New Faq Page

  • Cmd & S: Save Project
  • Cmd & W: Close Project
  • Cmd & Q: Quit Application
  • Cmd & P: Print
  • Cmd & Shift & S: Synchronize
  • Cmd & F: Activate search field
  • Cmd & C: Copy
  • Cmd & X: Cut
  • Cmd & V: Paste

  • Tab: Jump from field to field / to next item
  • Ctrl & Tab: Jump trough Navigation area, Editing area, Macro area (editing) or from tab to tab (settings)
  • Cmd & 1: Open Settings
  • Cmd & 2: Open Budgeting
  • Cmd & 3: Open Financing
  • Cmd & 4: Open Cashflow
  • Cmd & 5: Open Cost Control

  • Cmd & -: Expand/Collapse all
  • Arrow up, arrow down: Up, down one item
  • Enter: Open/confirm item
  • Cmd & N: New account / new additional charge / new source / new cost item
  • Cmd & G: New Group
  • Cmd & Shift & N: New subtotal / New Category
  • Delete: Delete selected element
  • Cmd & M: In Cost Control: Move selected cost item
We want to improve APMS with your support. If you have a feature request please create a support ticket on the website under Support/Support ticket. Thank you.

APMS was designed to work without an online connection so the software can be used in any situation. Most functions can be used without limitation:

  • view and edit projects in all modules
  • print projects, export and import data etc.

The server functionality requires a working internet connection for the following features:

  • create a project
  • start APMS for the first time
  • license changes (activate PRO license)
  • synchronizing data to and from the APMS cloud
  • invite other users to your project

First you see the log in window. Log into the encrypted local database in which your projects are stored. If you are online, your credentials are also checked on the APMS server.

After the login you see your projects in the Project Manager. Those, which you have created yourself are tagged "Admin", those to which you have been invited to "Guest". Here you can create and delete projects, and you can upgrade them to the Cash Flow and Cost Control modules.

When you load a project you see the main window of the Budgeting module:

  • On top you can navigate between the modules Budgeting, Financing (and when activated Cash Flow and Cost Control).
  • On the left you can always see the navigation area where you can select the budgets or financing plans etc.
  • In the middle you will always see the editing area where you enter data
  • On the right hand side you see the macro area where detail information from the editing area is added.

To get started, download one of our templates in the support area and create a budget based on that template.

APMS works on OSX and Windows. You can download the software for free on this website. Each APMS user needs an account which is set up in just a few seconds.

APMS synchronizes your data only to the server when you manually tell it to do so. Otherwise your data is stored only on your local computer. If you want to work on your project on another computer, you first have to synchronize both.

Use cmd-c ,cmd-x and cmd-v   in most places to copy,   cut or paste. You can also use right-click on your mouse to open the context menu.

Hold down the CTRL key, click with the mouse in the desired field and choose the action from the context menu. On Mac, keyboard shortcuts are not supported by Adobe Air.

Within a film project there are a number of parameters which are important for all areas, like the number of shooting days, the first day of shooting etc. This information is all contained in the settings window which you access through the button on the top left.

It is important to know that all settings are only valid for the currently active budget. You can see the name of that budget on the top right of the settings window.

This means that different budgets in your project can be based on different settings (such as a different number of shooting days etc.).

All other modules (Financing, Cash Flow, Cost Control) are always linked to one specific budget and use the settings of the same.

With the function Save Budget/Financing As Template (in the menu Project) you can save the currently active sheet as an APMS template file. The file can later be loaded as a template again, it includes all project specific settings, fringes, taxes etc. This is useful if you want to create templates for your typical projects.

With the function Export Data (button on the blue toolbar) you can create files in the formats Excel (.xls) and CSV (.csv), that can be edited in other software. Because of certain limitations they will not contain all metadata that an APMS template includes.

Last but not least the print function allows you to create a variety of PDF files for different use cases.

APMS can import budgets and cost reports as Excel file or CSV respectively. They need to have a certain importable format though. Most existing software like Movie Magic Budgeting, Sesam etc. do not offer proper export functions. The files they create need to be adapted.

APMS can import files containing the following columns: Category Number, Category Name, Group Number, Group Name, Account Number, Account Name, Price, Unit, Factor, Currency. The order of the columns does not matter, it can be adapted during import.

An APMS-account and its license are personal and can be activated on a maximum of two computers. You can sync your projects with other users through the cloud though.

Each authorized collaborator should have an APMS-Account. Through the project administration und the access permissions you can define precisely who is allowed to do what. Do not forget to synchronize properly in order for everyone to see the changes.

