And Broke An 8-Year World Record
James “Jimmy” Chilimigras is just like any other CPA candidate.
He has a master’s in accounting and met all the education, age, and citizenship requirements to sit for the exam with just ONE big difference.
Jimmy is only 15 years old (as of 01/2023)!
The previous record holder for passing the CPA exam was held by Belicia Cespedes, who passed when she was 17.
However, on June 17th, 2023, 15-year-old Jimmy Chilimigras passed the CPA exam, breaking this 8-year record and setting a new World Record for the youngest CPA in history!
Here’s his story.
How Jimmy and Kesler CPA Review Teamed Up To Break A World Record
Jimmy’s story starts in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, where he is the oldest of six. Parents (John & Erin) and siblings (Clare 11, Azelie 8, Peter 5, Eleanor 3, and mom will have a new baby girl this July)!
He graduated from Western Governors University (WGU) with his bachelor’s and master’s in accounting before his 15th birthday.
WGU worked with Jimmy to allow him to complete 60 credit hours per semester(!!) which allowed him to earn his bachelors in just one year and earn his Master’s in Accountancy by the age of 14 as he shared with the Journal of Accountancy.
Jimmy has also accepted a full-ride scholarship to Loyola Universities Law School in New Orleans, where he will begin classes in August of 2023. He is currently on pace to become the second youngest lawyer in history, according to oldest.org.
His goal is not to break this record but to absorb everything he can and become the best tax lawyer in the United States.
The Start Of Jimmy’s CPA Exam Journey
On January 10th, 2023, Jimmy reached out to Bryan Kesler of Kesler CPA Review, and on January 16th, Bryan agreed to mentor Jimmy and sponsor him for his journey to passing after confirming that Jimmy was a REAL person (ha!).
Jimmy vs BEC
To avoid any issues, Jimmy opted to take BEC first in case he couldn’t pass before the 2024 CPA exam changes.
Bryan and Jimmy had their first mentorship session on 1/16/23 to discuss how to plan for the CPA exam, the study tools to use for studying, and the soft skills required to pass, such as study personality type and learning styles.
After chatting with Jimmy, it was apparent that he had mastered passing final exams in college, but he understood that the CPA exam would require a different approach.
If you are someone who is on the fence about taking the exam or are struggling, here’s some advice that Jimmy shared with me.
I think (finding a mentor) it’s important because everyone who takes the CPA exam, it’s their first time with it, and it’s definitely an adventure and I think having someone who’s already been through that so they know what you need to do and what’s gonna be really challenging and what worked for them, that’s really something that important.
– Jimmy Chilimigras
Here’s what Jimmy had to say about his personal experience using Kesler CPA Mentorship to help him with the process.
“Want to personally say THANK YOU (Bryan) so much for doing this and how much I enjoyed working with you. You make a difference! I’ll definitely be promoting the program you developed and would love to be a part of it in the future because I honestly believe it can help people better than anything else at the most difficult challenge they many people will ever face in their career path ever.”
– Jimmy Chilimigras
Want To Work With Bryan & Team Kesler CPA Review & See If We Would Be A Good Fit?
What Is Jimmy’s Learning Strength?
Jimmy shared during his conversations with Bryan that he is a big believe in living life while studying and not letting it consume him. He’d often take his study materials down to the docks with him and his family when they went fishing near their home.
In terms of Jimmy’s learning style, he doesn’t believe he has a photographic memory but has an incredible ability to read quickly, absorb and comprehend that information and apply that general knowledge to specific practice questions, which is how he passed four years’ worth of college credits in just two semesters.
This is not your typical CPA exam study personality type!
But it was clear that Jimmy needed a solid CPA review course with a straightforward textbook and a test bank with questions that solidified the material and helped him quickly have those ah-ha light bulb moments.
What CPA Exam Study Tools Did Jimmy Use?
Jimmy opted to use:
- Textbooks and questions from a couple of the big box CPA Review Courses provided by his university, he didn’t use video lectures much unless necessary.
- Kesler CPA Mentorship with one on one support from Bryan Kesler, CPA.
- Kesler CPA Review’s test bank to supplement his Big Box CPA Review Course’s fairly thin question explanations.
- Kesler CPA Review’s Partner Company: Vishal CPA Prep & Live Classes: Used Vishal’s study guide and attended a few live classes for REG and FAR
The End Result With This Support?
On 2/20/23, after just over two weeks of solid studying, Jimmy passed BEC on his first try with an incredible 86!
Here’s a video his parents took of him checking his first major score release:
Here’s what Jimmy had to say about the Kesler CPA Review’s Gems of the Questions, which he completed as part of his BEC studying regime.
