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The Filmmaker’s Finance Management Training Manual

This manual was specifically designed for the people working in media industries (TV, film, photography, etc…) who want to start a freelance business or who already have one.

The purpose of this resource is to give you some theoretical and practical financial/accounting guidance into managing your business whether you are a self-assessed self-employed or limited business. The aim is that once you go through this ebook, to have some basic understanding to choose and set up the entity that’s right for you, and how to manage your business’s finance from the off to your tax returns, in part or full autonomy.




Throughout the years since I have started freelancing, I slowly learned the ropes of managing my finances as a freelance business. I made a bunch of mistakes and also hired an expensive accountant and asked a bunch of freelancer friends for help, both costing time, mistakes, headaches or money. That was due to me being lazy to learn and understand accounting autonomously as I found it extremely boring. Sometimes I wouldn’t even dare to start researching because it was daunting to even learn a new accounting term (you might even recognise yourself there). But I’ve finally come to terms with realising that self-employed accounting isn’t as hard as I thought, it’s just freaking boring.

The point is that the more you know, the more in control you are of your own business to become partly or fully autonomous and make educated decisions in the aim of reaching your financial objectives in a quicker and more organised manner.

Good luck to you and I wish you success,



Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Self-Assessment for the Self-Employed: The Setup, Record-Keeping and Tax Return Overview
  • The benefits of having a Limited Company when Freelancing
  • The 5 Pillars of Personal Finance
  • The ‘Bare Bones’ Bookkeeping Model: Running Your Freelance Business on a Spreadsheet
  • Xero Users: 7 Critical Steps to Setup Your Account
  • Xero Users: 8 Transaction Categories Explained to Manage Your Finance Effectively
  • The Resolution Funnel for Late Payments
  • Appendix A – Limited Company Example
  • Appendix B – VAT Example


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