What is Business Management? How do I break in?
WHAT IT IS
Business Management is a subsection of public accounting that deals with high net-worth individuals in the entertainment field — from actors and musicians to athletes, producers, directors and voice-over actors. Business Management firms handle everything for these individuals that has to do with money — from financial planning, insurance, day-to-day bookkeeping, account payables and receivables, periodic financial statements, preparation of tax returns for the individuals and all their entities (their children, for example), setting up a new business entity, etc.
When these kinds of clients have any transaction that involves money — whether buying a house or getting into a joint venture with others — then they are represented not just by their attorney but by their business manager as well.
In return, business managers usually earn a percentage of the celebrity’s earnings. A talent manager works on securing the next project or gig, and the business manager deals with everything on the financial side. Both are paid a percentage of earnings.
Business management is only offered in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Nashville. It’s centered in cities where there’s a high percentage of people in the entertainment industry. And in L.A., of course, it’s huge.
HOW TO BREAK IN
In Los Angeles, some accounting firms handle a small percentage of business management clients. Then there are some firms — business management firms — where this is the only kind of work they do.
All business managers are CPAs, but a CPA is not a prerequisite for working at these firms. Bookkeepers and Assistant Bookkeepers don’t need to be CPAs, for example. And though experience at a business management firm is a plus, it’s not a prerequisite either. If you’ve worked at a traditional CPA firm, you have the necessary experience to get hired.
The work is exciting, interesting and lucrative. You have the necessary experience. How do you break in?
The challenge is that most business management firms don’t have websites. They’re very discreet. They don’t want anyone to know who they are or who their clients are. So there is very little information available online — if any at all — about what a given firm is like, what kind of work they might specialize in, or who works there.
Most traditional CPA firms have great websites. There are bios of the partners full of important information about where they went to school and how to contact them. But these kinds of firms are almost invisible. They don’t advertise. They operate under the radar. Discretion is paramount. You cannot find them.
But a recruiter can make all the difference
If it seems daunting to break in, even impossible, it is if you’re on your own. But a recruiter can make all the difference.
The right recruiter will know what differentiates the firm. He’ll know which firm will be a good fit for which candidate, which people do the hiring, and how to get you in the door. The right recruiter can probably get you three or four interviews, whereas on your own, most qualified candidates would have no idea where to start. It would be nearly impossible to figure out who to get your resume to.
Choose your recruiter carefully. A lot of recruiters deal with accounting. But business management is difficult to break into – for recruiters as well as candidates. If you’re interested in the field, find a recruiter who specializes in it. And choose a recruiter with at least ten years of experience, or they most likely won’t have the connections necessary to make a difference.
Feel free to contact us in regards to business management job opportunities.
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