Debbie Bolar, CPA

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Meet Debbie

Debbie specializes in serving high net worth individuals and their related entities. She provides expertise in the taxation of individuals, irrevocable trusts, charitable trusts, private foundations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and closely held corporations. She is a recognized expert in fiduciary income tax, estate tax, gift tax, and generation skipping tax, and she works with the top estate attorneys in Orange County on estate planning matters and post-death estate and trust administration.

She began her career with Deloitte, where she was the firm’s lead specialist in estate and trust taxation in the Southern California area. She joined Armanino from Bolar Hirsch & Jennings LLP.

Debbie is certified as an estate planning specialist by the California CPA Education Foundation and is a member of the Orange County chapter of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), the Orange County Estate Planning Council, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. She is a member of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund of the Orange County United Way and also serves on the advisory board of the Salvation Army Orange County. She has an M.S. in Business Administration from the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California Los Angeles, and she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA with a B.A. in Economics.

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Professional History


  • Bolar Hirsch & Jennings
  • Deloitte LLP


  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • California Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Orange County Estate Planning Council
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)


  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • UCLA Anderson School of Management


  • Advisory Board of the Salvation Army of Orange County
  • Member of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund of the Orange County United Way


Q. What is it about accounting and consulting that first drew your interest?
After taking a couple of accounting classes at UCLA, I found I really liked it and realized accounting might be a great career path for me. When I started at Deloitte in the tax department, I was initially assigned to the Estate and Trust team. Working on those projects really sparked my interest in the area, which has continued throughout my career.
Q. Make a prediction; describe your vision of the future of the general business environment.
Technology is rapidly overtaking the more mundane tasks in the accounting and tax industries, so it’s going to be imperative to develop strong specialization and accounting skills that go beyond the numbers and bring an essential add-value to our clients.
Q. What’s your proudest moment?
I’m most proud when I spend time with my two children, their spouses and my 2-year-old grandson who calls me Tutu, which means “grandmother” in Hawaiian.
Q. Who is (or was) the most influential person in your life
Q. If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to aspiring accountants or consultants, what would that be?
It’s often easy to get lost in the numbers and spreadsheets – the grunt work – so when you reach that point, take a step back and examine the details to understand the bigger picture. Try to learn more about your client’s business and what you can do for them in order to be the very best trusted advisor you can be.
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