The film and TV drama industry is looking for more people to train and work their way up through the accounts department to become Production Accountants and Financial Controllers.
Production Accountants are a vital part of film and television production management. They are responsible for calculating finances, preparing budgets, communicating with financiers, controlling the cash flow, and spending.
It’s a collaborative role and you’ll be working closely with Producers, Assistant Directors and Heads of Departments to work out the most cost effective way of staying true to the Director’s creative vision.
It is important the Production Accountants have both strong bookkeeping skills and a sound knowledge of the film or TV production process. The ability to build strong working relationships with producers, heads of department and the rest of the production office is as important as being able to produce timely, accurate and informative cost reports.
Production Accounting Job Profiles
There are several routes into Production Accounting. To view job profiles for the following roles, visit the Creative Skillset website
- Financial Controller
- Production Accountant
- Key Assistant Accountant
- Assistant Accountant
- Accounts Trainee
Details of the National Occupational Standards can be found here
An outline of the core skills and knowledge required for production accounting in film and television is detailed at
The route into and onwards from Production Accounting is varied.
Production Accountants come from a range of backgrounds:
- Qualified Accountants in the Finance sector changing industries
- Graduates starting as trainees and progressing through the cashier and assistant roles
- Production Co-ordinators or Production Managers making a sideways move
- Media finance or corporate workers looking to move into production
The Production Accountant role equips people with sought after skills which can open other doors in the industry. Production Accountants can move onto careers as:
- Production Manager or Line Producer
- Post Production Supervisor
- Production Executive
- Finance Manager
- Head of Production Finance
- Financial Controller
Entering the Industry
Once employed in the industry the opportunities for reliable, personable and thorough Production Accountants and Assistant Accountants are plentiful.
Many production companies and broadcasters employ Production Accountants on staff roles
Even if no roles are currently advertised there may be an opportunities for work experience or shadowing. Personal contacts are very useful for building a network and getting considered for future opportunities.
Top 100 Production Companies in the UK:
Most Production Accountants in Film and High End TV Drama are self-employed. The Production Guild Availability Service is a resource for members to advertise their availability:
To become a member you need credits and nominations from existing members. Getting these is often the hardest first step. There are courses available for new entrants to gain qualifications, contacts and experience to make that first step on the ladder:
The Production Guild – home of the Assistant Production Accountant Training Scheme
The National Film & Television School Diploma in Production Accounting:
Genre Specific Roles
This table gives an overview of responsibilities in different genres.
For detailed responsibilities, click here to see the Creative Skillset Standards.