Q: What got you interested in royalties and participation audits?
A: I got into it because my dad is an entertainment attorney. And I went into accounting and he suggested, "You should check out this niche of accounting. It's called royalty accounting or participation auditing. Check it out, you might like it." And I did, and I liked it. It's been more than 25 years now that I've been doing it, and I still like it.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
A: It's kind of cool to be like Sherlock Holmes. I walk into a new situation and I don't know necessarily what I'm going to find. There are almost always mistakes. There are almost always problems and monies owed, but it's often in different places, so it's like a puzzle to figure out. We're charging our clients money, so how are we going to give them the value they deserve? Where are the mistakes going to be? Where are the unpaid and underpaid money issues going to be? I have to assess each situation, and it takes a while. But it's really rewarding when I figure it out, and I find significant monies for clients, because we found what a company is doing wrong and that they're not doing what the agreement says. Then we calculate how much is owed, and a lot of times it's a lot of money, and being able to go to the client and saying, "Here are the results from all the work we did, and you're owed this amount of money," is rewarding. It's valuable, and it's fun!
Q: What does success for Hurewitz And Company look like?
A: Success for our company is when it's a win/win. If we're getting quality results; if we're helping our clients get paid correctly and they are happy; if they're making more money than the cost of our fees that they had to pay us; if we're able to earn a living and pay our team; if our people are happy and enjoy the work; and the clients enjoy working with us, it's win/win. Everybody wins! So I think that's success.
Q: How is this work relevant for those outside of the music and film/TV industries as well?
A: It relates to people who are involved in video games, people who own patents and license the right to others in exchange for payment, people who create software and license the right for that software to be included in computers. Once we did an audit where we were auditing Dell on behalf of some software creators and walked away finding a lot of money. Book publishing, oil and gas—we represented the state of California who owns land and leases it out to companies that are going to drill and have to pay royalties based on how much oil they take out. It's relevant for a lot of different industries.