Most likely you are on "Summary", the budget top sheet.

You can access the categories and the groups and accounts by clicking on a category in the area CATEGORIES on the left. If there are no categories available click on the blue "+" to create one.

  1. Click on the small blue "+" in the "Categories" navigation area to create a first category.
  2. Click on Add Group in the Toolbar to add a group to this category.
  3. Click on Add Account, to create a first account within the group.

You can calculate additional charges in the Additional Charges area by selecting Summary in the Categories overview.

Click Add Charge. Additional Charges are defined by a base and a percentage. The base can also be a variable like "NPC" (net production costs) or a formula.



  • To add a markup of 20% on the net prodcution costs add "NPC" in Base and 20 in %.
  • To add a fixed amount, enter 100% and the amount in Base.
  • To calculate a charge based on the spend of a certain producer use the following formula: SUM_PROD("Producername"). All accounts will be summed up that carry the "Producername" in the producer field.

Fringe Benefits are typically social insurance costs as a percentage of the wage. Complex calculations with daily maximums are possible. Ground base is the account total.

Wage-related extra costs are also calculated as a percentage of the wage, but for more simple calculations like overtime, night work. You add them as a percentage on top of the account.

Fixed amount extra costs are flat amounts not depending on the wage like travel costs, meal costs etc. You can use a multiplier to add them to an account.

To prevent certain accounts from being included in the calculation of Additional Costs you can use formulas:

  • Tag the accounts you want to exclude with some text like "exclude".
  • Now type NPC-SUM_TAG("exclude") in the Base field for the additional cost. NPC is a standard variable Net Production Cost, which sums up all categories. SUM_TAG("exclude") creates the sum of the tag "exclude".

You can use the same function to add a markup on certain accounts.

  • Add the tag "markup" to the accounts where a markup should be added.
  • In Additional Charges, use SUM_TAG("markup") in the base field to calculate the markup.

Fringes are defined in the settings tab "Fringes & Extra Costs" and are assigned through the macro area in the budgeting module.

To define fringes or adapt them according to your needs:

  1. Got to Settings->Fringes & Extra Costs
  2. Fringes can be organised in groups to separate by countries or artists, technicians etc.
  3. Add a fringe by pressing "Add Fringe", enter a fringe name
  4. Formula name is an automatically generated reference you can use in the column "Base"
  5. Percentage is the actual fringe percentage.
  6. Maximum per Day is the maximum amount per day as applicable in certain countries.
  7. Base is the amount on which the fringe is calculated. You can add a formula here like "AccountTotal" or "AccountTotal+Fringe2+Fringe3"
  8. In BudgetAccount you need to add the budget account where APMS writes the fringe into.

To assign a fringe to an account:

  1. Choose the account.
  2. Click on the blue pen icon in Fringes & Extra Costs in the macro area.
  3. Mark the fringes and extra costs you would like to add. Note that if there are subaccounts you have to select fringes for each subaccount.
  4. Click OK

Accounts with assigned fringes or extra costs are marked with a purple dot. You can also filter the budget for accounts with or without fringes.

To create a new project:

  1. Go to Project Manager
  2. Click on Create Project
  3. Choose a project title, click Next
  4. Choose Empty Project and click Next
  5. Choose Load Template From File, find the template you want to load. Click Finish.

In an existing project:

  1. Go to the Budgeting or Financing module
  2. Klick on the blue "+" on the list of budgets/financing plans
  3. Choose Load Budget from File

 To save a budget or a financing plan as a template:

  1. Go to the menu bar->Project
  2. Choose Save As Template

Tags are keywords that you can attribute to items in Budgeting, Financing and Cost Control. A given position can have multiple tags.

  • To create a tag just click into the tags panel on the righthand side and press enter
  • To add an existing tag just type the first letter and an autocomplete-list will show up. Choose the right tag and press enter.
  • To delete a tag just press the little "x" next to it.
  • Go to Settings->Producers&Tags to manage all tags in your project

Tags are useful if you want to...

  • ...filter positions (e.g. to display all data tagged as deferments)
  • ...sum up or count all positions with a certain tag and use it in a formula. The syntax is this: COUNT_TAG("tagname") will give you the number of positions where this tag appears, SUM_TAG("tagname") will return the sum of all positions with this tag.

You can filter the data in a budget, financing plan or cost control set to find specific information.

