How to keep more of your $$$ in your pocket!

ABS Will Help You Keep More Of Your $$$ In Your Pocket


With so many productions now falling under the auspices of the various low-budget agreements, the producers of such projects are constantly looking for ways to cut expenses, keep costs to a minimum and make every penny count. Unfortunately, in an effort to do so, many producers (particularly new ones) neglect to put an amount in the budget for production accounting for their project. This can be a very costly mistake.


Any seasoned producer will tell you that keeping an eye on the bottom line DURING PRODUCTION is a top priority. Keeping a show on budget is an important task, even more especially when your funds are tight. It is for that reason alone that even small productions should have some form of production accounting in place.


Small productions aren’t usually able to afford a production accounting software system let alone a skilled production accountant that can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $3,500 per week. But yet, their project, even though on a smaller scale, still needs to have a way of tracking costs and expenses throughout the course of production: petty cash still needs to be tracked, time cards need to be audited, payroll checks need to be cut and costs reports need to be issued. While most producers wear many “hats” during production, this is the one “hat” they shouldn’t be wearing (and who has the time?)


Many new producers will just give up and feel that there is nowhere to turn since they can’t afford a high priced accountant. A few will try the “do-it-yourself” method and opt to take on the production accountants’ responsibilities - a costly error in most cases. They might even hire their regular CPA or their aunt who’s a bookkeeper to try and do the job. This is another big mistake. CPA’s and bookkeepers are highly skilled individuals who are great with taxes, audits and corporate accounting, however; THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND PRODUCTION! They wouldn’t know the difference between a dolly grip and an apple box. (If you don’t believe it, next time you talk to your CPA, ask him what an apple box is).


You wouldn’t hire your next door neighbor to be your Director of Photography just because he’s taken some nice pictures and took a couple of classes. You hire an expert to make sure that what goes in the can is the best there is. The same goes for your money (or that of your investors). Don’t let someone who’s not skilled in production accounting try and watch over the finances, especially if there are investors involved. You want to look as professional as possible, and that doesn’t happen by you doing it yourself (That’s kind of like having the fox watching over the hen house!). By having a professional do the job, you present yourself as a skilled and savvy producer who hires the right personnel for his production team!


Seasoned production accountants know what to look for in the course of their jobs. From catching vendor over-billings, time card errors and petty cash mistakes to the overall “flow” and demands of production, a skilled accountant will save a production valuable dollars - even small productions.


If you’re producing a smaller project and not sure where to turn for accounting or payroll advice, give us a call. We’ve been handling production accounting and payroll for 30 years and have many options that even most small projects can afford. We’ve perfected systems that will allow your small project to take advantage of a skilled accountant without the high price. Don’t think that you can’t afford to have a professional production accountant on your next project. You really can’t afford NOT to!