Finance and invoicing
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All independent productions require approval by the Programme Finance Committee (PFC) before any financial terms can be finalised and agreed. All other conversations and communications should not be considered as financial approval or sign off.
Some productions may require additional approval depending on funding or particular deal terms. Any concerns should be discussed with the Business Affairs Manager who is responsible for getting the production to these committees promptly.
The first time the BBC commissions an independent production company, the company will be asked to complete a new supplier form and a company search will be undertaken to determine the company is established and that it has filed regular statutory accounts.
The Programme production agreement (PPA) shall set out whether there must be a separate production account named under the production name or if a unique profit centre in the Producer's internal accounting system is sufficient. The system specified must be set up in accordance with the terms of the PPA. Only finances relating to the individual production should be paid into and withdrawn from this account.
The BBC also recommends the following best practice procedures are in place:
- 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.
- Payments should be approved by at least two individuals and bank reconciliations completed regularly.
- Signed contracts are in place for crew, cast and locations, as appropriate.
In accordance with the Programme production agreement (PPA), complete and accurate accounting records with relevant supporting documentation relating to expenditure on the programme must be maintained. The BBC will request, on occasion, an audit under its audit rights provided under the terms of the PPA.
For more information contact the BBC Head of Audit, Programming and Broadcasting:
(020) 8752 4982
Payment terms are set out in the Business framework and will either be made in stages or on delivery.
Final payment is not released until all delivery paperwork (as set out in the Programme production agreement) has been received and approved. Inaccurately completed paperwork can cause delays to payment.
See the Business framework for more information about additional funding, third party and producer investment and general finance information.
The BBC is entitled to monitor the production to assess any material risks that it may not be delivered in accordance with the Commissioning specification.
To enable the BBC to do this:
- Production (progress) reports should be submitted in the approved form to the BBC Business Affairs Manager at the payment stages identified in the cashflow in the Programme production agreement and on any other dates or production milestones as set out in the Commissioning specification. The BBC may reasonably request production reports at any stage.
- Notify the BBC Business Affairs Manager of any problems that could jeopardise the production or delivery of the programme in accordance with the Commissioning specification.
- Invoices should be made with due regard to the fact that Steria will take a period of one - two weeks to process a payment.
- Invoices should be submitted in a form that Steria can process.
- Invoices should be addressed to the BBC (not the individual contact).
- Ensure the company address is accurate (ie the main address, not a temporary production office).
- Always quote the bank details for the payment (in most cases, a separate indie production account in the name of the programme).
- If the invoice is addressed to Steria, BBC Accounts Payable, PO Box 479, Manchester M14 0EJ, please ensure the order number and BBC contact details (i.e. Programme Finance Manager’s name and extension number) are quoted.
Deductions from cashflow should be agreed at the earliest possible point. These could include:
- Development funding already cash-flowed
- Recovery of insurance premium
- Archive charges not covered by the new arrangement for independent production companies (eg Sport Library)
- Directors UK levy (also on the final invoice)
There may be a requirement for the production company to pay a levy to Creative Skillset. If so, this shall be set out in the Programme production agreement and proof of payment may form part of the delivery paperwork.
The production is required to pay the BBC its share of revenue from distribution activities in accordance with the detailed provisions of the Programme production agreement (PPA).
Please send electronic statements to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hard copies should be sent to:
BBC Commercial Affairs Team
Zone A 7th Floor, BBC New Broadcasting House
London W1A 1AA
All queries relating to royalty reporting should be directed to:
Business Co-ordinator, BBC Television
Points to note about your accounting statements:
- Statements for any revenue you have received are submitted within 30 days of the end of each reporting period - March 31 and September 30.
- Each statement must give full details of:
- The distributors gross receipts broken down into its different sources (ie territory & rights).
- Details of commission and all expenses deducted (NB if the Producer is, or is connected with, the distributor then the BBC must approve the distribution commission).
- A clear demonstration of how the net revenue position on each title has been calculated (see Definitions for ‘Net Revenue’ and clause 16.5.2 in the BBC's General Terms).
- A final sum for any balance that may now be due to the BBC.
Please note that any recoupments deducted before accounting for the BBC's share must have been agreed in the Special terms of the PPA.
- Your royalty statement should be accompanied by a copy of the relevant distributor's statement(s).
- The BBC has a right to audit distribution revenues under General Term 16.5.4.
Please see the policy on location and production incentives.
PACT and the broadcasters agreed in October 2012 an updated framework with Directors UK (DUK) for reimbursement back to broadcasters in relation to the payment made to DUK in respect of repeats and secondary exploitation of programming.
Please note that:
- An individual Director's membership of the DUK is irrelevant for the purposes of whether or not an individual project bears a recharge.
- Provided that a Director is engaged on a Director's contract, EU and non-EU status of the Director is also irrelevant.
- The recharge applies to programmes commissioned from both UK and foreign indies.
The amount to be reimbursed to the BBC will be withheld from final cashflow payment upon acceptance of all deliverables. Calculate the amount due by reference to the agreed Framework and show this as a deduction on the face of the final invoice as agreed with the BBC Business Affairs Manager.
Please contact PACT for any queries on the framework.
Creative Skillset supports skills in film, high-end TV, animation, games and VFX through its Skills Investment Funds (SIFs). For each £1 employers contribute to the SIF, Creative Skillset matches with £1 from HM Treasury investment.
The Skills Investment Funds is linked to the tax relief offered by the UK Government. In sectors qualifying for new tax reliefs this investment will help develop the skills needed to support anticipated increases in production.
Where the Producer (or any other applicant) applies for the benefit of the UK Tax Credit in respect of the Programme, the Producer agrees that it shall make provision in the Budget for and shall pay the appropriate Skillset levy to Creative Skillset’s skills investment fund and shall provide proof of such payment to the BBC upon request.
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