Friday, July 17, 2009

The Accompanists' Guild of South Australia on Best Billing Practices

Nobody likes to get hosed. The Accompanists' Guild of South Australia has an excellent primer on billing best practices in their Guidelines for the Payment of Accompanists. An excerpt:
The Committee urges all accompanists to make their fees clear before undertaking accompanying work. It is recommended accompanists provide a written form outlining their fees and conditions before rehearsals commence and issue a written invoice. It is suggested that payment be made after each rehearsal or 50% in advance if a series is arranged.

In this Register, accompanists describe themselves as Professional, Semi-professional or Amateur. This is not necessarily an indication of the standard of their work. It is more likely to reflect a) their tertiary qualifications or b) their experience or c) the percentage of work they currently undertake as accompanists...

...It must be realised that the accompanists should also be paid for performances after the series of rehearsals. Some accompanists may charge for time spent in transit or waiting for performances or may simply ask for a minimum fee regardless of time spent accompanying.

Some accompanists may prefer to arrange a “package”, e.g. $600.00 for as many rehearsals and performances as needed.
Take a look at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Accompanists Facebook group (FB ID req'd) for a litany of woe from pianists with all sorts of payment horror stories. A clear billing policy upfront will alleviate these risks and result in a higher chance that everyone leaving the engagement will have had a positive experience.

What billing practices would you recommend to others?

1 comment:

  1. Should a piano accompanist charge more for accompaniment performances?