t’s a well-known fact that children who are talented in music also tend to be great in math. So Barry Bender surely is not the only CPA who has two master’s degrees, one in music and one in accounting. This March he got the opportunity to work on both of his favorite subjects, as he split his time between finishing up clients’ tax returns and fulfilling his dream of producing and releasing an album of his own.
Like fellow musical CPA Kenny G, Bender considers himself a saxophone player—though he also plays keyboard, guitar, bass and drums when he’s not teaching accounting and business at Rowan University and Richard Stockton College in New Jersey. And while “Life (and Jade)” has not yet made it to the top of the charts, Bender isn’t looking for fame. He’s donating all proceeds from the album ($12 each at www.barrybender.com ) to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of a stricken friend.
“As an accountant I know that if I factor in all the courses I’ve taken and the instruments I’ve bought”—not to mention the full recording studio in his basement—“music is not a money-making proposition. I definitely have a debit balance in my music equity account,” he says. “But for me, it’s about being creative and having fun.”