Steve Martin, founder of MDS CPA Review
I learned the CPA Review business from the late Mr. Newt Becker. For 15 years I worked under his guidance about how to prepare CPA review materials. I thought highly of Mr. Becker and his teaching methods. But after DeVry purchased the Becker course over 15 years ago, I soon realized that DeVry's philosophy towards CPA Review was not what I had learned. So in 2000, I started MDS to help students prepare for the exam as efficienctly, effectively and as afforadably as possible.
Why am I uniquely qualified to coach you through the CPA exam? First, I have all the right education. My undergraduate majors were Accounting and Management Information Systems from the University of Colorado, and I have an MBA and a JD from The Ohio State University. I also have the right experience. I was an auditor and tax accountant with a Big 8 firm, a cost accountant with a public utility, and a business and tax lawyer with an international law firm and my own firm.
I have been teaching topics such as business law, tax law, managerial accounting, management information systems, corporate finance, financial accounting, tax accounting and accounting ethics to undergraduate, graduate and law students as well as practicing lawyers and CPAs for over 20 years. So I have studied, practiced, or taught virtually every topic on the CPA exam. And I have been coaching students through the CPA exam since 1985.
That is why I am able to create ALL of my own comprehensive and fully integrated CPA Review materials and homework software. Several other courses profess to be experts on the CPA exam, but they aren't confident enough to write their own books and homework software, but rather buy materials from other review course provider such as Wiley. Unless the review course is knowledgable enough to write all of the explanations to the thousands of questions in the CPA exam data base or write the text necessary to review the exam content - they can't be experts.
So why don't I still teach for Becker? Well, when Mr. Becker approached retirement age, he sold his course to the for-profit and publicly-traded institution DeVry, Inc. I tried to work for DeVry. But after a short while, it became obvious to me that DeVry's approach to CPA Review was not the same as mine - which of course I had learned from Mr. Becker. So since 2000, I have tried to keep my materials focused and less costly, while my competitor's materials have become more voluminous and expensive.
MDS has a study system that is different from ALL other CPA review courses. Here is how it works:
First we walk you through each topic on the CPA exam step-by-step either in class or on the class video. Unlike courses that do not write their own books, we actually walk you through the materials page-by-page, showing examples and doing actual CPA exam questions with you. And we are the only course that streams both the instructor video and the book video simultaneously. Both are always presented together. We mark up the book as we cover each page with you on the video. That way you and I are always on the same page.
And we do it as efficiently as possible. Mr. Becker told me to be "sparse with my words." Don't treat CPA Review students like they have never heard the word "accounting" before. In other words, Newt Becker taught me not only what to put into the materials, but also what to leave out! When Mr. Becker wrote CPA Review materials, they were focused and efficient. That is how I endeavor to keep my materials. I work harder than other courses to cover no more than what you need to pass the exam. You have limited time. My job is to hone the materials to a manageable level. But even though my materials are more focused than other courses, every year when the examiners release a couple hundred questions, 97% - 99% of the questions are covered in my materials. Would you be happy with a 97% on the exam? Of course! You would be thrilled with a 75%! Could I make my materials thick enough to cover 100%. Absolutely! But the volume of materials would be overwhelming and you couldn't remember all of it anyway. Mr. Becker told me he only tried to cover 95 - 97% of the exam. That is how CPA Review should be taught.