As a CPA in the entertainment industry, you can be behind-the-scenes of all kinds of Hollywood enterprises. Here are just a few of the options you’ll have if you take a job in celebrityland:
Personal Financial Advisor to the Stars. You’ll still work in the traditional areas of accounting, but you’ll get to do it for famous people. Ever wonder how Brad Pitt spends all that money? As his personal financial advisor, you’d be involved with everything from investments to estate planning to all the random expenditures (Swiss chateau?) he makes. And for all your hard work, you just might be invited to a movie set or premiere to watch him in action. Be warned, it can take a few years before you reach the level where you’re trusted by the entertainment elite. But once you do, you could make as much as 5% of your client’s annual salary.
Accountant to the “Little People.” Not all personal financial advisors work for celebrities. There are a lot of other people in the industry, like screenwriters, music industry moguls and unknown actors, who need the services of a CPA, too. Unlike celebrities, they may not need someone overseeing every purchase—just someone to help them with their bigger financial questions. With some networking and knowledge of the entertainment industry, a CPA license and good people skills, that person could be you.
Corporate Entertainment Accountant. If you’re not interested in catering to one individual, you can work as a CPA for a studio, production company or record company. If you choose this route, you could have all kinds of responsibilities, from overseeing production costs to valuating companies to budgeting for concert tours. For example, as an on-location production accountant working on a film, you’d be in charge of making sure that all of the director’s spur-of-the-moment set changes can be done within budget.
The hours in entertainment accounting can be long, but there are sweet perks that come with the territory, like getting invited to awards ceremonies and fancy after-parties. Of course, this makes competition for these jobs pretty stiff. You’ll need good grades through college, a CPA license and a couple years of work experience to catch your big break.