Budgeting Software

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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It's a bit ironic that a great budgeting software package can cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars. It's also fitting, however, that that software can turn around and save you just as much money. Paying your production accountant a full-time wage is a serious expenditure, so it's helpful to furnish him or her with the best budgeting software available.

Oftentimes, an accountant will already have his or her own copy of a reliable program. If you're a CPA who's looking to break into movies, TV, or music videos, shelling out the cash for Movie Magic software or some other widely used program is your smartest move. Even if your bidding and actualization skills are sharp, your math impeccable, and your ethics firmly in place, you'll be hard pressed to compete head to head with an all-in-one budgeting package.

Who Uses Budgeting Software?

Production accountants, naturally, are some of the biggest users of budgeting software--but they're not the only ones. Producers of both the independent and studio-deal stripe rely on these programs when negotiating with production chiefs, financial partners, and, most commonly of all, their crew. If a studio boss has slated a set number of dollars for a given production, the producer on that show must have a down-to-the-dollar figure in mind when talking with actors, lighting technicians, sound gurus, and editors.

ADs, or assistant directors, will often use budgeting software as well. Other production information may be tied to that budget, so ADs require these programs to interface with other documents such as call sheets and payroll forms. For this reason, it's advantageous to choose a product manufacturer who can deliver all these goods in one bundle. That way, software compatibility is rarely an issue.

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