Production accounting.

Have you got a film, tv or online media project up and need a production accountant so you can get your story told?

We know from experience that film productions are challenging. But you can rely on Above The Line Accounting to get you through. Because we’re here to support you during the entire process. So all you have to do is decide what level of support you need across the production process and we’ll adjust our service to provide it.

Whether you’re a production company or producer, we work with you to tailor our expert production accounting services to meet your needs.

Financing and budgeting stage

A-Z budget and finance plan review

Efficiently managing your film production starts with a detailed and realistic production budget. So, we’ll review your draft budget for completeness and accuracy.

Your finance plan is developed side-by-side with the budget. It’s a key document for your financiers, completion guarantors, lenders and government bodies, such as Screen Australia. We’ll also review your plan, providing valuable feedback.

Producer Offset advice

Want to get up to speed with the Producer Offset requirements? Work with us and you’ll be really clear about how it affects your funding.

Business structure advice for productions

Are you unsure how to structure your film, tv or online media project? Or perhaps you’re looking for advice on Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), holding companies and other business structural stuff? Whatever your need, we’ve got you covered.

Film, tv and online media cashflow preparation (including drawdown schedules)

Do you want peace of mind that your money won’t run out during your project? With our experience, we look at your budget and work with you to determine when you’ll spend the money across pre-production, shoot and post-production, up to delivery. And look at when the money will come in – even when it’s driven out of multiple investment agreements aligned to signing, shooting, starting post production and at project end.

Pre-production stage (planning and organising the shoot)

SPV setup

It’s best to get the SPV set up as soon as you’re greenlit, but it can be set up later if needed. So, whatever stage of production you’re at, we’ll take care of it for you.

Accounting system and chart of accounts setup

You’ll easily keep track of all your film’s financial transactions, and maximise deductions, with our help and using Xero accounting software.

When you work with us, we’ll help you with:

  • setting up your accounting system and chart of accounts to match your budget, in preparation for the shoot
  • setting up the cost report template (and cost reports during pre-production, as required)
  • starting to pay payroll, and
  • working out the systems of invoice payments with the production manager.

Production stage

Production accounting and payroll

We look after all the production accounting so you can focus on the creative. We use Xero for account management, billing, invoicing and expense reporting. Our full service offering also includes managing the payments process. And when it comes to payroll, we manage all of your project’s needs, from superannuation and annual leave, to liaising with the Australian Taxation Office and managing workers’ compensation insurance compliance.

Production cost reporting

You’ll keep track of project expenditure with our cost reports, which we prepare at all stages, from pre-production to production, post-production, and a final cost report on project delivery. On larger projects, our clients say our weekly cost reports help them stay in control of their project and achieve successful completion.

We can also track QAPE and state spend if required.

Statement of investor funds (SOIF)

All of our cost reports include a statement of investor funds prepared from your balance sheet and profit and loss in Xero.

Post-Production stage

Post-production accounting and payroll

We continue to help you through post-production by managing invoicing, expenses and post-production payroll.

Post-production cost reporting

As long as you’re still spending money, we’ll keep providing regular post-production cost reporting, right through to the final cost report.

Producer Offset

Once you’ve got the final cost report and your project is complete, we’ll help you prepare the QAPE spreadsheet, including supporting schedules (they’re never scary with our help). And we’ll also help you apply for the Final Certificate for the Producer Offset. This is a refundable tax rebate available for Australian productions (40% for feature films and 30% for other projects).

If you’ve just finished a project and realise you qualify for the Producer Offset, but don’t have the required accounting documentation, we can help with reconstructing your general ledger.

Producer Equity Program (Documentaries)

If your budget is under $500,000, we’ll check your eligibility and help you apply for the Producer Equity Program. Screen Australia can pay you 20% of the approved budget for eligible Australian documentaries.

Let us look after the numbers so you can focus on the creative process and get your stories told.

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