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I recently spoke to Sam Beckley, a Financial Controller who shared his insight on working a financial role within a creative industry.
Please introduce yourself
Hi I’m Sam; I’ve recently joined SPZ Group as the financial controller. SPZ has been running for over 30 years and is made up of labels, publishing and studios including: Perfect Songs, ZTT Records, Stiff Records, SARM Music Village and Music Bank.
What would you say is the primary responsibility of an Financial Controller
My primary responsibility is to oversee the financial running of the group of companies and to make sure that all regulations and tax laws are followed.
What does your daily workload usually involve?
My workload focuses on everything financial from cash flow for the companies and tax and audit regulations, to the internal control processes. My role also includes some day to day management of the group including wider admin and HR for the group, liaising with the licensees of the music catalogues and making sure sync requests are approved. On occasion I liaise with the artists.
Do you plan your days?
I try to mostly plan my days, although I often find myself dealing with tasks and duties that can’t be foreseen. Tasks like year-end / month-ends / liaising with lawyers and tax issues require planning and internal control, so these tend to be planned in advance. However other things may come up on a day to day basis and end up taking time, such as requests for syncs in films & TV or artist queries.
What’s the best bit about being a Financial Controller at SPZ?
I’ve always enjoyed music and working within the industry. I studied music at the Brighton Academy of Modern Music and enjoy the flexibility and environment working in music presents. It’s a creative place and I love being exposed to that.
What challenges do you come across in your work?
The nature of music is quite financially unpredictable. Signing Artists and creating budgets can be challenging when the nature of music isn’t linear. This is especially true with newer acts when it is uncertain if they will take off or not. Also the scope of the role is very broad so it feels like I often have many plates in the air at once!
What part would you like to change?
I still feel fairly new within this position so at this moment in time, I’d like to learn more about my surroundings before changing much. At the moment I’d like to gain more knowledge!
Is your work sociable?
Yes, it is a great environment to be social and meet lots of inspiring and creative people.
Sam Beckley is the Financial Controller at the SPZ Group, a UK-based entertainment business with interests across all aspects of performance, publishing and recording. View his LinkedIn here.
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