Each year, more than 90,000 people sit for the white-knuckle CPA examination. Of the few who pass, many can thank Timothy F. Gearty, editor-in-chief and national lead instructor for Becker, a global CPA exam-prep leader.
Before Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mick Jagger co-founded the Rolling Stones, he reportedly studied accounting at the London School of Economics. One has to wonder if Jagger would have been mobbed by fans if he had stayed with accounting.
But Tim Gearty, managing partner of the boutique CPA firm Gearty & Mcintyre LLP, has his own national fan base even though he never abandoned debits and credits. That’s because his side gig — at the Becker CPA exam review course — has made him a rock star for the tens of thousands of wannabe CPAs who sign up each year for the course. Many candidates consider the review a necessity, since the CPA exam is regarded as one of the toughest of all licensing tests.
“People sometimes recognize me on the street,” he said. “Sometimes they’ll shout ‘OMG it’s Tim Gearty and [another Becker leader] Peter Olinto!’ A number of times I’ve been with my family at a nice restaurant and people will approach me for an autograph or ask to take a selfie with me. My family’s been very understanding.”