There is no Business like Show Business crooned Ethel Merman in a movie of the same name; it is true that showbiz is like no other. The glitz, the glamour, red carpet, beautiful faces and beautiful bodies of show business have fascinated the milieu since the very beginning. It is the dream that everyone wants to live. Yeah, you could make big cash by trading with the Orion code but you’ll surely miss the feeling to get all the attention by the media and the fans.
But showbiz is more than all this beauty. You will be surprised that one of the not so glamorous professions to be associated with showbiz is accounting.
Accounting and show business
The world of entertainment needs the support of the world of accountancy. To run the business successfully, the industry needs people who are good with figures. Often these accountants are called:
- Entertainment accountants or
- Production accountants.
Area of work:
If you apply for this job you will work for either a movie, television or a film production company. You can also work for an accounting firm that deals exclusively with entertainment accountancy. If you don’t want to be associated with any company you can be on your own and serve the not so glamorous participants of the industry like – scriptwriters, musicians, technicians, assistant director, producers, stunt men and several others associated with the industry.
Nature of work:
Showbiz accountancy is similar to regular accounting. Your job will involve paying of bills, book keeping, insurance policy reviews, tax preparation, filing taxes, how to plan their budget and manage the cash flow, investments and the whole gamut of financial advise they need to use their money wisely.
Thus, a production accountant is overall responsible for the money spent in the making of the entire movie or television series. As a result, all the costs involved in shooting, pre and post production costs, marketing costs which will involve the live events and reality shows will be handled by the accountant.
Thus we can summarize the key functions as:
- Preparation of budget
- Supervising cash flow
- Payment of vendors and suppliers
- Account keeping
- Payroll processing
- Purchases which include credit card and cash
- Keeping track of lost property, damages incurred
- Submitting weekly or daily cost reports.
Educational qualifications needed
As much as it is fun to be around the stars and enjoy the production of a movie, it is crucial for you to have the required educational skills. The first and foremost requirement is basic accounting skills.
You must have knowledge of:
- Auditing rules and regulations
- Professional ethics
- Risk management
- Strategic planning
- Taxation laws and the knowledge for tax preparation for the entertainment industry
- Technical knowledge
- Production accounting for movies and television.
Along with the educational qualities the accountant must be able to handle the stress and pressure of the job. He or she must have some personal skills to deal with highly egoistic people (as is the case with most stars) and be ready to adapt to any situation.
The perks are there will not be one dull moment; you will be on your toes all the time. You can travel to various locations and get up close with the stars.