Brad Cless, CPA

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Meet Brad

Brad is the head of Armanino’s tax department. He graduated from UC San Diego with a major in economics and minor in chemistry. Subsequent to his undergraduate studies, he took graduate classes in tax accounting at San Diego State University. Brad started his career in 1986 with Arthur Young and has been with Armanino since 1990. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Brad has extensive expertise in consumer business/retail healthcare, manufacturing, real estate, construction and estate planning taxation.

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Professional History


  • Armanino LLP
  • Arthur Young LLP


  • California Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants


  • San Diego State University


Q.What is it about accounting and consulting that first drew your interest?

It's very creative, like art. Most accountants just look at the numbers but you can take it to a much higher level. Numbers are only a small part of what we do. Every day is different and what draws me to this profession is working with people, giving them helpful advice, and providing solutions to financial challenges.

Q.Describe your most memorable Armanino moment.

I have so many. Our goal of making it to April 15th makes every tax season memorable.

Q.Tell us about your favorite client and why you enjoy working with them.All of them are my favorites.

A client once asked me if I provided the same level of service to all my clients. The answer was yes. I've been able to build a practice because whether clients are big or small, I do my best to help each of them.

Q.What nugget of wisdom would you offer aspiring accountants?

This is a profession that pays generous dividends—personally, professionally, and financially—over time, and affords you control over your destiny. It's not like working at a corporation. At Armanino, you can be as successful as you want to be by developing strong technical skills and building solid relationships. People think that accounting is all about numbers and it's not. How you get to the numbers and what's behind them is where you find the real fun.

Q.What's the toughest business decision that you've ever made?

Advising a client who's struggling that it's time to pull the plug. The timing has to be right – not too early and not too late. It's really a difficult decision to have to make because their business is their passion. You always hate to see it happen.

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Industries Served
Brad's Thought Leadership
Blog articles
Same-sex married couples can take advantage of numerous tax benefits.

September 13, 2022
Blog articles
Consider a change in accounting method if your average gross receipts are $25M or less as of January 1, 2018.
Blog articles
As you implement 2019 year-end tax planning strategies, be sure to take these 2020 cost-of-living amounts into consider...