Rocking in Accounting
Tim Jorstad was drafted into the US Army at age 18, worked as an Army ski patrolman in the Bavarian Alps and worked on the “kill” floor of the meat packing plant in Greeley. So how did he end up being the CPA for rock stars like Carlos Santana, Journey and The Grateful Dead, to name a few?
It started when he flew back to New York City with his wife and son after his military tour, started driving west and “basically ran out of money” in Greeley. He got a job at Greeley’s Monfort meat packing plant and saved enough money to enroll at the University of Northern Colorado as an economics major—the first in his family to attend college.
The “non traditional” student fell in love with accounting, founded the UNC Accounting Club and graduated in 1975. He accepted a job at a Big 8 firm in the San Francisco Bay area, where he worked in the audit department. He quickly figured out he wanted to be in the tax law department, which required a graduate degree. He enrolled in night school at Golden Gate University, earning his master’s degree in Business Administration in 1981.
He soon bought half interest in a firm that had two clients in the rock ‘n’ roll business: Journey and Jefferson Starship. The firm was on the verge of losing Journey’s business, because his partner had no tax experience. Tim was able to apply his tax expertise to the band’s myriad domestic and international tax issues, save the account and still handles all of the band’s business matters today.
Several years later, his partner and he parted and he launched Jorstad, Inc., which provides tax planning, tax compliance, estate planning and almost anything that has to do with money in the lives of music industry professionals. While his 10-person firm still has a lot of “rock star” clients, their list of 800 clients includes real estate developers, attorneys and ad agency execs, too.
Through all of his success, he has chosen to stay connected to UNC, the Monfort College of Business and Professor of Accounting Allen McConnell. “Tim exemplifies the quality of students we have and the good rapport between faculty and students. He is dedicated to excellence and has high ethical standards. I’m glad to have someone like Tim as a former student,” McConnell said.
Tim often visits UNC and the Monfort College of Business, sharing his perspectives and wisdom with students and visiting with his former professor. He enjoys giving back, saying modestly, “What I give is meager compared with what I get back. If you want to be blessed with fortune, you have to continue to give.”
• Was drafted by the US Army at 18 and worked as a ski patrolman in the
• Founded the UNC Accounting Club and graduated with degree in
Accounting in 1975
• His accounting firm handles clients including rock stars Carlos Santana,
Journey, Grateful Dead, and the estates of Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia.
“Music people don’t want groupies. They want someone who will run their business in a very discreet way.”
“By my second Accounting class, I knew I’d found a home. The family atmosphere, small classes and the professors’ willingness to accommodate my busy schedule made it easy to succeed.”
“I attribute much of my success at UNC to Professor Allen McConnell, who showed a keen interest in students and helped me prepare for the CPA exam, which I passed the first time.”