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A stream of money flows underneath films and television shows. Actors and the film crew must be paid, the set must be rented, and props and supplies must be purchased. Creative people often don’t like to deal with these sorts of financial matters, so they hire Production Accountants to handle the tasks.
Large films have large amounts of money and many details to track. If you’re a Production Accountant working on one of these projects, you might be part of a large team and have one aspect of the account to handle. If you’re working on a smaller project, however, you might deal with all the financial tasks alone.
All projects start with a budget, and it’s the job of the Production Accountant to keep the costs in line with this budget. The Producer meets with you to determine the film’s shooting schedule. Keeping an Actor on the set for multiple days when they’re not needed, for example, could drive up the cost of the film. You never let this happen.
The Actors, Extras, and crew must be paid for their time, and they give you paperwork that lists when they worked. Each day, you tally that paperwork to ensure that everyone is paid on time.
Meeting with investors might also be part of your job, and you prepare reports and colorful spreadsheets detailing how you’re keeping costs under control. Sprinkling in images from the shoots may help keep the investors interested.
General accounting tasks, such as paying bills and managing petty cash, round out your day. You might have a team of assistants helping you with these niggling tasks.