Peter Klinger


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Meet Peter

Peter has more than 25 years of experience in the compensation and benefits arena, with areas of focus including accounting, income tax and plan design. He consults with businesses on issues as varied as reviewing W-2 forms and fringe benefits to equity compensation and creating 401(k) plans.

A member of the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals, Peter holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami and received certification as an investment management analyst from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business.

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Professional History



  • Ernst & Young LLP

  • Circle Consulting Group


  • National Association of Stock Plan Professionals (NASPP)


  • University of Miami

  • University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School

Speaking Engagements

  • FEI
  • TEI


Q. What was it that drew you to Armanino?
Armanino is in growth mode, and being a part of that was very appealing to me. One of my specialties is equity compensation, and by joining Armanino, I'm able to be a trusted advisor to high-growth startups and large public and private companies who need help navigating the accounting, tax and payroll issues that come along with offering those types of compensation to their employees.
Q. Make a prediction, describe your vision of the business future.
Tax reform in 2017 added increased complexity to the compensation space, and I expect the regulatory environment for compensation issues to follow suit. Executive pay is in flux right now because of changes to tax law and public opinion. For example, 162(m) is a rule that limits the deduction that a corporation can take for pay to executives. There was an exception in the rule for performance pay, but tax reform eliminated that exception going forward. Certain types of compensation plans were designed around the performance pay exception, so this will significantly impact how companies compensate their executives. New norms for each industry are going to need to be established, and I think we'll see an overhaul in compensation strategy over the next few years.
Q. What is the toughest decision you have ever made?
I grew up in New York, and leaving my family to come out west was an extremely difficult decision. I didn't know anyone in California apart from a handful of colleagues. It was a big risk, but it has definitely paid off. For the businesses I serve, Silicon Valley is the epicenter of the world. And the skiing out here is better, too!
Q. Without naming names, tell us about your favorite client and why you enjoyed working with them.
I had a client that was a public company that got dragged into the stock option back-dating fiasco. They got audited by the IRS and reviewed by the SEC, and had to do a lot of explaining to their shareholders. There were significant internal fixes that they needed to make, and they had to bring on specialists like myself. There were so many different aspects to it, that it was kind of like being a trauma surgeon and getting dumped into the middle of a war zone. Working on all the overlapping issues, I gained amazing knowledge and experience that I still use every day to assist my clients as they face significant challenges.
Q. Describe your work style.
I approach things with high intensity. When rule 409A for nonqualified deferred compensation came out, it became immediately clear to me that that was going to be a very big deal. So I scoured the regulations, went to training classes, did a ton of homework, so that I would put myself in a position to be a subject matter specialist. I continue to approach the constantly evolving tax landscape that way, and I encourage my team to do the same. I encourage them to gain knowledge that benefits our clients so they can become trusted advisors.
Q. Who is (or was) the most influential person in your life
My father ran his own accounting firm for more than 40 years, and I worked there between semesters in college. I got to see up close how he created a business that employed a dozen people, how he invested in their growth, the focus he had with his clients. A lot of what I am today, I model after him.
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Industries Served
Peter's Thought Leadership
Case Studies
Case Study
We look at the importance of working with a tax advisor who is immersed in the compensation and benefits landscape.

June 18, 2020
Updated August 11, 2022
Blog articles
Having remote employees can potentially impact the employer's state income tax withholding and business activity taxes.

May 20, 2020
Case Studies
Case Study
When employees exercise stock options between valuations, underreporting income from the exercise to the IRS can set of...