Production accountants act as a liaison with financiers, and/or the studio. They make sure that payments are made on time, and in accordance with agreements and approved budgets. With a comprehensive knowledge of union, guild, tax and other relevant government regulations, production accountants can help you ensure that you meet all the necessary legal requirements for your production.
Hear more from PACS CEO Cheryl Jenkins as she shares in detail five reasons to hire a production accountant to manage your finances.
Access to an expert on unions and guilds. Production accountants are knowledgeable about unions and guilds, and understand how to budget for and pay crews properly. There are many nuances when dealing with a union. The books and contracts are typically pretty lengthy. Of course, we may come across scenarios that we are not familiar with, but we make it our responsibility to research and find out the answers to pertinent questions.
Ensuring you get the full benefit of tax incentives. Production accountants create a system for tracking qualified expenses eligible for tax incentive programs. They are well versed on the tax incentive in each state where shooting will take place. In Georgia and most states, the accounting department will take a look at every financial document – contracts, invoices, petty cash expenses, credit card charges, payroll – and determine if each expense will qualify for the state’s incentive program. After the production has finished, the accountant will go through the auditing process to determine if the books were kept accurately. In Georgia, the auditing company will want to see if expenses actually occurred in Georgia.
Tracking how money is being spent. The production accountant creates special reports for producers so they can see how much money has been spent against the budget on a weekly basis. He or she will analyze each line item of the budget to determine how much more money will be spent to complete the project. This tool, known as a “cost report,” will help everyone know if the project is going over or under budget, and where money can be pulled from in the budget to cover unexpected overages.
Saving your production time and money. Production accountants are well aware of all the rules. They will know how to turn over the books to the auditing company to ensure the production’s records have been kept accurately and the production will get the maximum tax credit possible. Accountants at PACS International have the added benefit of being experienced with productions in Georgia, and know the state’s rules and regulations inside and out. This takes a big weight off of producers, as one mistake with your auditing could potentially cost the production several thousand dollars.
Making your production look attractive to financiers and studios. Financiers want to make sure that a competent, professional is watching over their money and that it’s spent appropriately. They want to make sure that no money is squandered and that proper financial controls are established. Studios will have the same objectives. And this is where production accountants can help. Production accountants monitor expenses and ensure for the line producer and studio that all expenditures have been approved.
To get more information about how production accountants can help your production, email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 678-927-9589.