Robert Haggerty, CPA


Be hard on process, soft on people and choose your battles.

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Meet Robert

Rob is a partner in Armanino’s Tax practice and has more than 25 years of public accounting and industry experience, including extensive experience in the retail and real estate industries. His expertise in tax strategy, tax controversy, accounting for income taxes, tax accounting methods, inventory, partnerships, real estate, 1031 exchange programs and fixed asset matters makes him an invaluable resource for his clients.

Prior to joining Armanino, Rob was partner in charge of Brown Smith Wallace’s Tax practice and led the Real Estate and Cannabis & Hemp industry groups. Rob also has prior experience leading the St. Louis tax practice for CBIZ MHM, LLC, where he served partnerships, C corporations, S corporations, NPOs and individuals the real estate, wholesale, retail, restaurant, manufacturing, health care and professional services industries.

Before joining CBIZ, Rob was Director of Taxes for Sonic Corp., the franchisor and operator of the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in the country. As head of the tax department for Sonic, Rob was responsible for establishing the company’s overall tax policies and overseeing all aspects of the company’s tax function.

Earlier in his career, Rob spent 12 years in the tax department of The May Department Stores Company, ultimately becoming the Director of Tax Projects, where he was responsible for developing, evaluating and implementing tax planning strategies and negotiating their resolution when audited.

Rob earned his B.S.B.A. in accounting from the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

Contact Robert Haggerty


Professional History


  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MOCPA)


  • Massas Creek Companion Animals - Board Member and Treasurer
  • University of Missouri - St. Louis Accounting Advisory Board


  • University of Missouri – St. Louis


  • Brown Smith Wallace LLP
  • LLC
  • Sonic Corp
  • The May Department Stores Company


Q. What law or regulation in the accounting industry would you like to see changed?

In the tax code, there are several regulations that I would like to see changed, but one that jumps out as being outdated is in the rapidly evolving cannabis space. There’s a code section 280E that basically says, if you are in the business of trafficking a controlled substance, then you cannot deduct any expenses other than cost of goods sold. Because cannabis is still federally illegal, section 280E applies to that industry.

So, all these cannabis companies have an effective tax rate that is out of control because they cannot expense anything other than cost of goods sold. For a dispensary, there is no tax deduction for normal business expenses, so they cannot get a deduction for things like their rent or their sales staff. I would like to see section 280E revised so that it doesn’t apply to cannabis.

Q. Please tell us one fun fact about yourself.
I own a farm! It’s a 520-acre farm about an hour west of St. Louis, and we run a small animal shelter on it. We grow pumpkins on the farm as a fundraiser for the animal shelter. I love to spend my weekends there disconnected from work, working with the rescue animals, growing pumpkins, planting food plots for the wildlife and repairing trails. I have been known to leave on my tractor at dawn and not return until dark.
Q. Describe your work style.

A former boss once told me that I have a crisis addiction. I am most successful at helping people resolve urgent issues and most motivated when I am given an opportunity to rise to the occasion.

With that, I also value a work hard, play hard mentality. I encourage people to take a breather from work when possible and do something they enjoy so that they can come back to the office refreshed, recharged and ready to put their best foot forward when serving our clients.

Q. Who is (or was) the most influential person in your life

There are four people that have greatly influenced me throughout my life. My mother was always so supportive of everything I did and gave me the confidence that I could do anything I set my mind to. My father was the yin to her yang. He was much harder on me and never shied away from pointing out my mistakes. But, from him, I learned about respect, loyalty and how to read people. He also instilled in me a great passion for the outdoors.

My former boss and I worked together at three different companies. He hired me out of college, and I took over my current role from him when he retired. His 28 years of mentorship have been priceless, both professionally and personally.

Lastly, my wife. She knows me better than anyone. She has very little experience in the business world, so she gives me a different perspective on life and any professional issue I face. We have been together since we were 17 and her partnership has been invaluable.

Q. If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to aspiring accountants or consultants, what would that be?
At any level in your career, always make everyone around you look good. Be hard on process, soft on people and choose your battles: big enough to matter, small enough to win.
Q. What do you love most about your work?

I love getting the opportunity to build relationships, whether it is with colleagues, clients or our business partners. I truly enjoy hearing everyone’s story – how they got to where they are and how is it that our paths are crossing.

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