About US

Principal Bio


J. Richard Claywell has built a reputation for integrity and for providing key solutions since 1985, for clients in the legal and business communities and private individuals. In addition to specializing in Business Valuation and Forensic Accounting in the greater Houston area, Mr. Claywell has taught at various educational institutes and universities, and has been published in several publications.

Our Team

Ngoc Hanh Ta

Valuation Analyst

Ngoc Hanh Ta joined J. Richard Claywell, CPA as a Valuation Analyst in April 2007. Ngoc Hanh provides analyses in various financial engagements, including business valuations, litigation matters, and forensic accounting matters.

Ngoc Hanh holds a Certified Valuation Analyst from the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA), a Certified Business Appraiser original from the Institute of Business Appraisers (IBA), later in 2008 NACVA acquired the assets of the IBA and continued to support and promulgate the CBA credential to the valuation community, and a Master of Business Administration, concentration in Finance from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

In addition, Ngoc Hanh can communicate in Vietnamese language to help clients who need Vietnamese language besides English.

Ngoc Hanh draws inspiration from Mr. J. Richard Claywell, CPA quote, “Doing the right things and you can support them can make a big difference.”  Ngoc Hanh strives to apply this philosophy in her everyday life and in any challenge she faces.

Mason NeSmith

Valuation Analyst

Mason NeSmith is a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Lamar University in Beaumont, TX.

Mason has worked on several Business Valuations for Litigation purposes,  used Forensic Accounting methods to investigate potential fraudulent activities, and Traced separate property claims for divorces – including tracing international funds in a 20+ year marriage.

Mason has been with J. Richard Claywell, CPA since December 2021.


CPA: Certified Public Accountant

In order to become a CPA, there are education and experience requirements and a Uniform CPA Exam that you must pass. CPAs continue to maintain and update their skills through continuing education.

ABV: Accredited In Business Valuation

A professional designation awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to CPAs who are also business valuation service providers.

ASA: Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA-Business Valuation)

The American Society of Appraisers is a world renowned and respected international organization devoted to the appraisal profession. ASA is the oldest and only major appraisal organization designating members in all appraisal specialties.

CBA: Certified Business Appraiser

This accreditation is available to those members of The Institute of Business Appraisers who are able to demonstrate that they have attained a high level of professional competence and conduct.

ICVS: International Certified Valuation Specialist

ICVS is the typical valuation certification for this part of the world since it focuses on the valuation of privately held companies that is the dominant kind of companies. These companies are demanding valuations for buyouts, mergers, and acquisitions or different reasons.

CVA: Certified Valuation Analyst

The CVA is an elite accreditation provided by the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA) for CPAs who are the most qualified professionals to provide business valuation services. It requires successfully completing a rigorous training and testing process.

MAFF: Master Analyst in Financial Forensics

Issued by the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA), the MAFF designation requires education or credentials, work experience, professional references, specialized training, an 8-hour exam and ongoing education.

CFD: Certified in Fraud Deterrence

A designation from The Financial Forensics Institute, a division of the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA), given to professionals who have met educational or work experience standards and have passed a comprehensive exam on fraud deterrence theory and concepts.

ABAR: Accredited in Business Appraisal Review

The ABAR designation is the valuation profession’s only credential certifying competence in the review of business appraisal reports. The ABAR credential is specially designed for business valuators whose work involves the review of valuation reports and analysis performed by others.


CVGA: Certified Value Growth Advisor

This designation is issued by Corporate Value Metrics LLC (CVM) to licensees of the VOP Platform who have satisfied CVM’s criteria of professional standards in business operations and financial advisory.

Professional Qualifications

Master’s in Business Valuation-2021

International Certified Valuation Specialist with Advanced Studies in Financial Instruments-2021

Certified Value Growth Advisor – 2016

Accredited in Business Appraisal Review – 2010

Accredited Senior Appraiser – 2010

Certified Business Appraiser – 2010

International Certified Valuation Specialist – 2009

Master Financial Forensic Analyst – 2007

Accredited in Business Valuations – 2006

Certified in Fraud Deterrence – 2004

Certified Valuation Analyst – 1994

Certified Public Accountant – State of Texas – 1983

BS University of Houston – 1979


Braywell Group, international business valuation group

Teaching (Partial List)

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Instructor for the Certificate of Educational Achievement in Business Valuations

National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts 
Numerous courses throughout the U.S. since 1994

Center for Professional Education
Eight hour continuing education on Valuation of Closely Held Companies and Partnerships

University of Houston School of Law
Guest Lecturer on Business Valuations

University of Houston Clear Lake
Family Law for Non Attorneys, Business Valuations Physicians MBA Program, Valuing Medical Practices

International Teaching
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National Business Institute
Tax Aspects of Divorce in Texas (Valuation of Closely Held Business Asset)

College of the Mainland
Office Accounting, Accounting Principles, Managerial Finance, Business Mathematics, Beginning Lotus 1-2-3, Advanced Lotus 1-2-3, Quarterly Payroll Tax Reporting, How to Value the Business You are Buying or Selling

San Jacinto Junior College
Office Accounting, Accounting Principles,
Beginning Lotus 1-2-3

Professional Services in Houston, TX and Beyond

Business Valuations; Business Damage; Tracing; Acquisition Consulting; Appraisals; Exit Planning; Bankruptcy; Breach of Contract/Warranty; Business Interruption; Adequacy of Life Insurance; Buying or Selling a Business; Common Stock, Voting/Nonvoting; Computer Software; Copyrights; Review of Other Experts’ Reports; Customer and Client Lists; Dissenting Minority Shareholder Issues; Divorce (Equitable distribution); Due Diligence; ESOPs; Estate Planning; Family Limited Partnerships; Gift and Estate Tax Valuations; Going Private; Goodwill and Intangible Asset Impairment; Intangible Asset Appraisals, Intellectual Property, Lost Profits, Malpractice, Mergers and Acquisitions; Options and Restricted Securities; Patent, both product and process; Physician Buy-In to Medical Practices; Purchase Price Allocation; Reasonable Officer Compensation; Succession Planning; Expert Testimony.

Responsible for all National Association of Certified Valuation Analysis (NACVA) software development from 2002 through 2013. Richard served two years as Chairman of the Government Valuation Analyst Board. This board oversaw the IRS certification for the GVA business valuation designation.


American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants
Houston Chapter of Certified Public Accountants
Institute of Business Appraisers
National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts
Certified Valuation Analysts Texas Chapter
American Society of Appraisers
International Association of Consultants Valuators and Analysts, Director of Education, Board of Directors

Books Published

Contributing author to the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts
Fundamentals Theory Techniques training materials, 2003

Capitalization and Discount Rates: The Value of Risk, an Advanced Course, Co-Author with William H. Hanlin, published by the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts, 2001

Business Valuation Strategies, Co-Author with Practice Development Institute, Chicago, IL, 1999

Software Developed

Responsible for all National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts software development, 2002.

Designed Business Valuation Manager Pro, marketed through the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts and Wiley ValuSource.

Designed Business Valuation Quality Control Editor, marketed through the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts.

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