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The New Accountant’s Article featuring Dr. Gleim

Magazine Cover of Dr. Gleim

Most accountants have learned from Irvin Gleim. So have most pilots. CFII is the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) acronym for Certified Flight Instructor – Instrument. Thus, the same person who authors the most widely used, self-published accounting certification exam review books is also authorized to teach you how to fly an airplane. Since earning his doctoral degree in accounting from the University of Illinois in 1971, Dr. Gleim has been involved in the development of CPA review courses. Writing his own review manuals for accounting certification exams was a natural extension of his proclivity for teaching. In 1980, Dr. Gleim added pilot training books to his product line. Accounting and Aviation? If this seems like a strange mix to you, you are not alone.
Dr. Gleim, CEO of Gleim Publications, Inc., explains: “One of the first questions accountants usually ask me is how I got involved in pilot training. I took an undergraduate flight training course at the University of Illinois. Since that time, flying has become part of my everyday life. Incorporating aviation-related materials into my company’s product line has allowed me to have my cake and eat it too.” Dr. Gleim flies himself wherever he needs to go, whether for a family weekend at the beach or a business meeting. The main advantages are time saved and unparalleled scheduling flexibility.

The pilots of the world (hundreds of thousands who have now used Gleim products to pass their FAA tests) probably wonder why Dr. Gleim would be interested in accounting; the answer to that question is more interesting than you might think. As an accounting professor at Pittsburgh State University (PSU), Dr. Gleim met his future wife and partner for life. After one year at a then big eight accounting firm and several years teaching at PSU and Illinois State University, Irvin, with his wife Darlene, settled in Gainesville at the University of Florida, where he is now retired as Professor Emeritus. While raising their children, Darlene edited and typed the first CPA Examination Review manual on the kitchen table. “I had my work space set up on the dining room table,” recalls Dr. Gleim.

This home-grown business has blossomed into a company that processes thousands of orders per week for customers around the world. Gleim aviation products are available for the private pilot certificate (flying for yourself or leisure) through advanced ratings like the airline transport pilot and flight engineer. The accounting line includes all the certifications listed after Dr. Gleim’s name plus a new product, EA Review, for the IRS Special Enrollment Exam. More information on the exams themselves is available in the How to Succeed in Accounting booklet on the Gleim web page at

As author of over 200 current titles, many of which have corresponding interactive Test Prep Software, audio lectures, and continuing professional education (CPE) courses, Dr. Gleim has his hands perpetually full. Balancing this workload with his commitment to his wife, three children, and five grandchildren requires a disciplined, practical, goal-oriented approach to life. Rather than give up flying, which some consider a hobby, Dr. Gleim has added over a dozen books to help pilots pass their knowledge (written) and practical (flight) tests. “I noticed a lot of similarities in the two fields,” said Dr. Gleim. “Most people think they could never fly an airplane. Most students of accounting fear the CPA exam. If you can drive a car and ride a bike, you can learn to fly. If you can complete your accounting degree and dedicate yourself for a few months to serious study and hard work, you can and will pass the CPA exam with the Gleim system.”

Dr. Gleim has proved his dedication to the accounting and aviation fields by printing two free publications for the past 25 years: How to Succeed in Accounting and Learn to Fly/Become a Pilot. With well over 1 million copies of each of these booklets in print, Dr. Gleim has been successful in his grass roots effort to promote certification of pilots and accountants. Flight instructors and accounting professors around the world call on Gleim Publications each semester to obtain their copies for distribution to their students. How to Succeed in Accounting is designed to help current and prospective accounting majors understand the various certifications available and the requirements for each. Learn to Fly/Become a Pilot contains a basic explanation of how airplanes work and an overview of various flight training options. Also discussed in both publications are study habits, the learning process, and clues about what to expect so as to assure successful completion of the exams.

In closing, Dr. Gleim extends valuable advice to students and practitioners alike: “The bottom line is, be a success in whatever you choose to do with your life. People learn and grow as individuals and therefore need to find their own personalized system to achieve success. For me, making a career of the things I enjoy most was the only way to go. Lastly, remember that there is no substitute for studying diligently and effectively. Our ability to address the need for systematic, no-nonsense exam prep and study materials that get the job done right has contributed to the success of literally millions of accountants and pilots. It’s fun to succeed and help others succeed. Join us by using and recommending Gleim to aspiring professionals, whether they be accountants or pilots!”

The article appeared in the January/February 1999 “New Accountant” magazine By: Travis A. Moore, MBA, University of Florida