black Belt by the American Taekwondo Association.


    • California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CALCPA)
    • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
    • American Institute of Certified Tax Coaches (AICTC)
    • CPA Leadership Institute
    • CalState University San Marcos (CSUSM) Foundation – Board of Directors
    • Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce – Board of Directors
    • Rotary Club of Temecula – Speech Contest Chair
    • Rotary Club of Temecula – Past International Service Director
    • Rotary Club of Temecula – Past Programs Chair
    • Toastmasters District 12 – District New Club Mentor Chair/New Club Building
    • Toastmasters District 12 – Statistician
    • Toastmasters International District 12 – 2016-2017 Pathways Learning Experience Ambassador
    • Toastmasters International District 12 – 2015-2016 District Director
    • Toastmasters International District 12 – 2014-2015 Lieutenant Governor Education and Training
    • Toastmasters International District 12 – 2013-2014 Lieutenant Governor Marketing
    • Toastmasters International District 12 – 2011-2012 Division Governor
    • Toastmasters International District 12 – 2010-2011 – Area Governor
    • Susan G. Komen Inland Empire – Past Board of Directors


Esther lives in Temecula with her husband of 23 years and their daughter. She enjoys reading, watching movies, and traveling.