Accountant (Qualified)

What do Accountant (Qualified)s do?

A Qualified Accountant in the music industry is a chartered Accountant with financial expertise within a music industry organisation, record label or related music company. Professional qualifications in accountancy are essential for this role. An Accountant may be employed in different roles — as a management accountant, as a specialist account in a particular field or as an auditor. They will work on behalf of distributors, artists, writers, copyright societies and record companies.

Some Accountants specialise in copyright, royalties or licensing. They may be employed by a music or music related company or they may work for a firm of accounts that specialises in the music industry. Some accountants work independently or have their own practice.

A specialist music Accountant's job may involve undertaking audits of record company agreements on behalf of UK and overseas based artists, or audits of record companies on behalf of copyright societies. They may be employed by the record company, or by the artist themselves. Music industry specialist Accountants may also be employed either permanently or on a contract basis by companies such as radio stations, commercial TV stations or the BBC. They may work on licensing audits of record companies.

A management Accountant in the music industry will be responsible for a company's financial affairs, making sure accurate records are kept and there is appropriate financial information needed to make business decisions, making sure the company's finances comply with legal requirements. Their tasks will include: monthly financial reporting, support for forecasting and budgeting, reconciling balance sheets — including advances and royalties payable schedules, preparing statutory financial statements and managing payments are expenditure related to royalties and copyright. Knowledge of the music business will be an asset for any Accountant working within the music industry and experience of working with music industry clients may be required, especially for senior posts.

Accountants may also specialise in forensic accounting, which integrates accounting with IT and investigative skills to help lawyers, insurance companies and other clients to resolve disputes.

Some Qualified Accountants have a role as a business analyst, supporting senior managers by providing them with the financial information they need to develop the business and make the right strategic decisions. In this role it is essential to understand the music industry and often to have a good understanding of the music business internationally. An Accountant working in this field may work on large record deals and advise on the structure of record company operations.

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