PracticeAuditDoubts cast over TV accounting standard

Doubts cast over TV accounting standard

The finance director of one of the country's leading TV production companies has cast doubt on whether work on changing accounting standards could improve comparability between the accounts of film and programme makers

Link: Film and TV accounting needs major overhaul

Dave Harries, director of finance at Tiger Aspect, makers of Gimme Gimme Gimme, The Vicar of Dibley and surprise cinema hit Billy Elliot, said any move towards more consistent accounts may still not help in offering a comparative view of TV and film firms.

‘It is sensible to have a collective standard for the industry but it will be difficult to get close to one as everyone invests in programmes slightly differently,’ he said.

The UK film and TV industry could continue to miss out on important financial investment due to a lack of comparability in accounts, despite a move to harmonise how the industry recognises rights and revenues.

A report by Grant Thornton, entitled ‘What Happened Next?’, shows the industry is unable to agree on a way to record revenues and register intellectual property rights in their accounts.

‘There is poor disclosure of how revenues and rights are recognised in accounts and where they are there are a massive range of different policies being used by different firms,’ said Terry Back, head of Grant Thornton’s media entertainment group and co-author of the report.

Efforts are being hampered by the lack of a recognised industry body to push for changes.

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