Sports jobs aren’t much different from their counterparts in the ‘normal’ corporate world. Like accounting and finance positions in the corporate setting, coordinators at the league level deal with cash flows, assets, liabilities, revenue, profit & loss statements, etc. What is distinctly different from standard accounting positions are the line items; things like sponsorship dollars, CBA information and salary cap, raw salary data, depreciation and amortization of the stadium and/or the teams’ purchase price, television revenue, and league revenue sharing dollars coming from the teams.
Some of the daily responsibilities include: daily cash management (posting of bank transactions to report daily cash position), income management including preparation and posting of daily ticket sales dollars involved in revenue sharing, generating invoices, posting cash receipts, preparing aging reports and following up on past due amounts.
Along with the daily financial management this position will also include writing general ledger account reconciliations, maintaining month-end schedules for assigned accounts and inter-league reconciliations, providing support and serve as backup for Accounts Payable. As with any other job, there will be other special projects and activities that any finance/accounting job will entail. Each league is set up slightly different. For example, the NFL is set up as a non-profit while NASCAR is a wholly owned private company.
The job responsibilities of a finance/accounting coordinator are very technical, and therefore there are some very specific qualifications that leagues are looking for. These qualifications include: at minimum, an Associate’s degree in Accounting, extreme proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, especially Excel and Word, understanding and experience with a number of different accounting software programs. Other strengths that should be highlighted significantly in resumes and cover letters are strong organizational, analytical and problem solving skills as well as great attention to detail.
Pursuing a career in accounting or finance? Heck, why not make your accounting gig a sports career!
Compensation at the league level is higher than at the team level in most cases. The primary reasons for this are the amount of money leagues manage and the greater level of responsibility. Another key factor is that leagues tend to hire more experienced people that have spent a number of years working at the team level. One other benefit at the league level is that they often pay a portion of relocation costs (something that is rarely if ever done at the team level).
Salary levels vary substantially, depending upon the level of managerial responsibility, length of service, education, professional level (minor league versus top professional league), location, and sport. This is extremely evident in finance. Finance personnel have very technical skills, and therefore will make significantly more or less based on experience and education.
Major League Baseball: $68,000 – $90,000
National Football League: $80,000 – $103,000
National Basketball Association: $60,000 – $84,000
National Hockey League: $58,000 – $80,000
*As a general rule, finance and accounting positions make more than similar level positions in marketing and sponsorship.