How To Become a Production Accountant

How To Become A Production Accountant

What is a Production Accountant?
Production Accountants are responsible for managing the finances and maintaining financial records during a film or TV production, including preparing schedules and budgets for shooting, and managing the day to day accounting and financial reporting.

What is the job?
A Production Accountant looks after all of the finances for a production. Their duties include calculating outgoings, costing productions, liaising with financiers, and managing cash flow. It is also their responsibility to ensure that all financial legal requirements are met. They will finalise all financial records relating to the production and may have to arrange an independent audit. On top of this, they are responsible for helping Producers and Production Managers to prepare budgets, and will also set up and manage accounting systems, and supervise Assistant Accountants and Accounts Trainees.

Sometimes, at larger production houses and studios, Production Accountants will work in collaboration with Senior Accountants, known as Financial Controllers, who are often permanently employed by the company, or in collaboration with Studio Finance Executives.

Key Skills

  • Good working knowledge of the filmmaking process
  • Bookkeeping and accountancy skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Good communication
  • Eye for detail

Salary & Working Hours
As a Production Accountant, you will likely work on a freelance basis. The day rate for a Production Account is approximately £275. Production Accountants will often work long hours due to the fact that there is a lot going on in a short period of time. It’s not unusual for Production Accountants to have a month off in between projects, because when production is going on, they are constantly working. As a Production Accountant, you may well be asked to work overtime – you could be summoned to work for several weeks straight and for long hours if that’s what is required.

How To Become a Production Accountant
In order to become a Production Accountant, the experience and qualifications that you need will ultimately depend on the size and scale of the film or TV production that you are working on.

However, generally Production Accountants have a qualification in accounting, as well as a number of years experience in the film industry. Production Accountants have to gain the approval of the financiers, guarantors and studios involved in the production, so their qualifications and experience is important. Therefore, gaining any experience you can in regards to accounting will be helpful – this may be through work experience, courses or even internships.

Latest Production Accountant Jobs

Where Can It Take You?
As a Production Accountant, once trust is developed, recommendations are likely to be made to other independent productions or studios, and this may give you the opportunity to be promoted to work at a higher level position or on larger productions. Producers will pay good money to have someone watch over and monitor their budget, so becoming a Production Accountant is a well-paying career that many people strive for.

Become a Production Accountant
If you are ready for the next step in your career, why not take a look at the current Production Accountant vacancies on our jobs board? You can view all our latest jobs here.