ARTIST TEAM

business
manager

WHAT

Take responsibility for the artist's financial affairs.

Management
Business
Social

THE BASICS

THE BASICS

A Business Manager is a professional responsible for the financial success of a musician or a band. That includes building a financial plan including both personal and business-related costs and investments, filing tax declarations, paying bills, royalty tracking, estate management, etc.


These individuals are responsible for all financial decisions of their client and building a successful financial strategy, so they work closely with the artist manager, tour manager, and attorney. Business managers usually get hired by management firms and take a big part in contract negotiations with the recording label. Therefore they not only have to possess strong accounting skills but also advanced soft skills and a very strong, assertive, and creative personality.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BUSINESS MANAGER

Always keep things organized. If you want to work your way up, focus more on taxation and getting a CPA.

There is no particular estimation of time divided for each task. The work schedule is usually 9-5. A big chunk of work consists of building a budget, analysis, and allocation of expenses and taxation. You have to deal a lot with the accountants from abroad, agents, and the artist’s management team. For example, if you are working with an international artist on a tour in the U.S and Canada, you will have to get in contact with professionals in Canada in order to make a correct allocation of expenses and taxes.

Manager @David Weise and Associates

THE TASKS

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RELATIONSHIP WITH ARTISTS

Psychologically, it is very difficult to delegate all money-related things to a complete stranger, so building a close trusting relationship with an artist is a must. Sometimes, in case of a death or other unforeseen circumstances, the manager will have to continue managing the artist’s money or assist their client’s relatives with the management of the inheritance. For instance, Bill Zysblat, the business manager of The Rolling Stones, Shania Twain, and many others had to deal with the death of David Bowie, which led to his idea of the creation of financial securities and bonds named after Bowie. These securities were backed by the 25 albums that were recorded by the artist before 1990.

TIME SPENT

SKILLS

Business managers usually have a standard working time, e.g. from Monday to Friday from 9 am - 5 pm. This can be explained by the fact that all the financial transactions take part during regular business hours.

However, the bigger the artist they are working for, the longer the working hours may become.

- accounting
- communication
- negotiation
- business & financial management
- taxation
- budgeting
- advanced excel 
- music publishing

CHECKLIST

Is a degree required?

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Is a degree recommended?

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The recommended majors for a business manager are Business Management, Accounting, Finance,

or Taxation.

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HOW TO GET STARTED IN THE US

Starting out in this position may be a bit easier than becoming an artist manager since you can go to any business school and obtain the necessary knowledge in the accounting and financial sphere which is the main focus of the job. Learn such things as bookkeeping, IFRS standards, tax codes, retirement funds, investments, and then deepen your knowledge about the music industry processes.

While studying look for internships in the business development department of the label. A good starting position is Account Manager. The higher you get on the career ladder, the more emphasis you have to put into taxes, since you will have to deal a lot with international taxation.

Employers that you should pay attention to are Main Street Advisors, WG&S, David Weise and Associates, and Tri-Star Sports & Entertainment Group.

TIPS​

  • Consider obtaining a professional certification. The majority of business managers are CPA holders.

  • “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask as much as you can and try to see the bigger picture.”

GLOSSARY

Bonds

Fixed-income instruments that represent a loan made by an investor to a borrower. Bonds traditionally pay a fixed interest rate (coupon) to debt holders.

Value for Money

A concept that is widely used in the audit world, meaning the quality of the asset is equal to its cost and benefits.

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

A set of accounting standards and rules used in preparation of financial statements and followed by accountants worldwide. The stands\ards were set by International Accounting Standard Board with the intention of creating a universal accounting language in order to increase transparency of the financial data.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

A professional certification in accounting for licensed professionals that verifies the holder of the certificate meets necessary education and work requirements.

Written by Nikki

Created by Jordan

Published October 25th, 2021

Copyright © 2021 Coda Collectiv.