This week we’re joined for our Meet Our Associates’ conversation by Lisa Morris, Founder and partner at Hardwick and Morris.
Hardwick & Morris is a vibrant firm of chartered accountants and business managers specialising in music and entertainment.
Firstly, could you please tell us a bit about Hardwick & Morris, what you do and how you work with music managers and artists?
The firm was set up by me and Stephanie Hardwick in 2003 when we left a more “traditional” firm of accountants as we wanted to work with clients from the music industry where we had the time to develop strong personal relationships with our clients.
We have worked with music managers and artists since the firm began and we see ourselves as business partners working with them to ensure all their financial administration is being dealt with.
As well as the services you would normally expect of accountants, we also set up and manage bank accounts, credit control, organising insurance (e.g. house, car, equipment, studio) etc.
Please share a bit more about your background specifically, how did you get into your role and the work you do with managers and artists?
I trained as a Chartered Accountant at a Top 100 firm and began working with Steph on a portfolio of music clients. Having always been interested in music, I quickly realised that I wanted to specialise in the industry and work with some of the most creative and stimulating people I had ever met.
We decided to set up on our own and the firm grew quickly as we started acting for managers and dealing with the artists that they managed – established artists as well as new up and coming acts.
As chartered accountants and business managers specialising in music and entertainment, tell us a bit more about your services and the importance you play in the music industry?
We help our clients by bringing structure and process to them – the industry continues to evolve and respond to an increasingly complex digital and financially regulated world.
As a result, there are a huge number of issues for clients to consider such as licensing, tour accounting, digital releases, royalty management and copyright administration. We have an in depth understanding of these areas and can guide them through these aspects.
We also work closely with a network of other experts in the industry, such as those providing royalties’ services, copyright administration/neighboring rights/global digital releases and catalogue and copyright valuers as well specialist lawyers and a worldwide network of tax specialists.
What has Hardwick & Morris been working on recently?
In 2023 we have seen the firm continue to expand – we have a team of over 30 music specialists – as our clients are doing more and more especially worldwide tours.
In respect of tours, we can help with the tour budgeting as well as on the road support culminating in final tour accounts. We also work closely with tour managers ensuring the financial side of things runs as smoothly as possible.
What are your plans for the rest of 2023?
January was a very busy time for the firm due to the personal tax filing deadline – it is important for us though that our clients should not be surprised by what needs to be paid to HMRC in January as we have already worked with the client in ensuring adequate cash has been put aside to pay future tax liabilities.
The rest of the year is also looking busy as our artists continue to tour and we are already planning to take on more team members to deal with our expected growth from both existing clients as well as new clients that we continue to take on.
When is the right time for an artist or manager to start working with a firm such as Hardwick & Morris?
Frankly from the start – it is important to get things properly structured from the outset. Come and talk to me or one of my partners and tell us what you are doing now, what your plans are and your ultimate aspirations. No situation is the same and we will look at your specific circumstances and those of the artists and provide a bespoke plan about how we will work together which will evolve as the circumstances change.
What new music releases are you currently enjoying?
As well as keeping up to date with the music our clients release, my teenage kids ensure that I stay up to date, particularly when they take control of the music playing in the car!
What was the last gig you went to?
Due to other commitments, I don’t go to as many gigs as I would like to now but the last one was with my daughter to see Ed Sheeran at Wembley – it turned into an office party as most of our team was also there!
Is there anything you would like to say to managers who are interested in finding out more about Hardwick & Morris?
In general, don’t leave it too late until you take advice from an accountant – come and talk to us – the first chat costs nothing and I always enjoy meeting new people in the industry!