Music industry accounting: List of all Music Job Types with Descriptions

Music industry accounting

Accountants working at The Music CPA in Illinois make sure performers of all sizes collect everything they have earned from all their revenue sources, from royalties to performances. They also assist clients with taxes and other accounting needs, all while helping them enforce their media play rights, composers’ rights, performers’ rights and publishing rights. I enjoy working closely with Artists, Festivals and other clients in the music industry across all aspects of their financial planning and accounts preparation. I particularly enjoy working with festivals and seeing how they are run from a financial perspective. I’m looking forward to attending a couple through work this summer and seeing all the hard work pay off. Although accounting firms have set business hours, that doesn’t mean a Music Business Accountant’s day ends at 5 pm.

Otherwise, a combination of video games, football, my family – consisting of wife, Jess, young daughter, Sophia, and dog, Lola – keep me busy and entertained outside of work. Entertainment industry accountants can help you create profit and loss statements, cash flow analysis, and balance sheets. They can show you key metrics based on benchmarking and help you evaluate and monitor your revenue and cash flow. The best way to find a job as a Music Business Accountant is by building an educational background and establishing industry connections. “Finish up your schooling and certifications, then look for internships and opportunities to work with Managers and artists.

What happens when accountants decide to focus their practices on exciting fields like music, aviation, sports and forensic investigation? Being able to understand how music festivals work from a financial perspective and taking part in their financial planning. Joining In The Loop has inspired me to get involved with music production and DJing again.

  • Over the past 30+ years, our firm has gained in-depth knowledge of the music industry, in part through our active participation and involvement in several music specific trade organizations.
  • 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.
  • In The Loop Accounts is an independent accounting service with a wealth of experience in all areas of the Music Industry.
  • I have over 30 years of experience in Accounts and Bookkeeping as I ran my own accounting company while my Children were growing up.

I’ve been a musician for the past 9 years of my life (drums/DJ), and as i’m finishing up grad school, i’m feeling like I may be sacrificing my musical side for accounting. “The state of Minnesota has a specific entertainer tax, while Wisconsin has on their own tax regulations for entertainers that are from out of state,” explained Johnson. “Some venues will collect sales tax for merchandise sales, others won’t. We face compliance issues constantly, and between income and sales taxes, it can quickly get complicated.”

With music labels losing money on 90% of the artists they sign, Catalano said they are even less willing to take risks. There are a lot of musicians who are not taking advantage of the expenses they are incurring. If you are in a bracket where you pay 25 percent taxes, each expensed item you claim is the equivalent of purchasing that item at a 25 percent discount. Advancement in this role comes through working with well-known artists or getting hired by a prestigious firm, which means higher wages and more famous clients.

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. A royalty is a payment to a company or individual with creative assets that are being used by a third-party.

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A musician herself, she has served as featured panelist at the International Music Conference, Driven Music Conference and as a panelist at the Xero Roadshow. Her academic background includes stints studying Accounting and Taxation at Howard and American Universities. I originally worked with one of the top DJ booking agencies and learned about all aspects of the music industry.

Music industry accounting

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. Outlets that owe royalties make it very complicated to track them, especially in rural areas, so no one can easily figure out what’s going on. Catalano said it gets even more difficult when an American has their music sold and streamed all over the world, as each government has its own rules about foreign royalties. “The most impactful change for music composers has been the streaming services,” said Catalano. In our new series, “Riches in Niches,” we’ll explore how these colorful niches indicate that concerns about commoditization and a narrow future for the profession may well be unfounded.

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You may think it strange to differentiate music business accounting functions from other types of accounting. However, those accounting for music industry professionals have a unique job because their clients have unique positions. To partially resolve this issue, Congress designated SoundExchange, a nonprofit music rights management collective, as the only recognized organization allowed to collect and distribute digital performance royalties for sound recordings. We can help you with traditional accounting, financial statements, tax compliance, inventory management, and much more.

Articles are based on current or proposed tax rules at the time they are written and older posts are not updated for tax rule changes. We expressly disclaim all liability in regard to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this blog as well as the use or interpretation of this information. Information provided on this website is not all-inclusive and such information should not be relied upon as being all-inclusive. Over the past 30+ years, our firm has gained in-depth knowledge of the music industry, in part through our active participation and involvement in several music specific trade organizations. Freelancers can register, create a profile, upload a CV and reel, and browse, search and apply for music jobs. Music companies can also register and post music jobs, manage CVs, respond to applicants and search our Freelancer Directory.

