There are a number of different accounting packages available for use. Some are specialist packages designed for film and TV production, whereas others are more general packages.
Factors to consider when choosing and setting up an accounting package:
- The accounting package normally used by the production company; it may be necessary or beneficial to operate the same system.
- Will the accounts need be consolidated with any other accounts?
- Is episodic costing required?
- Is it necessary to flag ‘used and consumed’ for tax relief?
- Is it necessary to keep a regional analysis?
- Will it be necessary to record costs in different currencies?
It is also important to consider data protection and data security when setting up systems. The lists below detail some key factors for consideration.
The data protection act 1998 dictates the responsibility employers have when processing and storing personal data on individuals. This is particularly relevant to production accounts offices due to all the contract and payroll information held.
Personal data includes:
- date of birth
- education and qualifications
- work experience
- National Insurance number
- tax code
- details of any known disability
- emergency contact details
Everyone responsible for using personal data has to follow strict rules called ‘data protection principles’. They must make sure the information is:
- used fairly and lawfully
- used for limited, specifically stated purposes
- used in a way that is adequate, relevant and not excessive
- kept for no longer than is absolutely necessary
- handled according to people’s data protection rights
- kept safe and secure
- not transferred outside the European Economic Area without adequate protection
How to be safe On Line
- Create & use secure passwords
- Remember to log out – of devices, emails & sites
- Install anti-malware software that includes email and spam protection
- Keep all devices and software up to date
- Keep all personal information off line, away from hackers
- Limit the number of mailing lists signed up for
- Watch out for bogus links, attachments and offers
- Hide your IP address
- Encrypt internet e-mail
- Be aware of how secure the wifi access is
How to secure your Smart Phone
- Set a password
- Install Security Software
- Enable the capability to remotely wipe your device if it is lost
- Download trusted apps only
How to secure your computer
- Full hard disk encryption
- Portable data encryption – for USBs, CD/DVDs
- Install anti-virus & anti malware software
- Regularly check for software updates
- Regularly clean up hard drive
- Install a firewall
- Install software to track the device
- Back up data
- Always password protect emailed documents
- Consider the security of sending personal data, eg payroll information
- Consider using a secure file transfer system (e.g ProjectSend) to transfer confidential information