A: The generic term Music Industry encompasses many different types of businesses and services. Although it is virtually impossible to be involved in every aspect of the music industry, we routinely perform accounting, tax and consulting services for the following types of music clients:
- Music Store Retailers
- Music Instrument and Equipment Manufacturers
- Professional Musicians and Bands
- Recording Studios and Production/Editing/Mastering Facilities
- Manufacturer’s Sales Reps
- Music Schools and Teachers
- Independent Record Labels
- Music Instrument Repair and Tech Services
Q: Is your firm recognized as an “expert” in any of the aforementioned areas of the music industry?
A: Yes. We have a significant amount of experience in music store retailing, as evidenced by the large number of our music dealer clients throughout the U.S. Our Music Industry Partner, Alan Friedman, CPA, is a regular speaker at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Professional Development Programs, held at the semi-annual winter and summer NAMM Trade Shows. He is a featured writer of the “Think Tank” articles in Music, Inc. magazine, and has been involved in the production of various educational CDs, video tapes and business guides for NAMM and its members.
Our firm’s other Partner, Donald Kannenberg, Jr., CPA, CVA, is a recognized expert in business valuations of music retailers. He is a Certified Valuation Analyst and member of the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA).
As part of our firm’s dedication and commitment to the music instrument and product retailing industry, our firm is a member of NAMM, the Retail Print Music Dealers Association (RPMDA) and the National Association of School Music Dealers (NASMD).
For the past fifteen years, our firm has been providing accounting, tax and consulting services to music retailers, both large and small, located throughout the United States.
Q: Is your firm well versed in computer technology and current computing trends?
A: Yes. Alan, Daniel, Shaun and several members of our firm are actively involved in the computer consulting segment of our practice. Prior to joining Friedman, Kannenberg & Company, Alan was a computer systems analyst and programmer for United Technologies Corp., and a Senior Technology Consultant with the international accounting firm of Ernst and Whinney (now known as Ernst and Young). These positions enabled Alan to become an expert in accounting software selection, implementation and training. Daniel, Alan, Shaun, and other firm members are well versed in several general accounting software packages (i.e.Mas-90, PeachTree and QuickBooks), as well as those software packages specific to music instrument and product retailing (i.e. Tri-Technical Systems, Tyler, Maestro).
Alan also has been involved in the installation of several PC-based computer systems and networks, as well as possesses a skill in HTML Programming used in the development of Web Sites (including this one). He has presented several in-depth seminars at NAMM Trade Shows on Barcoding Technology and Accounting Software Solutions for the Music Retailer.
Alan is a member of the American Institute of CPAs Technology Group and the former Chairman of the Connecticut Society of CPAs Internet Committee.
Q: My Company is having cash flow problems. Can your firm help?
A: Absolutely Yes. Understanding that most music businesses were founded by musicians themselves, it makes sense that many music business owners excel at sales and marketing, yet are inexperienced, confused or misguided in financial and accounting matters. Their lack of experience and training may show itself in excess inventory on hand, low profit margins, unmanageable overhead expenses, and/or untimely or inaccurate financial data. These problems all translate into poor cash flow.
By understanding the problems inherent in your music business, we’re able to quickly identify the exact source of cash flow problems, and correct these problems in a timely and cost effective manner through our specialized Music Retailer Consulting Services. For more information on these consulting services, go to the Services section of our web site.
Q: Can you help my business get financing?
A: Yes. In our dual role as your accountants and business advisors, we are most familiar with the financial structure and capitalization of your business. A timely financial statement can be used to not only help management measure the Company’s results from one point in time to another, but it also can communicate the need for new financing or the restructure of existing debt.
Additionally, because we understand the nature of music instrument retailing, for example, we know how vendors like to entice you into placing orders and taking delivery of goods (i.e. band instruments for rental) before you need them. Properly structured bank financing is often the only responsible solution to this dilemma.
Accordingly, we are frequently involved in making borrowing and capital-raising presentations to banks and investors, respectively, for music businesses who are looking for working capital to grow their businesses. Accordingly, we often find ourselves in the unique position to effectively match clients in need of financing with appropriate lenders. This is just one of the many financial services our firm offers as part of our commitment to our clients.
