Best Practice Guide to Production Accounting

Posted on 18 August 2014

The Production Guild of Great Britain, independent producers, the broadcasters including the BBC, ITV and Channel 5 and accountancy specialists working under the banner of the Production Accounting Forum have launched a new online guide to production accounting for the production sector.

The Best Practice Guide to Production Accounting which will be shared across the industry and updated regularly, marks the first step of the forum’s plans to expand information and tools available for film and television production accountants including working in international locations.

Production accountants play a pivotal role in film and television production management and the UK’s professionals in this area are internationally respected for their knowledge and expertise working on productions at all budget levels and wherever they may film in the world.

Emmy-award winning producer Hilary Bevan Jones from leading independent Endor Productions (The Girl in the Café, Cracker, State of Play), production accountant Rebecca Wolf (Kill your Friends, Kill Command) and Production Guild CEO Alison Small launched the guide at a drinks reception for the film and TV industry at BAFTA.

“The financing of film and television production has become ever more complex. Film makers live in a world of fiscal incentives, discounted pre-sales, gap funding, tax breaks, co-production regulations. Everyone with a financial interest in the movie, from producer to financier to completion guarantor, expects the production accountant to carry out his or her duties in a manner that satisfies their requirements. We all go to the production accountant for clear and accurate information and impartial advice. But who does the production accountant go to when he or she needs some help? Who can offer impartial advice on what to do, on best practice, in such a specialised area? I believe that this guide, put together with input from knowledgeable practitioners from all sides of our business will fill that gap.” Graham Easton, UK Managing Director for Film Finances

“Production accounting skills and expertise are essential on any production regardless of budget level and for me as a producer, efficient financial control practice is one of the factors essential for delivering high quality production value. I am sure this guide will be a production accountancy bible for the production sector.” Hilary Bevan Jones, Producer, Endor Productions.

Alison Small, Production Guild of Great Britain CEO and Chair of the Production Accountancy Forum says, “The UK’s film and television drama production sector generated over £1 billion of investment last year for the British economy and created thousands of jobs. With the introduction of new tax reliefs for high-end TV and animation and the extension of the UK film tax credit to VFX work stimulating further growth in the sector, the Production Guild wants to ensure that useful resources are produced and made available to anyone in production accounting and in production as a whole. This guide is part of our much broader strategy which includes the PGVision online resource and our Assistant Production Accounting Training Scheme to support the industry. We are hugely thankful to Creative Skillset and CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) and our partners for their participation and support.”

The guide, online at covers every aspect of production accounting, from pre-production and forecasting, through to taxation, filming overseas and payroll.

The guide has been sponsored by Creative Skillset, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Film Finances, Channel 5, ITV, Moneypenny, Sargent Disc, TPH and Grant Thornton and is endorsed by the Production Guild, the BBC, Channel 4, Kudos, Raw and SKY.

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