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Financial Guidelines

Guidance for Independent production companies with their first BBC commission:

The first time the BBC commissions a programme from an independent production company we will undertake a company search to determine the company is established and that it has filed regular statutory accounts.

We will also require you to complete a Health & Safety questionnaire to help us understand the size and set-up of your business operations.

Requirements for all commissions from Independent production companies:

For all commissions, a separate production account named under the production name and set up in accordance with the terms of your Programme Production Agreement (PPA). Only finances relating to the individual production should be paid into and withdrawn from this account.

Guidelines on financial and accounting controls and procedures:

The BBC also recommends that the following best practice procedures be in place, for every programme commission:  

  • Complete and accurate accounting records with relevant supporting documentation including if appropriate, evidence to support regional production status
  • Regular review of the financial performance of productions against budget
  • Appropriate segregation of duties between financial transactions and production duties, where possible
  • All purchases to be made on a documented purchase order system and approved in advance by an authoriser of appropriate seniority eg. Finance Director
  • Cheques should be counter-signed by at least two individuals and bank reconciliations completed regularly
  • Signed contracts are in place for crew, cast and locations, as appropriate.

Production Reports:

Your obligation to supply reports on the progress of the production are set out in the General Terms of your PPA. The frequency of these reports is, as agreed between you and the BBC, set out in your commissioning specification, or as otherwise reasonably requested by the BBC.

Right to audit:

In accordance with your PPA, you must maintain complete and accurate accounting records with relevant supporting documentation relating to expenditure on the programme. The BBC will request, on occasion, an audit under its audit rights provided under the terms of the PPA. If clarification is required for any of these issues, please contact your Genre finance contact or Alison Bexfield (BBC Head of Audit, Programming and Broadcasting) on (020) 8752 4982


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