If you’re in the creative industries, when it comes to totalling up the numbers, filing accounts and planning your finances strategically, you’re likely to turn to one of the 700 staff and 75 partners at leading accountancy firm Moore Kingston Smith. Its West End branch deals exclusively with media clients, while its US counterpart operates out of Los Angeles. Chairman and partner Graham Tyler has guided the company’s focus on servicing the business end of the creative sector for four decades, and leading directors, producers, agencies and post houses are all on his books. With the industry having survived extreme climate conditions in recent years – Covid, lockdown, remote working, recession, the cost impacts of the energy crisis – having a strategic-thinking, industry-savvy accounting and financial partner at hand to help guide the way through some extremely heavy weather, is part-and-parcel of ensuring a profitable future.
So, Graham, how has the past year been for you?
2022 was challenging, but ultimately a good year for us. We really benefited from being people who understand the industry at a time when that was what companies needed most – we have been able to give our clients some confidence, security and direction during a period where things have been so uncertain.
What’s the big takeaway you’d carry over to 2023?
There are big events you have no control over, which will affect your business, but you need to focus on the things you can control and make the right decisions with regards to these. You can do this by focusing on both short-term objectives – surviving and riding out the wave – and the longer-term objectives that focus on thriving.
Have you had to adapt your ways of working post-Covid to match the needs of your media industry clients?
We haven’t really had to adapt our ways of working – hybrid working has opened up new channels of communication but it remains extremely important to make sure you make time to actually see your clients and talk to them face to face.
From your perspective, how is the creative industry responding to the real-world challenges of a very challenging 2022?
The industry has the key attributes of resilience and flexibility, which enable it to meet challenges well and emerge positively.
Will remote and hybrid ways of working continue to be the industry norm, and how may that impact the work, how it’s done and who’s doing it?
Some form of hybrid working will remain the norm, although I do think that the pressure to go back to some form of regular office time will increase during 2023. Ultimately, I think who does the work is more based on talent than where people work from; the industry’s adoption of remote working has reduced the geographical barriers associated with talent hiring, which is great. However, learning through osmosis remains crucial for the industry and I think this is most effective when teams work together in the same space.
What do you think are the year’s best ad campaigns or pieces of work, and why?
I really enjoyed The Elf commercial for Asda, Have your Elf a Merry Christmas – light-hearted and highly entertaining!
What trends do you see in the ad/media/production industry emerging as we focus on the coming year?
I think that, as 2023 progresses, the industry should emerge from the malaise of 2022. I know there is not much optimism around at the moment but I feel the pessimism is overplayed and that it will be a better year than is predicted.
What do the British Arrows mean to you, what’s their role in the industry and what’s the impetus behind becoming a sponsor?
We are great supporters of the Arrows, which we believe have a unique place in the heart of the industry. As we have a strong and longstanding client base in the sector we strongly feel we should show our support and ensure that the Arrows continue to prosper and grow.