Q: Can you effectively and efficiently service us from your Connecticut office?
A: Yes. If we were asked this question many years ago, our answer may have been either “no”, or “yes, but at a higher-than-normal cost”. Today, our answer is unquestionably “yes” for many reasons. Our firm employs competent professionals with varied areas of relevant expertise. We furnish each of our staff with the latest computing technology and application software to provide you with timely and meaningful financial data about your business. We stay in frequent contact with you via our extensive use e-mail, internet and web-based technology (not to mention the good old telephone, fax machine and FedEx services). The thought of e-mailing us your accounting software data is no longer an idea; its an every-day common occurrence.
From a tax compliance standpoint, federal tax returns are the same no matter where you live or conduct your business. Yet we have made the financial commitment to use the most comprehensive tax return software (CCH ProSystem-FX), which allows us to prepare all entity (i.e. corporate, partnership/LLC, individual, trust, etc.) tax returns for every state in the United States. We also use web-based online services for tax research, which gives us “up-to-the-minute” tax law and proposed changes.
These efficient tools, coupled with our extensive knowledge of the music industry and frequent travel, have bridged the geographical gap. It’s almost as good as being just down the street.
Q: How do you charge for your services?
A: This is the most popular question that very few professional firms like to answer. On the contrary, we welcome your asking this question because we’re proud of our answer. So, here it is:
We bill for our services in the same manner as most CPA firms: the hours spent on an engagement is multiplied by the hourly rates of the individuals doing the work. But that’s where our similarity to other CPA firms ends.
When compared to your current CPA firm, our fees will probably be less for similar services, or the same for a greater level of service because we (a) waste no “learning curve” time by possessing the unique expertise and understanding of your business and the challenges you face within the music industry, (b) charge competitive hourly rates for a quality-driven CPA firm, (c) keep engagement hours to a minimum by utilizing the latest computing technology in both client services and the administration of our firm, (d) view our engagement fees as an “investment delivering a greater return” rather than as an “expense”, and most important (e) are more interested in establishing long-term profitable relationships by helping our clients achieve the business and financial goals they’ve set for themselves.
Given our familiarity with your industry, we are always willing to structure client engagements on a “fixed fee” basis rather than on an “hourly basis.” By utilizing experienced staff at various hourly rates, we are confident a cost-effective fee arrangement can always be arranged between ourselves and any new client in need of our services.
Q: Why is your CPA firm committed to the “Music Industry”?
A: We spend each and every work day (which is 7 days a week from January 1st through April 15th) providing important financial services that only CPA firms can provide. We feel an immense amount of pressure, both self-imposed and from our industry’s governing authorities (IRS, AICPA, FASB, etc.), to provide quality and expert services to our clients. In reality, it’s virtually impossible for a CPA firm to be “all things to all clients” and still maintain a high level of quality and expertise. So several years ago, we set out on a search for an industry niche that would allows us to narrow our area of practice and truly be “all things to all clients” in that niche.
During our search, we immediately found a commonality amongst members of our CPA firm. We’ve always enjoyed the wonder of music, the spirit of musicians, the excitement of the music industry and the energy of those companies who chose to earn a living from it. Additionally, many of our firm’s employees are musicians, are in bands, are home-recording enthusiasts and keep music an integral part of their lives. We all encourage our children to take part in school music programs and music instruction lessons, knowing the sense of comradery it brings and the prejudices it eradicates (not to mention the scholastic brain power it promotes within us all). Some of us are music product “gear-heads”, as evidenced by our vast instrument and product knowledge. We collectively agreed these interests, talents and desires could form a foundation of knowledge within our CPA firm, and fuel our dedication to provide quality financial services to music industry businesses and individuals.
These attributes, coupled with our goal to be the best at what we do, led to our firm’s decision to specialize in certain segments of the music industry. This chosen path has allowed our firm to develop the skills, gain the experience, obtain the insight and earn the reputation necessary to call ourselves music industry experts. We like that.
We’re convinced you will too.