Setting up accounting solutions for a low budget movie
Whenever I'm hired as a Line Producer on a low budget movie under $1M I try and do most of the accounting myself and utilize the help of my production team to maintain the books. I'm not against having an accountant...it's just that I want to try and put as much money on screen as possible.
Here are a few tools I like to use:
This is the main accounting platform I use for most low budget films. At the beginning of the project I sign up for the pro account with 5 users and upload a COA "Chart of Accounts" to the platform. Anytime expenses come in I'm able to easily code them using the category feature. The great thing about using Quickbooks is that it is such a universal program you don't necessarily need a film accountant to run it. If at anytime you do run into issues you can always hire a virtual accountant that is well versed in this program. I typically train a few of my office team members to help reconcile transactions and then I focus on the larger transactions such as wires etc. It's possible to send ACH payments to vendors, run cost reports, balance sheets and more.
I have found this platform to be the easiest-to-use film payroll platform for smaller projects. Adding cast or crew to the portal is super simple and it even connects to quickbooks. Most payroll companies require a back and forth with a payroll master that can take days....whereas with Wrapbook you can run payroll in less than an hour once everything is reviewed.
PEX is a simple p-card solution you can use to control spending with numerous cards and variable spending limits. PEX also integrates seamlessly with Quickbooks which is another plus. You can typically get approved with PEX in a matter of days and they are great about sending cards quickly. With the PEX app most of your crew should be able to reconcile transactions by taking pictures of receipts within a matter of minutes.
Conduiit is an online accounting solution that will help your team track check requests, wires and pos for approval. I've used this platform on numerous shows and it really helps me to stay organized and focused on what's missing.
*Conduiit will be able to integrate with Quickbooks in the coming weeks.