CPA/Founder, Jorstad Incorporated
The Man Behind the Man Behind the Music
Graduated from University of Northern Colorado summa cum laude in 1975 with a degree in accounting, and passed the CPA exam in the same year. He was soon hired by Hurdman & Cranston, (now a part of KPMG), in the Bay Area. While there, partners at the firm encouraged Tim to study tax law. Golden Gate University was the path. He attended GGU at night while continuing to work full-time.
Looking back on GGU, Tim says: "It was the place to go. I don‘t recall considering any other university. GGU had a very good reputation. It was practitioners teaching practitioners, so the classes were very powerful. We would have these roaring discussions and debates over tax cases. The energy was remarkable and that got me through it. The faculty brought their life experiences into the classroom and taught us things we could immediately put into practice. They helped us understand the story and the history behind the rules, which is the glue that holds the practice of tax together. When I got my degree I knew what I didn‘t know. But because I had great professors, I also knew where to get the knowledge and help in my own practice." He still keeps in touch with many of his former professors, consulting with them regularly. He also has hired GGU graduates—one of his current tax specialists is also a GGU alum—and in his practice, a master‘s degree in taxation is mandatory.
After graduating in 1978, he joined Armstrong, Bastow & Porter, a Silicon Valley-based firm of tax specialists whose clients were primarily in the electronics, property and agricultural industries. Two years later, he became the executive vice president and director for one of the firm‘s clients, Osterlund Enterprises. Unlike his business partner, Tim Jorstad did not want to rely solely on the music industry for his income. "We were on different planets in terms of business philosophy. All he really wanted to do was rock and roll; I wanted more stability and a more traditional client base."
In 1985, he formed his current firm — a one-man operation at the time — and his clients stayed with him. "That was a lot of work. I can‘t even begin to tell you how many three-thousand-hour years I put in." On the other hand, he had found what he‘d always sought, a practice that enabled him to do the type of work he chose and control over his life. "The most important things in my practice are fairness, integrity and honesty. With so many tightly related music clients, conflicts of interest come with the job, so fairness, integrity and honesty are critical to resolving conflicts. I was in full control." Over the ensuing twenty-five years, he‘s built a high-end CPA practice that serves nearly eight hundred clients, ranging from real estate developers, attorneys, and ad agency executives to his A-list music clients.
Music is only part of his world. In 1989 he joined a group that was forming the Marin Community Bank, which started with $7 million in capital and a single branch. He became its chairman and helped the bank grow to $700 million in assets and fifteen branches. In 2004 it sold for one of the highest prices ever paid for a California bank.
When asked to look into the future of the industry, his vision is clear. "The baby boom generation is going to retire. There are going to be jobs for the next generations. Right now there are people who want to mentor the next generation. Take advantage of your opportunities."