Dj mixing outdoor at beach party festival with crowd of people in background

Finance & Accounting Advisory for Media and Entertainment

The business model is fast evolving. M&E companies need to adapt to new realities; the world of Media never stands still. Prepare your business by choosing to work with people who understand your needs.

The Global Media and Entertainment Industry, one of the largest in terms of revenue and market size, is made up primarily of five distinct sub-segments- TV, film, video games, publishing and music. Changes in the industry are causing revolutionary modifications in the way companies adapt for today, and prepare for the future. These events range from shifting consumer behavior, the digital transformation movement driven by advances in technologies and infrastructure, convergence and new quadruple-play offerings. To adapt to the current reality and prepare for the future, the industry is experiencing a large volume of merger and acquisition activities, and most companies are undergoing major transformations in the way they operate.  

Who we help

CFGI plays a leading advisory role in the media and entertainment arena. We work with traditional and emerging media companies advising them on their most pressing and complex finance, accounting and operational needs. Our clients range from new and emerging distributors of content to large international conglomerates operating in film, print, radio, content distribution, events and television. 

How CFGI helps

Film cost capitalization, amortization and impairment

Accounting for significant film development and production costs and their unpredictable outcomes is a substantial issue for film producers (and increasingly, for producers of high-end scripted television also). Specifically, which costs should be capitalized, and when do you start and end? How should the resulting asset be amortized, and how do you build the correlating ultimate model? How should impairment reviews be conducted if there are indications a film will not be as successful as anticipated? CFGI can help you decipher the new ASU and implement it.

Film financing arrangements

The costs of developing and producing films and scripted television can be significant, and the underlying financing structures to fund this investment can be very complex. The accounting for such film financing arrangements presents challenges such as whether to consolidate a legal entity set up to channel the film funding received from an outside investor, whether to recognize the investor’s interest as non-controlling interest or debt, and how to account for complex contractual arrangements. The CFGI team can help you with all nuances of these complex financing structures and their impact on your financial statements.

Revenue recognition 

Analyzing your revenue arrangements and determining the correct recognition methodology under ASC 606 can be a daunting task as product offerings evolve and there is a shift in the operating model. CFGI has the expertise to help you assess and proactively think through the accounting implications of your different type of revenue arrangements, whether its licensing of IP, variable consideration arrangements, arrangements with sales or usage-based royalties, barter transactions, arrangements containing significant financing components, non-refundable minimum guarantees and affiliate revenue arrangements.

Revenue recognition: Principal/agent arrangements 

Principal/agent assessments are increasingly complex as digital transformation results in an ever-increasing variety of content formats and routes to reach the ultimate customers. For the media company – often the ‘content provider’ in such arrangements – the assessment of whether it is selling its content to a retailer or to consumers via a distributor has a direct impact on whether it recognizes its revenues net or gross.

M&A accounting implications

To adapt to the current reality and prepare for the future of the industry, the Media and Entertainment industry is experiencing a large volume of merger and acquisition activities. Whether it’s assessing the accounting implications of acquisition or carve-out activities, determining the value of the underlying assets/liabilities of an acquisition/carve-out, executing buy/sell side due diligence, or determining the tax implications of an underlying transaction, CFGI has the established expertise to ensure all merger and acquisition related implications are considered.

Internal-use software and website development cost accounting

CFGI has the professionals to help you determine what should be capitalized vs expensed when it comes to tasks such as building out new tech offerings, building or implementing internal software or making changes to your website.

Equity compensation accounting

Whether realigning your incentive compensation strategy due to economic conditions, shifting to non-cash based compensation, evaluating alternative award types, modifying existing plans or simply trying to determine the accounting and tax impact of what has already been granted, CFGI has the expertise required to fit your needs.

Interim management support 

CFGI has the Finance and Accounting professionals required to ensure you don’t see a lapse in operations due to changes like organizational shifts, unexpected departures, maternity/paternity leaves or staff augmentation.

M&A integration support

CFGI can help you think through the changes required to your organizational structure, your underlying processes and your existing technology to ensure you capture the efficiencies necessary to adjust to changes such as acquiring new businesses or carving out components that are no longer suitable.

Operating-model optimization 

The ability to remain nimble and adaptable to changes in the industry is critical in the Media and Entertainment industry. CFGI is a trusted business partner helping Media and Entertainment companies think through and execute targeted process optimization, holistic operating-model optimization and organizational change/design. Our approach is centered on not only executing the change necessary but also considering the program management, change management and training required to ensure the enacted change is successful and sustainable.

Business transformation 

The CFGI Business Transformation team utilizes cross-functional finance and RPA experts to identify, execute and scale your organization’s most valuable automation use cases. We have supported more than 600 automation cases and have helped create end-to-end automation Centers of Excellence for global clients of all sizes. Our mission is simpleEmpower lasting finance transformation using Intelligent Automation and Robotic Process Automation. Cost-effectiveness, ease of deployment and unceasing productivity have earned RPA its reputation as a powerful disruptor. Organizations have already leveraged RPA to save millions of dollars and eliminate thousands of FTE hours by:

  • Automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks.
  • Slashing operational costs tied to inefficient processes.
  • Curbing operational risk.
  • Reducing error associated with manual business processes.
  • Enhancing the dependability and efficacy of data.

System implementation support

As technology stack buying power has shifted to the CFO, CFOs now need to possess the understanding of the key technology drivers to generate greater value. Advances in available solutions and integrations have shifted the approach from a one-size-fits-all solution to a best-in-breed approach, allowing companies to find the tools that provide the most ROI. As such, selecting the right software solutions is more difficult than ever, but our team at CFGI can help you find your way through business requirement gathering and formal tech stack discovery and planning. We also support data strategy and architecture and vendor search and selection, as well as serve as your implementation partner. 


Our team of former Big Four and industry professionals have the versatility and hands-on expertise to advise on what needs to be done and become an extension of your management team. Whether it’s leading you through the implications of unique accounting issues for emerging media companies (such as business combinations, revenue recognition, equity compensation, internal-use software and website development costs, commission expense accounts, or sales and use taxes), analyzing your operating model, identifying cost savings opportunities, identifying process optimization opportunities, driving your digital transformation or supporting your business through operational change, CFGI has the expertise to help.