March 12, 2017 Leave a comment
The primary difficulty I see with the CPA penetrating the film production market is knowing what questions to ask. The CPA, generally thought of as a consultant in the usual business world, is often tongue-tied when it comes to discussing the film and television business. Rest assured , there are several interesting ways that the CPA can assist Film and Television Producers.
MOST CPA’S ARE INTERESTED IN THE FILM BUSINESS
When I speak with CPA’s about the film industry I find a lot of interest in the field. Film and Television, as a business, promises something different and unique from the usual businesses they deal with. Also, it helps that the Film & Television Industry has excellent and consistent revenue streams.
SOME OF THE USUAL QUESTIONS CPA’s ASK:
- What sort of accounting services does the Film Industry require from a CPA?
- What are the industry specific practices, reports and terminology?
- I hear about the Film Tax Incentives in some States. How does that open the door to new business for my practice?
- What software is used during a film or television production?
- Once the project is filmed what services would be required from a CPA in “Post”?
- Can the CPA help with arranging financing?
If you do some research, I think you’ll find that there is very little, if any, information available online – and most of what you’ll find is authored by me.
WHAT PRODUCERS EXPECT FROM A CPA
Producers and Studio Execs have high expectations of anyone they contract with, especially a CPA who charges out at an hourly rate. They will expect the CPA to be familiar with their everyday terminology and to contribute to solutions. Just a few terms considered common are:
- Inventory (the current cost of developing and producing “product”),
- Fringes (government and union benefits),
- Back-End (final equity available),
- IATSE Turnaround (penalties assessed by crew when not enough given enough overnight rest),
- SAG residuals,
If you are interested in expanding in some way into the Film Industry there are a couple of ways you can learn more about it.
LEARN THROUGH WEEKEND WORKSHOPS – 14 HRS of CPE
Workshops are always the most fun way to learn. I have another Film Accounting 101 workshop coming up on May 6th and 7th, 2017 in Chicago, IL.
LEARN THROUGH ONLINE COURSES – 2 HRS of CPE PER COURSE
However, getting to the workshop location, and breaking away from the office, isn’t always possible – for you or for me. At the end of each online course qualifying for CPE I ask the student if the “stated objectives of the course” were met. There has never been a “No” yet…. that’s 100% of the time every student has said that the stated objectives were met. For more detailed information about the online courses see http://www.filmaccounting.com/filmaccounting-cpe.htm
Cheers / John