The F3 workflow is designed to digitally process items that are presented to the prod co for payment. This begins in 1 of 2 ways; documents are either created or uploaded.
Documents that are created in the system are initiated by key crew members who are given access to the F3 so they can generate POs, Ck Reqs or PC envelopes. The Key crew are selected by the studio, producer or prod acct. Documents that are mailed to or turned into accounting are scanned and uploaded into the F3 so our DPC (the Data Processing Center) can perform the required data entry.
In the following example we will walk a PO thru the process of being created, coded, approved and then subsequently matched to the AP when an invoice arrives, but know that the process for petty cash, W9s, JE and checks are very similar or the same.
A PO is created by a crew member named Jordan. Once complete, the PO is sent into the approval cue that is defined by the studio or production accountant. For this demonstration, we will log in as two different executives so you can see the functionality, but this would be done by different approvers in the F3. We will now log in as Phil, the prod accountant, who approves the item for the UPM to review. Now we log in as Derek, the UPM, who is the final approver on this show.
Once the PO is completely approved our DPC batch exports the PO and enters it into the accounting system. (We are, in fact, accounting system agnostic - you choose the system, our DPC uploads or enters the F3 transactions). When working with a traditional payroll company their systems are closed architectures. We have to manually the entry. Almost every other modern accounting systems allows our batch exports to be uploaded to avoid any errors. The accounting office now posts the PO in the accounting system.
A week or two later an invoice arrives by mail and the accounting office uploads the invoice into the F3. The invoice & PO matching are handle automatically in the AP module and is reflected on the PO & PO Tracking tabs. Now our DPC enters the invoice detail, including the PO number indicated on the invoice. The invoice is now put through the approval cycle in the same way as the PO was a week earlier.
Once fully approved, our DPC batch exports the invoice and Once fully approved The AP is entered it into the accounting system for posting and ultimately check cutting for final signatures.
Now that the batch is posted in the accounting system, the check is cut and sent for signatures. Before the check is signed it is scanned for upload into the F3 so a digital record of the check can be and also stored into a chronological check binder and also matched with the AP in the vendor file.
Now that the AP has been run thru the entire F3 workflow, the check, the invoice and the PO, with any supporting documentation are filed into the archive. The archive is a digital filing cabinet that is hard wired and structured the same from show to show. The system creates its own file structure that cannot be changed, but the accountants can copy any documents to another file - for example if we have an insurance claim, an item or set of items can be copied to the claim folder for quick export and delivery at a later date.
When the show is over, the F3 will produce a searchable index, in PDF format, along with a file store that contains ALL the documents that were created or uploaded in the F3. Each transaction in the index contains an item file name so the auditor can find the document in the file store to support any transaction that is found in the show GL.
A $200 GL transaction looks out of place. We search the index for the Check Request Number and the file name is produced to reveal all the transaction details from the original document that was generated, approved and paid.
And finally the system Home page tracks the progress of the paperwork that is flowing through the accounting office to make sure the work is moving forward and to make sure deadlines are met.