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Mike Applegate

Mike Applegate was a pioneer in the accounting software arena back in the 1980's – and now he's paying it forward for Irvine Valley College (IVC) students. 

Applegate launched TimeValue Software in 1984, a time when the software industry was in its infancy.  Emerging as the industry leader in amortization software, the company’s first and flagship product – TValue – is now used by most of the top 100 accounting firms in the U.S.

But Applegate has never forgotten his roots. A resident of Irvine for 45 years, he is a graduate of Cal Poly SLO and understands the value and quality of the state education system. So, when he needed employees for his growing company, he turned to IVC, working closely with accounting professor Bennet Tchaikovsky to tap into the school’s talent pool. “It’s been a win-win,” Applegate says. “When Bennet finds a talented student, he will send them to me. Instead of working in retail or fast food, they join our team to gain real life experience and learn the core basics of accounting, from bank reconciliations to account inventory.”

When going through the hiring process, he looks for students with a solid grasp of accounting and a growth mindset. Most important, he says, is that “they are coachable and want to listen and learn with the intent to get better.”  

Applegate says he is happy to help provide a training ground for students in a profession he loves. “I am a huge fan of public accounting as a career path, though it’s not for the faint of heart. It requires discipline, long hours and managing multiple clients in various disciplines.” 

To date, he has hired five IVC students, with four still employed at TimeValue. All are well poised to earn four-year degrees and eventually become Certified Public Accountants, he says.  

Applegate is so enthusiastic about IVC’s accounting program he often sends his employees there to hone their skills. “I have sent multiple employees to IVC to take accounting classes, even those who have already graduated from college. The faculty is outstanding and the quality of an education at IVC is second to none.”