There is a niche in the video production or film industry that is not well known – the film production accounting. Because of its non-prominence, not a lot of people know how to get into this job or how to prepare for it.
Production accountants, most of the time, fall into this kind of job even with zero accounting background. Video production, you may think, is the last industry on the whole planet that would hire accountants but it absolutely needs one. At the moment, video production accounting is becoming more appealing to some Certified Public Accountants.
Majority of film accountants go through a period of apprenticeship when they are referred to as assistant accountants. The level often begins at file clerk, then 2nd assistant accountant, 1st assistant accountant then key production accountant.
A payroll accountant is an expert that calculates those complex payroll sheets. This is often a multifaceted job that cannot be handled by just one person. Payroll accountants can earn as much as $1,800 to about $2,000 USD each week. Those who work in Hollywood, of course, are paid better.
Skills to Acquire
A video or film production accountant has to be a people-oriented person. He has to be able to predict cost overruns as well as the rapidity of submission for those needful reports. The expenditure during shooting must be closely monitored, or else, the accountant will be shocked at how quickly the expenses have skyrocketed.
Experienced film production accountants require to be paid $2,500, at least, each week and they set a five-day work week. Theirs is a stressful job so they can demand this salary and number of workdays. These experts even ask for a higher pay once the location goes farther than what they stipulate. Another $1,000 USD is typically asked for work that covers weekends.
The job of the film production accountant falls in the same category as bookkeepers. Unlike ordinary bookkeepers, though, a film production accountant can manage as much as $60,000 to $80,000 per week.
Since reporting is a huge part of this accountant’s job, he must know how to budget and create a weekly cost report. This needs a bit of IQ (if not a lot). Producers and department heads may abuse the money used during shooting so the film production accountant will have to audit. Having an accounting background could mean that this is an easy job for you but if you learn quickly, you should be able to pick up and learn through experience.
Film production accounting can be your stepping stone to film production as well as production managing. Just like other industries, you can spend a good number of years of accounting and auditing, even advising production managers and producers; but eventually, your career will lead to film production.
Film production accounting, though, is often a per contract job. So you have to get contracts and have them lined up. If your customers cannot wait, then there could be moments that you would have work for half a year and a jobless another half. Just be patient because everything will happen in due time.