Production Accounting Is Antiquated

Why the hell are we forced to use a paper process, putting pen to paper, that dates back to the 1950s when working with production accounting?

I'm forced to fill in a check req or PO by hand and collect a W9 from the SAME vendor over and over again for each new show I'm on.

Then we drive to the accounting office, drop the form in an Inbox, they make a stack of similar items from the Inbox, put a stamp on it, give it a GL code & description, stick it in an envelope and send for approval, get it back, hand enter into an accounting system that was designed and built in 1990. It hasn't really changed in the past thirty years. There must be a better way.

Can't we work digitally? I want to create check requests online using the vendor profile I have collected over the past 10 shows. I never want to see another calculator with tiny buttons to run a total across my PC envelope.

Online and digitally would make everyone's day more efficient.

Petty cash envelopes, POs, Check requests, Invoices and all the crap we do using paper in a folder, shoved in my bag. There are just piles everywhere and ultimately when I'm done it gets turned into accounting or tossed when the show is over.

Petty cash envelopes, POs, Check requests, PO Matching with accounts payable and all the crap we do using piles of paper in baskets scattered all over the office. There are just piles everywhere and ultimately when we're finished cutting a check, we stick it into a file folder, with a label that we created by hand. We should be able get labels out of an accounting system that gives them to us automatically and even that is a waste of time and money (file folders and labels - I bloody can’t stand them that they are expensive).

We print checks on pre-printed stock, in triplicate, shove it into a binder or folder, it goes into a drawer, it gets stapled with the backup that belongs to the face of a check, and then when we're finished we take it out of a filing cabinet. We stick it inside a banker's box and send it off to the financier or the studio. Sometimes we will send as many as 150 boxes of just garbage that no one needs unless or until we need to do an audit of one kind or another. Audits get done for many internal reasons or because an incentive requires it, or years later the IRS asks to audit.

It just seems like this stuff should all be digital, but no one's built a digital process for production accounting. We need to have the same look and feel of the paper that we all use and in a way that we currently work. Trying to Frankenstein the services and systems that have created for fortune 500 don't work.

Film production is very specific - it has its own thing. its own cycle, its own jam, its own process. We can't adopt what General Electric does. We can't even adopt what Apple does. It just doesn't work. We want to follow the methods that have already been built by and for production.

I want to be efficient and use technology with automation. It is after all a new millennium. Why are we doing this job like it's 1990 or 1980 or even 1950.

We all want the job done and to go home at a decent hour. We want to be more efficient, get work done quickly & accurately and we want to give answers to our boss faster. Ultimately, that's all we really care about - the paper. Who Cares? We don't care. The studio does. They have a requirement. We have to make them happy. I get it, but we can do both.

You can do it digitally and we can make them both happy.

Tim TortoraComment