Session 1: What is Production Accounting?
We’ll look at the responsibilities of a head of department and the role’s requirements, from accounting and production expertise to soft skills. How can production accountants best support producers and ensure a production can afford to be completed? Where does the money come from, and what do funders want in return? You’ll assess where you are now in a personal development plan.
Session 2: Tax Credits and Working with the Budget and Schedule
Deep-dive into budgets, cashflows, schedules and tax credits. Essentials of Master Movie Magic budgeting. Checking budgets for the Producer/Line Producer. You’ll complete a cashflow for GBP and USD, and reconcile with a total budget.
Session 3: Setting up the Finance Office
Everything a head of department needs to know at the start of a production: crewing, systems and procedures, software options and effective ways to work with the production office. Recruiting your team. Smooth running of the accounts office. Controls, when to delegate (and when not…).
Session 4: Management and Leadership
The hardest part of the job, but also the most rewarding. What makes a good manager and effective leadership models. Asses your leadership style and approach to management. Which leadership skills do you need to work on? Compassionate leadership and other practical ways to get the best out of your team. Monitoring performance and delegation. Assess your performance profile.
Session 5: AP and Petty Cash
Back to basics on Accounts Payable and petty cash, pulling apart common issues and how to communicate with and monitor the work of your team. An overview of tax and VAT, with common errors to be aware of. Free field flagging, descriptions and controls. You’ll practise producing a tax return.
Session 6: Contracting, Payroll and Union Agreements
Including the legal aspects of contracting, IR35 and controls. A look at crew payroll and PACT/BECTU agreements. You should have good experience in this area, so the focus is on dealing with common areas of confusion and errors, and ways to help your whole team feel more confident in their knowledge and skills.
Session 7: Cast Payroll, Balance Sheets and Foreign Filming
You should be well versed already in these payroll, so we’ll identify gaps in your knowledge to fill and ways to ensure your team is secure in their own knowledge. Differences between PACT/Equity contracts for film and TV. Next-level complexities of filming internationally. Foreign etiquette, fixers, the bribery act and moral issues when filming abroad. Finally we’ll look at trial balance and balance sheets.
Session 8: Forecasting and Reporting
Pulling together everything we’ve looked at over the past two months. How to keep on top of all the information and give an accurate picture of how/whether the production can be delivered on time and in budget. Insurance. Forecasting the estimated final cost of the film or TV programme using information gathered from the production. Cost reports and how they are used by producers and funders. What to do when things go wrong. You’ll revisit and finalise your personal development plan.