Control production expenditure

Business Sectors (Suites): Production (FILM and TV)
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 31 Mar 2019


This Standard involves the overall management of production expenditure against agreed budget. It is about monitoring and controlling expenditure against budget and overseeing the preparation of regular financial reports for the commissioner, financier or completion guarantor.  
It is also about being able to identify areas of concern in daily expenditure and locating resources to cover these costs.
It involves taking appropriate action when major variations from the budget occur and relaying this information in a timely manner to all relevant people. This Standard is for Line Producers, Production Accountants and Production Managers.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. brief production team members  about expenditure control and monitoring systems at appropriate times

  2. confirm that relevant people are clear on how to produce expenditure reports and associated information 

  3. confirm that heads of department have current information about available budget, spending and procedures to follow when they anticipate variations or overspends

  4. allocate responsibility for monitoring and controlling expenditure to appropriate people

  5. authorise expenditure in line with production procedures

  6. ensure that expenditure details are recroded in an appropriate and compatible computer-based package

  7. check that expenditure detailed in reports is within budget

  8. discuss variations in budget with production accountants when appropriate

  9. provide accurate and up-to date financial reports when required

  10. report progress against budget to relevant colleagues on the production

  11. use reliable and consistent methods of monitoring expenditure against agreed budgets

  12. anticipate areas of potential overspend from information provided in daily expenditure reports

  13. negotiate and agree any required variations between or within budget headings to meet budget constraints

  14. record a clear summary of agreed actions 

  15. communicate decisions about budgets to appropriate people without delay

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1. how to interpret expenditure reports, including weekly cost statements, cash flow, cost reports, hot cost reporting and finance plans 2. the importance of effective expenditure control to the production’s efficiency, and your role and responsibilities in relation to this 3. the principles and systems which underpin effective expenditure control 4. how to confirm other people’s commitment to keeping expenditure within agreed budget parameters  5. procedures relating to anticipated variations or overspends 6. the importance of accurate and comprehensive record keeping, and how to set up systems to achieve this 7. the advantages and disadvantages of different budgeting and expenditure control packages 8. the principles of confidentiality in relation to budgets, and what information may be provided to which people 9. financial reporting requirements  10. the importance of monitoring expenditure against budgets, and what constitutes a significant variation from budget 11. production procedures for authorising payments  12. the importance of effective budgetary control to production efficiency, and your role and responsibilities in relation to this  13. how to assemble and present accurate financial reports 14. relevant colleagues with whom to report progress, including financers, completion guarantors and broadcasters 15. how to ensure the stipulations and requirements of the completion bond are being met


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2022





Originating Organisation

Screen Skills (formerly Creative Skillset)

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Arts, Media and Publishing, Production Managers, Production Coordinator

SOC Code



Television, Film, Production, Expenditure, Budget