Movie-Film Production Accounting
Film Management System
Film, Movie & TV Production Accounting Software

Film Management System - System Overview

Film Management System (FMS) Overview
The Film Management System (FMS) is a MULTI-CURRENCY computer software program designed for film and television, but which is equally suitable as a budgeting and accounting system for all types of projects. The first version of the Film Management System was released in 1983.

Background History
Numerous film production accountants have used FMS on well over 200 projects. The combined project budgets total in excess of USD$700 million. FMS has been used to account for Feature Films, Mini-Series, Episodic Television, TV Pilots - plus major non-film events including the 1990 Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and the New Zealand Pavilion at Expo 92 in Spain. As a result of being used on numerous co-productions, FMS has been employed on projects involving just about every major US studio, as well as most of the major television networks in the world. Because of these diverse projects, the The Film Management System has evolved into one of the most advanced project and film accounting systems available.

Film and Movie Production Budgeting Top
FMS provides MULTI-CURRENCY budgets, for multiple stage projects. You can enter budgets in one currency and report in another. Budget currency rates can be changed and your budget updated in a few seconds. Budget detail notes provide reminders about the assumptions used when deriving your individual budget figures. You have the option to include or exclude budget fringes. You can globally change timings and/or rates used in your budget to get answers to "what-if" scenarios. You can use standard budgets to help speed up your budget preparation and provide a budgeting checklist to minimise "omission" errors. You can import budgets prepared using Movie Magic*. You can easily enter expected cash flows for your project and then prepare project cash requirements - in summary and in detail. On-line Help is available immediately. FMS Budgeting is arguably the most advanced budgeting package available for film and television productions. The FMS Budgeting Module is available separately or as part of a full FMS suite of programs.

General Ledger Top
Processes Cheques, Petty Cash, Bank Deposits, Journals, etc. GL Reports include Summary and Detail Transaction reporting as well as Trial Balance and Profit and Loss. FMS normally uses a weekly accounting cycle but you can change this to any mix of accounting periods you choose. This flexibility is ideal for pre-project and post-project phases when cost reporting periods are further apart than they are during production. Another important aspect of the system is that it allows you to enter descriptive information, in addition to purely financial information such as cheque numbers. This means that your reports are easily understood by people without accounting skills.

Accounts Payable and Outstanding Orders Top
If you are not tracking your orders then your chances of coming in on budget are significantly reduced. FMS tracks your commitments in detail. FMS processes creditor payments directly from commitments - to avoid duplication of effort and to minimise errors. The system provides for automatic cheque printing if necessary. Purchases from each supplier for each project are tracked.

Film and Movie Production Payroll Top
FMS caters for Hourly, Weekly, Fortnightly, and Monthly employees. Payroll allows for payment to temp agencies, cash payments, payments via cheque - as well as automatic payments. Using the "Employee Types" feature helps to automate payments to employees with the same characteristics, for example extras. You can change pay slip lay outs to your preferred format. FMS includes Australian and New Zealand payrolls with automatic tax calculations. You can reprint employee pay slips from any accounting period at any time. The system's simple but foolproof payroll processing procedures save hours of accounting time each week. At the end of a project a few keystrokes allow you to prepare tax certificates. On larger projects where a separate Payroll computer is required, Payroll transactions can be entered remotely on a second computer and merged with your main FMS system via floppy disk or modem. FMS Payroll transactions can be exported to the US-based Vista* system if required - automatically (Requires permission from Entertainment Partners, Inc.).

Bank Information
FMS tracks multiple Bank Accounts and unused cheque numbers to improve financial security. Automated Bank Reconciliation saves time and provides 100% accurate information.

Film and Movie Production Cost Reporting Top
FMS combines cash payments, accruals, outstanding orders, and budgets to highlight production overages. Cost Reports print in a few minutes for any accounting period, at summary or detail level, IN ANY CURRENCY - AND AT ANY TIME. The Cost Reporting features save days of effort during a project. Percentage Complete reporting options allow you to see exactly where you are over or under budget in a few seconds. Cost Reports can be exported to your favourite spreadsheet, database or word processor. User-defined Cost Report "Queries" can be created and saved. These are particularly useful when dealing with relatively sophisticated Charts of Account. Multiple FMS Projects can be combined into one overall system in The Global View FMS to provide a complete "Work In Progress" Ledger for larger production houses.

Security
Sophisticated password protection and full audit trails provide a bulletproof guarantee of security for Investors, Head Office or Completion Guarantors. FMS is robust - it runs on battery operated portable laptop computers as well as desktop computers in networked environments. Data protection and recovery techniques employed by the system mean you can recover from a power failure within minutes.

Flexible Hire Arrangements
We have a number of experienced film production accountants available for assignments in Australia and New Zealand. If you prefer to use your own accounting personnel, then you can rent the Film Management System. Optional on site training is available at the time you install your system and modem support is also available should this be required. Customised versions of the system, and links to third party software, are also available. Ongoing telephone and FAX support are free of charge. Call for details.

Hardware Requirements
FMS requires an IBM-PC or compatible computer with 640K RAM and a hard disk using the MS-DOS 6.x (or later) operating system. The system is Windows 3.11/95/98/ME/2000/XP/Vista compatible. Networked versions of the system are available. (32-bit systems only).

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