Hentons won the Accountancy Firm Of The Year category at this year’s Music Week Awards, seeing off competition from a crowded field including CC Young, who triumphed in 2020 and 2021.
Speaking to Music Week backstage, Panayi stressed the importance of accountancy to the music business.
“Artists have short careers and the industry is evolving all the time, so they need to have professionals around them who can guide them,” he said. “Not just management, but other people within the industry, lawyers, accountants, bank managers, people who care about them. And that hasn’t always been the focal point, it’s not cool to be an accountant - well, it is.”
Chris Panayi and team on stage
Panayi said that industry perceptions of the sector are changing, but called for his peers to go further still.
“It is changing, but I think we’ve got to change it a little bit more,” he said. “Music is a major part of my life, apart from my family it’s the thing I feel most passionate about. Accountants have got to stop being [seen as] these staid people and understand that music has to come from the heart. That’s what has to happen, we have to really get in there and feel what the artists feel, so you can understand how they think and guide them accordingly. It’s not about us, it’s about them.”
We have to really get in there and feel what the artists feel
Panayi added that Hentons would relish their victory.
“We’ve waited a long time to be recognised,” he said. “We’ve been in the industry now for 42 years and to be recognised by our peers is the greatest accolade of all. It’s a wonderful night.”
Catch up on all the winners from this year's Music Week Awards here.