Certified Public Accountant Frank Mantovani received the “Outstanding Service” award during the May 2013 California State University, Northridge Masters of Science in Taxation graduation due to his contribution to the Bookstein Tax Clinic.
“Frank has always done a superb job representing the clinic's clients with the highest level of integrity, professionalism and drive,” said Director of the Bookstein Tax Clinic Dr. Rafael Efrat. “The Bookstein Tax Clinic has been fortunate to have Frank be a part of its team.”
According to Dr. Efrat, Mantovani was an “outstanding addition” who went above and beyond the call of duty the clinic for over the past year and a half.
Montovani commented on his initial surprise upon learning he was the recipient of the prestigious award.
“When I heard Dr. Efrat presenting the award, I assumed he was talking about a fellow student from our class,” said Mantovani, who works at Encino based accounting firm Halpern and Mantovani, with a laugh. “Dr. Efrat did not say who he was presenting the award to until the end. After he said my name, I was stunned.”
Mantovani said he chose to enter the CSUN Masters program because his children were grown, he had more time to pursue something and he thought about teaching part-time (but realized he needed a higher college degree). Most importantly, he wanted to advance his knowledge and expertise in the field he has been working in for over 35 years.
After completing the comprehensive program, his graduation day was filled with great reflections and surprises.
“My family knew I was the student speaker for the graduation ceremony, but no one knew about the award,” said Mantovani. “Everyone was surprised together.”
He began aiding the Bookstein Tax Clinic to fulfill the Master’s program Culminating Experience requirement.
According to the program, students are given the option to either do work in the CSUN-based tax clinic that assists low-income taxpayers facing Internal Revenue Service problems, join the editorial staff to write an article for the university’s Tax Journal, or choose the tax challenge project that requires an in-depth researched paper based on a hypothetical tax related problem.
Mantovani chose to volunteer as a supervisor at the Bookstein Tax Clinic because it allowed him to begin working earlier in the semester. It balanced well with his personal and professional life.
“I was happy with my decision,” said Mantovani. “I was able to successfully help one man with his multi-year tax issues and I was able to aid another person whose tax problems involved foreign tax credit issues as far back as 2004.”
As a supervisor, he was assigned two cases and supervised four clinicians who worked on 20 clients. Mantovani continued to help past his tenure and graduation from the CSUN Masters in Taxation program.
“I wanted to help Dr. Efrat and the clinic,” said Mantovani, in regards to his continued help. “Dr. Efrat is one of the finest men I know. I will always be there for him.”
His graduation day from the taxation program holds special memories for Mantovani.
“I felt quite honored that day speaking in front of my peers, receiving my degree, being recognized with the ‘Outstanding Service’ award and seeing all of the people I cared about at one time,” he said with a humbling smile. “With my degree, I am just doing what I did before a little better and quicker.”
In the future, Mantovani plans to help the Bookstein Tax Clinic and Dr. Efrat in any manner he can. Also, he is greatly considering is the possibility to teach an Accounting I class.
“I think I can teach it well and with the same energized attitude my Accounting I teacher had,” he said. “He was a great influence to me. He was the reason I found the subject enjoyable. I would love to aid future students in the same manner.”