Next time you’re dazzled by a terrific blockbuster movie, spare a thought for the accountants working behind the scenes. Financing the creation and distribution of a major feature film is almost as complex an undertaking as shooting the film itself. More than rudimentary accounting software and spreadsheets are required to do it properly.
That’s the conclusion quickly reached by Broad Green Pictures, a newly established movie studio based in Hollywood, as a recent SAPinsider article explained. Broad Green Pictures needed to be able to report profits and losses – as well as cash flow – on a title-by-title basis, providing a clear financial picture for each film, both on an accrual and cash basis.
The problem was that as the company grew, everything became too complex for its existing software. It could take up to four hours for finance to manually extract financial data from the system to produce a single budget report for one film. Or, if a buyer wanted specific purchase information, it could take 30 minutes to an hour for finance to dig through all the transactions and find an answer.
The answer for Broad Green Pictures was a solution implemented in a private cloud hosted by Capgemini, chosen because of the cost benefits, implementation time saving, and support model. The solution went live in just five months, and Broad Green Pictures quickly began to benefit from streamlined, efficient processes that have led to a faster and more repeatable close process, tighter control of spend, and enhanced reporting.
Buyers now input information directly into the system and have instant access to budget information, including drill-down capabilities that enable them to look at all invoices and purchase orders relating to line items.
The budget report that took four hours to execute previously now takes less than a minute. Budget owners simply input the title they want and immediately execute a custom report that tracks their budget lines and spend by title.
Sophisticated capabilities like these enable Broad Green Pictures to track how films are performing more effectively and free up the accounting team to get their daily tasks done, instead of being frequently interrupted with questions that take five or ten minutes to answer.
The accounting team is taking advantage of functionality like a balance sheet consolidation table, which provides a single source of the truth for reporting. Plus, with the balance sheet splitter, users can run custom reports – such as looking at cash flow by title – with no need for development or coding.
Broad Green Pictures now gains previously impossible insights into its business by carving up P&L statements or cash flows by individual film, an annual mix of films, or by unique lines of business. And the company is planning on extending the capabilities further with mobile purchase requisition approvals and additional planning, reporting, and analytics use cases.
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