TV and Film Cost Managers Part 2: Market Analysis

12 July

Jamie Allen

In our last blog, we discussed the issues in the TV and Film industry around the maintenance of Cost Manager Schedules and how this can lead to differing information being circulated or used by different areas of the business. The numbers involved in Media Productions can be quite weighty, so some providers have tried to tackle this issue with varying degrees of success. They do however tend to be quite pricey which means they are not accessible to all companies in the sector depending on budgetary constraints.

For the smaller Production Companies who cannot consider the expensive solutions, most will use Excel and simply exchange schedules between the Production Managers and the Finance Team. This allows the Finance team autonomy over which accounting system they can use, meaning they can access the latest cloud-based software. It is then simply a case of managing this process and continuously reconciling the data.

For those looking for a systematised solution, Companies will tend to use solutions like Movie Magic or Octopus PMI. Both these solutions are on the expensive side. Octopus PMI is built onto SAP Business One which has then been tailored to offer a wide range of industry-specific solutions. This can be very useful but for a wide range of Production Companies, it is simply out of their price range, even for many of Mid-Sized companies. I believe Octopus PMI can also have some form of Integration with desktop versions of SAGE but even this does not bring the price down dramatically and in some instances is not preferable. Movie Magic is another well-known alternative and certainly assists with the Cost Manager and budgeting side of Production, but it does not have integrations with accounting solutions.

As such neither of these solutions have historically really fully solved the issue for the small to mid-sized entities. Some companies may have created their own solutions with off the shelf analytics systems but very few of these will be interactive enough to truly solve the issue and this would then not be widely available to others.

The main issue seems to be that not many companies have off the shelf integrations into the more modern cloud accounting systems, that then have the flexibility to provide the necessary data entry points for the Production Managers and the ability to report in the required industry formats.

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