Trice & Co

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Trice & Co's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Trice & Co is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Partner Julia Trice with her dog,
Out in the fresh air
Trice & Co has been working in the music and media
industry for almost 30 years. Partner Julia Trice tells
TheParliamentary Review
that the firm provides financial
and business services to bands, artists and companies in the
sector. The concept behind her company is simple: while
creatives may have the drive and energy to use and promote
their individual talents, they may not have the time or ability
to manage their affairs as a business. Julia talks through the
company’s history.
In our opinion, being an entrepreneur is not all about maximising profit and
growth. It is about lifestyle, employee welfare, human connections and joy in the
work undertaken.
After finishing my performing arts degree in 1989, I worked for two years as studio
manager in a recording studio in Sheffield. I was unfairly made redundant and
subsequently won my tribunal case.
At this point I had my own idea for a business and felt that I did not want to be an
employee again. In 1992 I gained funding from The Prince’s Trust as a start-up and
established Trice & Co.
My aim was to develop a specialist business management and bookkeeping service,
specifically for artists, bands and creative companies in the music business.
The hope was to create a business which was broader and more holistic than an
accountancy firm, working directly for artists, providing them with firm foundations
»Partner: Julia Trice
»Founded in 1992
»Located in London
»Services: Bookkeeping and
business management for
»No. of employees: 3 and 2
Trice & Co
Highlighting best practice
for their future financial success
created by their talents.
I further hoped to keep the business
small in terms of staff numbers, and
by extension the premises, while
maximising profitability and staff
wages on a small scale. I believe our
decision to stay small has been the
key to our longevity, success and
well-established reputation within the
Something changed
Our staff retention has been
particularly good over the years.
Our current team of three full-time
employees and two freelance staff
provides a tight and communicative
unit. I do believe that there should
be fewer legislative demands on
businesses with five employees or
fewer and a turnover of less than
£500,000 a year.
When Pulp, who I represented,
became particularly successful in
1994, I relocated to London. My sister,
Sarah, became an equal partner in the
business in 1997, bringing clients of
her own with her.
We took various very basic offices
over the years, in the belief that our
reputation is built on our achievements
and not on fancy premises. We are
currently based in our lovely offices
in a quiet yard in Kentish Town. Our
landlord has not increased our rent in
eight years as we are reliable, long-
term tenants.
The work and our clients
We predominantly work with bands
and artists from the moment they
sign their record and publishing
deals. We also work with clients who
are established and have decided to
change representation. Our clients are
predominantly in London, but we also
provide our services across the country.
We have built a network of contacts
with artist managers, labels, live agents
and music lawyers who bring their
artists to us.
Our approach to marketing has been
to not do much at all. Instead, we have
built our business through networking
across the music sector and by word of
mouth. This has proved very successful.
We act as the central office for our
artists and companies, managing
all aspects of their financial careers
on a day-to-day basis. This ranges
from bookkeeping, paying invoices
and collecting revenue, to tax and
VAT planning, cashflow forecasting
We liaise directly on a daily basis with
our clients’ artist management, live
booking agents, record and publishing
companies, royalty collectors and bank.
As signatories on their bank accounts,
Sarah and I have sole responsibility
for these funds, which can be
considerable. We have the relevant
professional indemnity insurance
Considering the above, we can pay
our own invoices so we rarely have
cashflow issues.
Sarah and Julia
Our approach
to marketing
has been to
not do much at
all. Instead, we
have built our
across the
music sector
and by word
of mouth. This
has proved very
Paying our dues
At Trice & Co we recognise that
creative people have the drive and
energy to conceive and promote
their talents but may not have the
skills or inclination to conduct their
financial and business affairs. We take
a friendly, personal and hands-on
approach to enable talented people
to offload these tasks in order to
concentrate on their artistic creation,
performance and production.
We have over 70 clients, whom we
charge an hourly rate, divided into
15-minute segments, which allows
us to work with multiple clients
throughout the day. Our turnover rises
steadily each year with hourly rate
We also have an income stream
for commission received from an
insurance firm that we place our
clients with and receive five per cent of
I negotiated this with the firm over five
years ago and we also have a limited
production company that allows tax to
be withheld for our client’s European
live dates. This earns us a commission
of two per cent on the artist’s live fee
for providing that service.
Trice & Co has no loans, overdrafts or
liabilities and we reserve our tax on a
monthly basis so that when the year
ends, we have the total tax due for
that tax year.
A small business in small premises must
work on democratic lines. Sarah and I
are not alienated from our staff but are
in close and accessible proximity. Our
door is always open.
We do not have a dress code in our
office; we believe our staff’s work
is more important than what they
look like. Our two senior staff benefit
from working from home one day a
week and no one in the business has
email on their phone or is expected
to respond to anything outside
Everyone is offered flexi-time and some
come in early, some later. Sarah and
I take our dogs to the office, which
brings enjoyment for the staff. Staff
also benefit by going to client concerts
and are often on the guest list.
We share the workload equally;
however, Sarah and I take the most
important managerial roles and
decisions on behalf of our clients. We
all feel validation and benefit from the
team effort in our work.
We see Trice & Co continuing as it has
to date: providing excellent service to
our clients and being an enjoyable and
vibrant place to work.
Trice & Co. Stable. Responsible. Ethical.
We do not have
a dress code in
our office; we
believe our
staff’s work is
more important
than what they
look like
Trice HQ

This article was sponsored by Trice & Co. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development