Since 2010, Steve Alpinieri's office has been nestled amid a bunch of high-rise condos at 7575 Eads Ave.
His company name is officially "Steven Alpinieri, CPA, An Accountancy Corporation," and his practice includes individual, corporate, partnership, trust and estate taxes; accounting attest services and consulting. He works in the office with Todd Walsh, who is an accountant/consultant.
Alpinieri said he graduated from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Applied Arts & Sciences Business Administration (accounting). He's been in public accounting since 1997. The Light caught up with him last week to learn more about him.
Have you always lived in La Jolla ?
"I was born in the Bay Area, and originally lived in Los Altos Hills. My parents moved the family to La Jolla in 1984 when my father started an aerospace company called Vantage Associates. I was 13 years old. I remember my first impressions of La Jolla as a quiet beach community. I liked that the ocean was nearby, and it felt like a close-knit community."
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
"From a tax point of view, it's helping people save money. When we're able to find errors or missed deductions and get clients refunds, they immediately see value in our services. There have been several instances where we'e gotten clients refunds of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
From an accounting point of view, my most rewarding part of the job is helping people achieve their goals. A lot of our clients are small business owners. They come to us to get their financial statements prepared (audits, reviews, compilations) or assistance with bookkeeping or QuickBooks.
Most of our clients don't have a full-time staff or they're handling their own accounting. We can come in and help get them the financing they need, help them prepare their business for an exit strategy or a possible merger.
I view my job as an historian. When we join your team, we will report your information correctly, but within the best light the profession will allow. We also like being involved during the entire year with our clients because we can advise them how to plan for the best outcome."
Why did you choose this line or work?
"I worked for my dad back in 1984 when he started his aerospace company. I worked in all areas of the company, but I liked handling the accounting. His company hired an outside CPA firm and I got to know the firm well. I liked the idea that they worked on different clients in different industries.
Ultimately, my dad hired a CPA to be his CFO. The CFO and I became great friends. In the late 1990s, the CFO left the company to join a large local CPA firm. About a year later, I followed suit and worked under this CPA for several years. Later, I worked for and was a partner in a couple of other CPA firms, before forming my own firm in 2010."
Why did you branch out on your own?
"I chose to set up my own firm because I felt I needed to grow from being the technical partner to being both the technical and the rain-making partner."
What sets your company apart from other accounting firms?
"We hold ourselves to a high standard of quality service, and we always meet our clients' deadlines."
Can you share a bit about your home life?
"I have a wife and three children. For fun, I like to hang out with my family and friends. One of my hobbies is saltwater sport fishing. The biggest fish I ever caught was a 222-pound yellow fin tuna. I try to take my kids fishing on a regular basis, and then we go on a long-range trip every year or two."
What's the best advice you ever received?
"That would be: If the job is worth doing, you should give it your all. I really do take this advice in my practice, as I feel we produce high-quality work as an end product."
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
"I have several. First, saving my clients hundreds of thousands of dollars via tax refunds. Second, accomplishing multi-year audits to help clients see their business more clearly or assist them with succession planning. Third, I would say my family."
Your greatest failure?
"I have several things that didn't go as planned, but I would not necessarily call them failures. To me, they were learning experiences."
• Steven Alpinieri can be reached at 7575 Eads Ave., Suite 102 in La Jolla, (858) 230-6610, ext. 101, or sandiegocpasteve.com
— Business Spotlight features commercial enterprises that support La Jolla Light.