I thought the Gems were really helpful. It really summarzies what the questions are all about.– James Chilimigras
Jimmy vs AUD
After BEC, Jimmy dove into AUD. He and Bryan discussed in a mentorship session how Audit is arguably the most challenging section to study because the content is not always black and white like other sections.
They also discussed planning strategies for his final two sections of the exam, and Jimmy expressed how he wished he had found Kesler CPA Review before he even started the planning process.
“I wish I had spoken with you (Bryan Kesler, CPA) before making that decision.”– James Chilimigras
Jimmy sat for AUD after studying for two and 1/2 weeks and learned on March 20th, 2023, that he passed with a PERFECT score of 75!
Bryan had the honor of checking Jimmy’s scores with him in person:
Jimmy vs REG
The 3rd section that Jimmy decided to tackle was REG.
He was getting into a groove of how to study and only spent around 3-4 weeks studying full-time.
Bryan Kesler introduced Jimmy to Vishal Gandhi of Vishal CPA Prep, and he used Vishal’s study guide and attended a couple of live classes hosted by Vishal while preparing for REG.
Vishal’s Study Guide is good. I like it. Yeah. I think. I think it’s it’s pretty concise and I like how there’s all the little questions mixed in throughout it.– James Chilimigras
Jimmy sat for REG and passed on 4/10/2023 with an amazing score of 85.
Here’s the LIVE recording of Bryan and Jimmy checking his scores.
Jimmy vs FAR
Jimmy saved the hardest section for last and started tackling FAR in April of 2023.
Bryan recommend Jimmy spend around six weeks studying for FAR based off of his progress with the other three sections.
After spending four weeks straight studying, Jimmy had an opportunity to sit early for FAR after a spot opened up at his Prometric Center.
Since he didn’t have anything to lose, he went ahead and sat for it early.
He found out on 5/27/23 that he received a 73 on his first take of FAR, his first time failing a section of the CPA exam.
How Jimmy Handled Failing FAR
Jimmy and Bryan met to discuss and how to study for a retake and how to pinpoint weaknesses when assessing what went wrong.
Jimmy immediately dove back into studying for FAR again and within a couple short weeks sat for a second time.
On Saturday, June 17, 2023, Jimmy and Bryan hopped on a call and checked his scores…
The second time around, Jimmy dominated FAR with an 80!
A 7-point boost to his previous score!
Making him the youngest CPA in history.
You can watch Jimmy making history below!
Breaking Down Jimmy’s Journey
Thanks for reading about Jimmy Chilimigras’s incredible journey became the youngest CPA candidate to pass the CPA exam in history.
He is an incredibly gifted and humble young man and we are incredibly excited to see where his career takes him.
People Jimmy Wants To Thank For Helping Him On His Journey
- I want to thank the best academic advisor of all time, Mr. Ron Cimo
- WGU for getting me to where I am now.
- Dr. Raymunda Barnes (the VP of Pearl River community college) who convinced my parents to let me set my own pace,
- The city of Waveland staff (especially former Mayor Farve and current Mayor Trapani) for being so welcoming and opening access to observation-ships,
- the cities of Bay St Louis & Waveland, and the people of Hancock County for so much support from the community. I’m proud to be from here and hope to one day give back to this wonderful area,
- the Bay/Waveland school district and all the local teachers (such as Coach Mike) that have helped me where and when my parents could not,
- The maCnarB game store family that has mentored and challenged me since I was four years old,
- The lawyers that have allowed me observation-ships,
- Mr Champagne and those in the Accountancy community that went out of their way to assist me by answering a question or offering a word of advice.
- I would also like to thank my law school recommendation letter writers: Honorable Richard Mays, my friend Sree Mandava, and Philip Ryan & Greg Spanier, who are like uncles to me,
- The Law School admissions committees and schools that have offered me an invitation of attendance.
- I’d like to thank Especially, Bryan Kesler for creating the wonderful KeslerCPAreview which makes one of the most challenging professional tests in the world more digestible. Without his hard work, it would have taken me much longer and been many times harder to pass each section,
- Belicia Cespedes for setting the current standard in providing a challenging record to beat and a fun goal to accomplish.
- My friends as they’ve always been there for me, AND MOST importantly my family, my immediate family that I love SO much, but also my extended family of aunts, uncles, great aunts & uncles, grandparents, and cousins who have made this journey along with me and without whom I wouldn’t be enjoying this success.
Summary of Jimmy’s Journey
Total prep time to pass all 4 exams (5 total tests taken) 10 1/2 weeks or 74 days worth of studying.
Scores: BEC 86, AUD 75, REG 85, FAR 73, 80
What To Do Next!
If you’d like to give Kesler CPA Review a shot, I have a free CPA exam coaching session that you can attend HERE: FreeCPAclass.com
I’d love to see if we would be a good fit to work together!