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Accounting for Hollywood

Stocks in this article: DIS

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- John Finn loves accounting so much that he co-wrote a song about it for his band, Pispoure, in which he plays bass guitar when not busy with his main gig: running a small accounting firm and software company for the television and film industry.

John Finn discusses the challenges of starting a small business in a webinar created by TheStreet and SCORE >>>

The Accounting Song plays nonstop on the homepage of JFA, an accounting firm that has managed the books for films such as Garden State, Lost in Translation and Super Size Me.

"I always wanted to be an accountant; I was fast, and I could do multiple things at the same time," says Finn, chief executive officer of the New York company as well as of IndiePay , which makes payroll software for the TV and film industry. Combined, the companies have 23 employees.

Finn began his career at the big-four firm KPMG, where he stayed for almost three years before deciding in 1995 that he wasn't made for a cutthroat corporate gig that involved more travel and schmoozing than it did accounting.

Finn's brother introduced him to the film industry via the classified ads in the back of The Hollywood Reporter, an entertainment industry trade magazine. Finn quit KPMG, moved to New York and began sending out resumes blindly. He soon landed his first job, working for a $500,000-budget film called Sleeping Together, not only managing the books but also driving the equipment truck. He was one of the few people on set who knew how to drive stick shift. "I was wide-eyed, very naive, but gung-ho and willing to do anything," Finn says.

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