Nominal Ledger/Chart of Accounts

There is not currently any standard chart of accounts used for production budgets.  However, the order of budget areas is generally similar, usually starting with above the line costs of development, writer, director, producer and main cast.

Many broadcasters have defined their standard set of nominal ledger account codes and the Production Accountant is required to use that format, so it is always best to check whether the cost report can be produced using the same chart of accounts as the budget.

Some popular charts of accounts include Channel 4 (the 5-35 Accounts), ITV (01-32 Accounts), BBC Drama (100-800 Accounts) and Channel 5 (500-3500).

ITV New Budget Template.xls
C4 Budget Template.xls
BBC Budget Template.xls
Channel5 Budget Template.xls

Where a standard set of account codes is not required it is generally sensible to set up a separate nominal ledger account for each line of the budget. During a production it is often necessary to add additional nominal ledger accounts for un-budgeted costs or for costs that you need to keep separate for some reason.

Some thought should also go into the balance sheet accounts that you will need. Every Production Accountant will have their own preference for balance sheet accounts but it is often a good idea to set up a separate account for each person with petty cash or a float to account for.  However suspense accounts should not be used.