Staying on song: Paul Luczak CPA
31 | Director | White Sky
What started as a niche financial service to musicians has grown into a substantial business for Monash University accounting graduate Paul Luczak.
White Sky, launched in 2002, was started to fill a gap in the market for musicians in need of financial advice. Music also happened to be an obsession for Luczak, who has played in bands all his life.
“Since 2006 it’s been a period where we have had substantial growth in services and the business is 80 per cent business management and financial controller roles. We now have around 30 staff,” he says.
“Where we differentiated ourselves is we were bringing a mini-financial controller role into businesses that could only afford two hours a week of advice.”
He’s also been involved in setting up an entertainment insurance broking business, Bluestone Insurance, and a joint business with royalty specialists called White Sky Royalty Accounting.
It’s been a very busy seven or eight years, says Luczak, who started out at one of the Big Four accounting firms but soon realised it wasn’t the right cultural fit for him.
"The motivation was really trying to create something from the ground up."
“It’s obviously a niche, and the typical business manager role has been around forever.
"But the Australian entertainment industry is quite small compared to the rest of the world and while there are some companies and firms that offer the same services, they are not like ours.”
White Sky is now the largest music accounting and business management company in Australia. Over the past five years its client base has expanded to include some of the country’s biggest names in all areas of the entertainment industry, among them comedians, record labels, festivals, venues, booking agents and managers.
“We have gone down a completely non-traditional public accounting route,” says Luczak. “I reckon that having the CPA qualification allows you to do that, and if you don’t want to go down the traditional practice route you can change.
"It’s a skill set that every top-level manager has to have and if you’ve got it, it’s a real big bonus.”
Luczak says he probably would not have stayed in accounting at all if not for the music industry and the satisfaction of running his own show.
“The motivation was really trying to create something from the ground up.”
He’s certainly done that, and the business now has clients based in the US and Europe, and has expertise in international touring, with contacts around the world.
This article is from the May 2014 issue of INTHEBLACK.
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