Catalano said that working closely with influential artists is one of the most exciting sides of the profession, with clients such as Duran Estevez, the lead singer of 1990s hitmakers Max-A-Million. The night the star came to the firm to discuss his financial situation, Catalano said most of the staff stayed late to take pictures with him and see their idol up close, but things are not always this carefree at the firm. I have played drums in different bands throughout my life, and I currently play in a local rock band. I love anything related to music, from writing music myself to attending festivals or concerts.

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.

Catalano recommends that artists be extremely wary of what music accountants call a “360 deal,” or a contract that gives most of the sales revenue to their record label, even once they have stopped performing. The Music CPA tries to save people from this dishonest policy by connecting young artists with attorneys who can review their contracts and point out any red flags. This is what Catalano describes as a fight with industry “whores and thieves,” between artists ready to sign anything to achieve their dreams and labels that don’t hesitate to take advantage of their enthusiasm.

After qualifying as an Accountant, I set up my own limited company and ran that for 6 years. However, I found it quite isolating – I missed working with other people and office life so thought I would look to see what was out there. By chance, I was approached by ITLA and I thought the role was a perfect fit as it tied in nicely with my previous TV experience working with a variety of Actors and Musicians. By working for events, event suppliers, artists, and PR,  I get to see the full circle of the money generated and distributed. We prefer long-term business relationships and put the time and effort in to make sure that everyone is looked after with their specific needs in mind.

Music Industry Accountants

Other examples include print music royalties, synchronization royalties, and producer royalties. An accountant who does music business accounting needs to be familiar with the pay structure of different types of royalties to ensure that the client is getting the money they deserve and that the client is accurately paying their taxes. “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 services pro bono,” said Catalano.

Greenlight Financial has over 16 years of experience in royalty accounting with both individuals and record label companies. I’m taking the CPA this summer and starting at a big 4 firm in the fall, and am now wondering what type of opportunities, if any, are there in the music or entertainment industry? I was hoping that one of y’all in this subreddit either had/has experience working in that industry or performing audits for that industry and could give me some first hand insights. The firm also works with attorneys from local pro bono organizations that support struggling artists, as well as actors, theaters, influencers and other clients in the entertainment industry. Catalano explained that streaming platforms offer unsigned artists the opportunity to expose their music to the world, but it’s seldom profitable. Most of the money now comes from live performances, and from licensing original compositions for TV, movies and commercials.

  • When working in the capacity of a Tour Accountant, job duties include creating an initial budget for the tour, verifying expenses, and ensuring collection of all income while on the road.
  • “The state of Minnesota has a specific entertainer tax, while Wisconsin has on their own tax regulations for entertainers that are from out of state,” explained Johnson.
  • The idea is to help the client with tax planning, record keeping, tax prep, bookkeeping, bill paying, contract review, and budgeting.
  • Music royalties come from copyright or intellectual property and the owner is paid before stockholders, company executives, etc.
  • I was interested in the accountancy side of the music industry because I love attending festivals throughout university life, and I still try to get one or two festivals in a year.

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. On-the-job training and experience are necessary to land a position as a Music Business Accountant. However, since this field is so specialized, the aspiring Accountant doesn’t have to land a job with a professional music industry accounting firm right out of school to get the experience required. Music industry experience is great, but solid work history in the accounting field is more important.

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I was interested in the accountancy side of the music industry because I love attending festivals throughout university life, and I still try to get one or two festivals in a year. Making the move into working with music creators meant scheduling around day jobs (for those who weren’t full-time yet) and tour dates. I work during the typical work week and put in the necessary hours to produce value for the people who have entrusted me with their finances. Music Business Accountants advise and work with musicians and music industry companies on financial matters. Future installments in the series will dive into firms that cater to professional athletes, victims of fraud and embezzlement, hotels and restaurants, and more. But the first entry covers a specialized firm that works with musicians, composers and performers to make sure they get what they deserve.

I’ve worked in the Finance industry for 12 years and started studying AAT in 2017. After working at another practice in Cheltenham for 4 years, I was very excited to discover that In The Loop were based locally and specialised in the Music and Events industry, which is something that I have always had a huge interest in. In my spare time (what’s that!) I like to travel the globe and feel the sun on my face and warm sand beneath my feet.