Successful Musicians Have Bookkeepers
Updated: Aug 1
A great musician makes beautiful music.
A successful musician has a bookkeeper.
Jazz great Miles Davis recognized the importance of bookkeeping. He was also one of the most successful jazz artists of all time.
As a child, Miles was taught you need to count your money in order to succeed in anything you do. His grandfather (Miles Davis the first) was a successful bookkeeper and landowner in Arkansas during the turn of the twentieth century, an impressive achievement for a black man.
He recalls his grandfather's lessons in his autobiography, MIles, Davis says:
“My father told me my grandfather told him that whenever he got some money, no matter where or who he got it from, to count it and see if it was all there.
One time my grandfather gave my father what he said was $1,000 and sent him to the bank with it. When my father got down there to the bank, he counted the money and there was only $950. When he got back he went to my grandfather and said that he lost $50.
Grandpa just looked at him and said, 'Did you count the money before you left? Do you know if it was all there?' My father said, no, he didn't count the money before he left. '
That's right,' my grandfather told him, 'because I didn't give you nothing but $950. You didn't lose anything. But didn't I tell you to count the money, anybody's money, even mine? Here's $50. Count it. And then go ahead on back and put that money in the bank like I told you.' It was a lesson my father never forgot and he passed it on to his kids.
So today I count all my money."
Clearly, Miles' grandfather knew the value of money from the very beginning.
Make sure you know what money you have, who owes you what, and how much you owe others. Get your money, then figure out where it goes and how it gets there.
Before the turn of the century, Mile's grandfather counted money. Now we can do it online.
How Bookkeepers Support Musicians in Their Financial Journey?
A good bookkeeper is someone who manages and records all business transactions in order to generate financial reports that will help you to understand where the business is, where it can go, and how to get there. You don't need to physically track your money, we use software for that. After finding a good bookkeeper, they will use an electronic accounting software such as QuickBooks or Xero to organize and reconcile all of your transactions.
In the music industry, success is often measured by talent, creativity, and passion. However, behind the scenes, there is another crucial role that plays a significant part in the success of musicians - bookkeepers. These unsung heroes work diligently to manage the financial aspects of a musician's career, enabling them to focus on their artistry. In this blog post, we will explore the invaluable role that bookkeepers play in supporting musicians throughout their journey.
Firms like BMS Financial help musicians with things like:
Bookkeepers provide essential financial organization for musicians. They keep track of income and expenses, ensuring that every transaction is accounted for accurately. By maintaining organized financial records, bookkeepers enable musicians to have a clear overview of their financial situation and make informed decisions regarding investments, expenses, and budgeting.
Navigating the complex world of taxes can be daunting for musicians. Bookkeepers play a crucial role in helping musicians stay compliant with tax regulations. They ensure that all necessary tax forms and payments are submitted on time, helping musicians avoid penalties or legal issues. Bookkeepers also provide guidance on tax deductions and credits that musicians may be eligible for, optimizing their tax situation and maximizing their financial benefits.
Budgeting and Financial Planning:
One of the biggest challenges for musicians is managing their finances effectively. Bookkeepers assist musicians in creating budgets and financial plans that align with their goals and aspirations. They analyze income sources, project future earnings, and help musicians make strategic financial decisions. Bookkeepers also provide recommendations on saving, investing, and managing debt, empowering musicians to build long-term financial stability.
For musicians who generate income through royalties, bookkeepers play a crucial role in royalty management. They ensure that all royalty payments are accurately tracked, collected, and distributed to the appropriate parties. Bookkeepers work closely with music publishing companies, licensing agencies, and streaming platforms to ensure that musicians receive their rightful earnings promptly.
Musicians often engage in various contracts, ranging from record deals and performance agreements to licensing contracts. Bookkeepers assist musicians in reviewing and negotiating these contracts, ensuring that the financial terms are fair and favorable. They help musicians understand the financial implications of each contract and ensure that all financial obligations are met.
While musicians captivate us with their melodies, bookkeepers work tirelessly behind the scenes to support their financial journey. From financial organization and tax compliance to budgeting and contract management, bookkeepers play a vital role in enabling musicians to focus on their artistry. Their dedication and expertise allow musicians to navigate the complex financial landscape of the music industry with confidence. So, let's appreciate the bookkeepers who contribute significantly to the success and livelihood of our favorite musicians.
As an artist, you have a special talent.You should focus on making music.
However, as your career and earnings grow, your finances will get more complicated. Have a system or plan in place that'll prevent you from getting overwhelmed, so you can handle future growth and/or accomplish your goals.
Miles Davis didn't write Kind of Blue by spending all his time looking at his finances.
But he learned quickly about keeping track of his cash if he wanted to achieve financial success.