Music Accountant- The Pros and Cons

music industry accounting

Johnson said another difficulty is keeping track of how tax law varies from one state to another, especially with changing withholding and tax-filing requirements for out-of-state performers. “We have a big problem with recruitment, and we have been much less involved on an international level because we are so short-staffed,” said Catalano. “Accounting has that reputation of being boring when there are so many exciting areas to explore.” “You’ve not only got to be detail-oriented, you’ve got to be personable and creative. As a Music Accountant, I’m psyched to work with some of the most creative minds, and I try to appeal to their creativity in explaining financial concepts,” Louis says.

  • In The Loop Accounts is an independent accounting service with a wealth of experience in all areas of the Music Industry.
  • Musicians and music industry businesses need a resource on their team that will help control costs, review royalties, and watch the budget.
  • We also advise and facilitate the timing and compilation of the data required for royalty audits.
  • It’s this, along with the opportunity to work closely with artists and arts-related organizations, that draws most to this field.
  • This allows them to provide invaluable advice when making crucial business decisions.

Despite these issues, Catalano indicated that the music industry is much more fair and transparent now than it was back in the 1960s. Since streaming services didn’t exist back then, any sales from these platforms are not covered in older contracts, and Catalano said it’s almost impossible to overturn contracts that were signed during that period. A vocalist and guitarist for his own band, “The Fource,” Catalano also used to write songs for blues artists and “The Conan O’Brien Show.” His involvement in the music industry made him notice problematic trends.

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For instance, competence in matters specific to the music industry will allow your accountant to offer specialized services when handling ledgers, trial balances, initial public offerings, and more. Music artists thrive when they maintain strong interactions with essential people in the music industry and their fans. As such, you may cripple your chances of success if your accountant lacks good interpersonal communication skills.

What are three 3 roles of an accountant?

Accountant responsibilities include auditing financial documents and procedures, reconciling bank statements and calculating tax payments and returns. To be successful in this role, you should have previous experience with bookkeeping and a flair for spotting numerical mistakes.

They work with artists who live in other time zones, as well as artists who are juggling a day job while making music at night. I originally worked with one of the top DJ booking agencies and learned about all aspects of the music industry. I decided to go solo with my own company to focus specifically on the music industry when I had gathered enough experience across artists and event accounting so that I can add value to my clients. Other examples include print music royalties, synchronization royalties, and producer royalties.

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This allows them to provide invaluable advice when making crucial business decisions. For instance, if you want to buy a car for your touring plans, a skilled CPA may advise you to buy it under your brand name instead of your name. Such a move can make a significant difference in your personal and business finances. As such, they often have to juggle multiple tasks, meet deadlines and still adhere to proper reporting guidelines. Depending on your level of success as a musician, the duties of a specialist may involve handling significant amounts of documents. A well-organized accountant will make your life easier and help you stay on top of budgets and deadlines.

  • Networking and maintaining a reputation in the industry is vital for drawing in new clients.
  • Metropolis Performing Arts Centre is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in the heart of downtown Arlington Heights.
  • Even if your publisher handles your accounting, your CPA can perform periodic audits to unveil possible mistakes in setting up contracts or songs in the royalty system.
  • With music labels losing money on 90% of the artists they sign, Catalano said they are even less willing to take risks.
  • Making money and saving as much as possible is likely to be a top priority, especially when getting started as a music artist.

Our list of music accountants and finance resources can help your band balance tour, recording and other budgets properly. As experienced entertainment accountants, we understand the industry and will always make sure you’re being properly compensated. We know how to examine copyright and licensing agreements to uncover discrepancies and scrutinize royalty accountings to find missing payments. When necessary, we’ll work with your attorney to collect unpaid royalties and will keep you in compliance with current tax regulations. If you also happen to have some mathematical skills, the chances are that you can handle your financial affairs in person. Furthermore, you may already be working with a team of business savvy specialists, including music managers.

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Moreover, the specialist may help you expand your revenue streams, meaning you will still have more money in your wallet. A few years ago, a famous client sold his producers’ rights to another organization. However, a relative of the client’s former wife reached out to The Music CPA to let them know she still held some rights through the music that her ex-husband made, and asked what their basis was in this deal. Johnson explained how they could inherit those producers’ rights, as well as how to save a lot of money on taxes. “I know how to relate to these people and my experience as a musician helps me understand what it means to be involved in this industry,” said Catalano.

The specialist will work on the numbers as you concentrate on the core operations of thriving as a musician. The time and money you save each month will make retaining a music accountant a worthwhile investment. The accounting profession constantly evolves, just like all other professions. Gone are the days when accountants would work alone at a desk and remain in solitude for most of their careers. Today, bookkeepers and music accountants in specific provide better value by working with teams.

You need a specialist that can sift through piles of financial records and affirm that all details are current and accurate. Once you invest in branding for musicians and proper marketing, the last thing you want is to have a bookkeeper whose analyses don’t yield consistent results. “No matter how small they think the deal is, we tell our artists not to sign a contract unless a lawyer looks at it and, if you can’t afford it, we’ll find you one that provides music industry accounting services pro bono,” said Catalano. “You can’t accept something that you don’t understand, and these record labels made it mysterious enough for only an accountant to understand. So let us have a look at the royalty rate, and it can save you a great deal of suffering.” Atlanta-based Alexis Louis (fka Alexis Kimbrough) is the founder of Growth Group, a music-focused accounting firm that works with musicians, record labels, and recording studios.

  • Performance royalties are divided into two categories if your music is performed in public, in restaurants, on the radio, or in malls, and they are publishing rights and songwriter royalties.
  • Music Business Accountants are paid per project, based on the complexity and time involved.
  • Her academic background includes stints studying Accounting and Taxation at Howard and American Universities.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the music “business” is not so different from any other kind of business.
  • Patrick Templeman graduated from the Fisher School of Accounting with a passion for accounting and the music industry.
  • Other examples include print music royalties, synchronization royalties, and producer royalties.

Music industry experience is great, but solid work history in the accounting field is more important. We provide professional accounting services to the Music Industry; working with festivals, promoters, touring artists, artist management, booking agencies, music labels and PR. We are passionate about the services we provide and strive to serve each client’s individual needs. When your business is music, you need an accountant who has in-depth knowledge of the music industry. You want to work with people who have been actively involved in the music business for years and have experience with a variety of music industry clients.