Business Manager | AACT

Business Manager

The Business Manager's Job
The basics

The role of a business manager (or chief financial officer) varies according to the size of the organization, but often includes a company's finances, operations, and employees.

Business Manager confers with board memberBusiness managers are often referred to as “controllers." It's an apt title, considering that when it comes to an organization's financial resources, business managers control almost everything. They have many duties, including devising and implementing a general budget, distributing payroll, paying outside bills (and reviewing them for discrepancies), overseeing purchasing procedures, and maintaining meticulous financial records. Business managers may also be involved in preparing an organization's tax information and reporting it to the state or federal government.

What makes payroll challenging is often keeping track of payments to outside soloists, union musicians, outside actors, commissioned composers or playwrights, and contracted technicians who have contributed to the organization.

Business managers tend to work closely with the organization's Chief Administrative Officer when designing the yearly budget, a difficult task that requires extensive experience in similar roles. Business managers may also collaborate with other department heads (including the head of development, who might set fundraising goals based on the business manager's advice).

Contracting for rights to produce a play or musical may fall to the business manager, and even if the chief executive officer handles these duties, it is usually in consultation with the business manager--who often maintains files on all contractual activities by the company.

In many cases, the business manager oversees maintenance of the theatre facility, including phones, electrical, computers, and other equipment; assures compliance with fire inspections and other insurance-related inspections. If the facility is leased, the business manager makes sure that all aspects of the lease are honored.  If the building is owned, he or she makes sure that all buildings and spaces are up to code, the facility is properly insured, and all applicable city, state and federal taxes are paid.

The business manager works with persons or companies seeking to rent the theatre; prepares and expedites contracts; and secures personnel to work as needed

For both special events & fundraising activities, the business manager provides financial guidance as needed, and makes sure that everything is on a financially sound footing.

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