The film industry also has need of people skilled in the workings of the accounting industry. A production accountant is one that is essential in the film industry to manage the finances and financial records during film production. This job involves working in close association with the producer and the production office for the preparation of the film budget and to organize schedules. In addition to these duties, as the accountant for a film, you will also have day-to-day duties to perform such as the normal accounting duties of an office and maintaining the budget by reporting the expenses accumulated to ensure that they do not go over the allocated budget.
To be hired as a production accountant, you need to have experience working in the accounting industry, which also means you need the educational qualifications of a Bachelor’s degree. You also need to have a thorough knowledge on the government rules and regulations concerning unions, guilds and taxes related to the film industry. This type of work is usually on a freelance or contract basis and the amount of experience you need to obtain the position has a lot to do with the size and scale of the film being produced. Working in this field of accounting allows you to choose your jobs and travel to many different places as you work. A working knowledge of foreign languages is also essential since you may be working in any part of the world. In your job as an accountant, you should also have a proven track record with impeccable references from former employers.
Depending on the financing for the film project, your role as production accountant may involve dealing with banks and lenders. Developing a business plan in consultation with others on the film production staff is essential in order to obtain backing from investors. These investors will also need regular financial statements to ensure their money is not being waster, so you will be responsible for the preparation of these reports or for overseeing their preparation.
As the production assistant, your duties will consist of calculating the finances, the costs of production, controlling the cash flow to ensure that all the bills are paid on time and ensuring that all expenditures are in keeping with scope of project. Other duties include:
- Managing the payroll
- Managing the petty cash
- Analyzing costs
- Provide weekly cash reports
- Estimating future costs
Meticulous bookkeeping and accounting skills are necessities for the position of production accounting. You also need to have a thorough knowledge of how the film industry works. Since you will be dealing with many staff members and actors in this job, excellent interpersonal and communication skills are also essential. Problem-solving skills are also necessary as often problems develop and have to be resolved immediately in this type of workplace.