Partner

Mike Jennings, CPA

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Bio

Meet Mike

Mike has more than 35 years of experience in taxation. Prior to Armanino, he was with Deloitte, and was that firm’s top national expert in the area of passive activity loss rules and its leading technical resource in the taxation of real estate, partnerships, and limited liability companies. He continued those specialties at Bolar, Hirsch & Jennings and now at Armanino.

He has co-authored, with Dan Bolar, three books on taxation. Passive Activity Loss Rules-Analysis, Compliance and Planning was the first comprehensive treatise on the passive activity loss limitations. Federal Income Taxation of Passive Activities is currently recognized nationally as the leading treatise on passive activity loss limitations. Their third book, Partnership Federal and State Income Tax Reporting, is a comprehensive guide to the numerous reporting requirements of the federal government and of all 50 states for businesses that operate as partnerships or LLC’s. Mike has also published numerous articles on taxation and has been a speaker and seminar leader at dozens of tax and accounting functions across the country, including the NYU and University of North Carolina Tax Institutes, the AICPA National Tax Conference, and California Society of CPAs conferences.

Mike’s clients include some of Orange County’s largest real estate developers, owners and operators. He has helped guide his clients through the sales and exchanges of large portfolios, as well as the sales of complex businesses.

Mike has a Master of Science degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Idaho. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is also licensed in the state of California as a Life Agent and an Investment Adviser.

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Experience

Professional History

Associations

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

Education

  • Golden Gate University
  • University of Idaho

Experience

  • Bolar Hirsch & Jennings
  • Deloitte LLP

Honors/Awards

  • Elijah Watt Sells Award winner for one of the top CPA exam scores in the nation.
Q&A
Q. Make a prediction, describe your vision of the business future.
Many important business decisions revolve around tax laws and tax rates. There’s a lot in flux right now – federal rates recently came down, but many politicians are campaigning to raise them again. Given the uncertainty of the political climate around taxes, it’s important for our clients to find ways to minimize their taxes.Some of them are considering converting to a Subchapter C-corporation or moving to states with low or no income taxes.
Q. Describe your work style.
Calm. When the deadlines approach and people are feeling the pressure, I try to stay in the calm eye of the storm by getting more focused and trying to bring a sense of calm to the team.
Q. What’s your proudest moment?
Marrying my wife, Lynn.
Q. If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to aspiring accountants or consultants, what would that be?
Don’t think that you know things that you don’t know!
Q. Who is (or was) the most influential person in your life
Socrates is one of my personal heroes. He always taught that a wise man understands what he does not know. I’ve applied that wisdom to my life and it’s been a key ingredient to my success. When I’m faced with a problem, I first identify what I know and what I don’t know. Then I set about learning all I can before I make a decision or deliver an analysis.
My personal mentor was somebody I worked for at Deloitte, my first accounting job. He taught me how to be a good tax professional, to research thoroughly and to focus on the importance of writing well. Years after I left, he ended up being a client. Sadly, he passed away in 2019 – but he will forever be a major influence on how I approach public accounting.
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