Most people when they start out in film are handed a PO book and never shown how to fill one in properly – nor does anyone explain what the PO’s are actually used for or why they are important. I hope to shed a little bit of light on this subject, once again in the hope that a few more people will get this right and slightly lessen the stress and aggravation in the accounts department (including my own).
I thought I would start with why they are important, as I know that for some people understanding why they have to follow a process makes them more likely to actually follow it…
Working in accounts in film you tend to notice people making the same mistakes over and over again. In an attempt to try and get more information out about how accounts need things, and also to give those people starting in the industry a basic understanding, I have put together this post.
The first and probably most crucial thing to understand is that nothing can happen instantly. We are here to help and will certainly endeavour to get you things when you need them, but we have processes that need to be followed and our systems tend to be tedious, laborious and involve numerous signatories before we can make a payment.
Remember that we not only have to adhere to the instructions of the Producers but also the rules set out by the studio (or financiers) that are essentially paying everyones wages. On top of that we also have to follow tax law. When we ask for something a certain way, its not because we are trying to piss you off, its because it is a requirement of one of these organisations. The quicker you deliver us what we need the quicker we can make payment – everybody wins.