UNT Student’s Music, Accounting Skills Add Up to New Business

Kyle McKay founded his company, The Musician’s Bookkeeper, after recognizing a common thread among his musical peers — a need for financial services.

Musician and money stave

Kyle McKay. [Photo Courtesy UNT]

A master’s student in music at the University of North Texas has created a business that helps keep freelance musicians in tune with their finances and tax preparation.

Kyle McKay created The Musician’s Bookkeeper after playing a gig with a band in New England, and other members of the band had no idea they were able to deduct performance-related expenses such as mileage on their income taxes.

“I mentioned that I needed to keep track of the miles I was driving so I could deduct them on my taxes,” McKay said in a UNT release. “The other band members’ minds were blown — they had no idea they could deduct certain performance-related expenses.”

Music and finance both come easily to the clarinetist.


“The other band members’ minds were blown — they had no idea they could deduct certain performance-related expenses.”
Kyle McKay

McKay, who also is working on a finance degree from Harvard University, worked for his mother as a bookkeeper while he was growing up and became proficient in accounting.

 “It’s something I fell into looking for an outlet outside of music so I wouldn’t lose my love for it,” McKay said in the release. “It’s what I did when I took time off between my undergraduate degree and graduate degrees. I started with basic data entry and eventually got a certification through Quickbooks as a Certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor and now have almost three years’ experience as a bookkeeper.”


He said that two UNT programs were helpful in creating The Musician’s Bookkeeper.

McKay won first place in the Career Development and Entrepreneurship in Music’s inaugural Music Entrepreneurship Competition and second in the College of Business’ Westheimer New Venture Competition, winning a total of $6,000 in prizes.

His mother and his fiancé convinced him to move forward with the business.

“I’ve had other clients tell me I’m their saving grace.” 

Kyle McKay

“The initial push can be really difficult. You always hear, ‘anyone can be an entrepreneur,’ but no one ever says exactly how much work it takes to be successful,” McKay said.

McKay’s classical musician/booking agent, Deborah Brooks, has helped him pick up several clients through word of mouth.

“I completed financial books for her and her 2016 tax return. She and her CPA called to tell me the books were excellent,” McKay said in the release. “I’ve had other clients tell me I’m their saving grace.”

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