1. Open the filter tool on the bottom left by clicking on the tab.
2. Click on the checkbox or on the tab with the feature you want to filter the data with. You can invert any of the features by clicking on them. It will now say "NOT" before them, indicating the inversion. Click again to undo.

Note that as long as the filter is active only the categories and data is shown that corresponds to the filter.

The filter feature is useful to quickly identify data like:
- all positions that do not yet have a cashflow rule
- all positions that are attributed to a certain producer

The financing plan (as well as the other modules) use the settings of the budget they are linked to. This concerns variables, currencies, taxes and effects as well as the cashflow relevant data of milestones and processes.

You can change the linked budget any time by choosing another budget in the dropdown at the bottom of the window. You may lose some data by doing that.

  1. Go to the Financing module
  2. Click on the blue "+" in the list of financing plans
  3. Choose Load from File

To save a financing plan as a template:

  1. Go to the menu bar->Project
  2. Choose Save As Template

APMS can automatically calculate the cashflow of your VAT payments and refunds. You will see a line "VAT/Taxes" in the expenses and a line "Tax Refund" in incomes.

If not already set up in your budget template you have to define the taxes in Settings->Taxes first.

Add taxes in the macro area of each concerned account in your budget and your financing plan to calculate the cashflow for them. Mind you, in the display you will always see net figures without taxes.

Go to Settings->Cashflow Setup und choose the milestone or phase you want to delete. Press the backspace key.

You need a budget and a financing plan with set cashflow rules. You can add the milestones etc. you will need for this under Settings -> Cashflow Setup. You add the cashflow rules directly in the budget or the financing plan. You can find more detailed instructions in the tutorials.

Go to the Cashflow module and click on the blue "+" to add a new cashflow set.

Select a budget and a linked financing plan. APMS will now calculate the cashflow.

To access the Cashflow and CostControl modules you have to buy a PRO credit. This credit is valid for one project and gives access to Cashflow and CostControl modules for all users of the project. You can buy PRO credits on the website and activate them in the software by pressing "upgrade" in the project manager. You can also activate a trial PRO credit for 30 days.

Phases are time spans within a production like preparation, shooting und postproduction.

  • The duration of a phase in either calendar days or work days can be used as variables. Example: "shooting_workdays" or "shooting_duration".
  • You can also use phases to limit process-based cashflow rules to a certain time span, such as to distribute payments to collaborators only within the phase "Shooting".

Phases are generated by double-clicking into the phase area in Settings->Cashflow Setup.

Processes are sequences of events, for example a sequence of "Fridays" or last days of months for wage payments, but also several %-installments. Events can be defined as

  • accrued to date, meaning that amounts will be divided evenly by the number of defined events (if no phase is chosen) or divided by the relative position (if a phase is chosen)
  • percent of total, meaning that amounts will be divided into the defined percentages.

With process-based cashflow rules you can distribute costs and incomes

  • according to the percentages and the dates of a percent-of-total process
  • evenly across the events of an accrued-to-date process
  • relatively accross the events of an accrued-to-date process in combination with a phase

Meilensteine sind einzelne Daten, wie z.B. der erste Drehtag, der letzte Drehtag, Ablieferung usw. Sie können Meilensteine in Einstellungen->Cashflow Setup durch Doppelklick in den Meilenstein-Bereich erzeugen.

Mit meilenstein-basierten Cashflow-Regeln können Sie Erträge und Kosten auf einen oder verschiedene Meilensteine prozuentual verteilen. Sie können die Zahlungsflüsse durch die Addition oder Substraktion von Tagen relativ zum Meilenstein verschieben.

This is an example how to cashflow the wage payment of a production manager:

1. Go to Settings->Cashflow Setup
2. Define a phase "Production Office" for the duration of the contract
3. Define the number of workdays within that phase
4. Define an "accrued-to-date" process "Wage Payments" with events every date you pay wages
5. Go to the account "Production Manager" in your budget
6. Enter "Production Office_workdays/5" into the amount field and enter the weekly salary. (The 5 assumes that the number of workdays in a week is 5).
7. Klick into the Cashflow tab on the righthand side. Click on the blue pen to edit the cashflow rule.
8. Choose "process-based", select "Wage Payments" and limit it to "Production Office" phase.

Date is the invoice date (for actual costs) or the date of the entry of the estimate (for estimated cost items).

Payment date is the date of payment, the actual transaction. If you use this cost control set for a cashflow in the Cashflow module, this date will be used for this item. In most cases this date is imported from accounting.

When you move from the budgeting into the production phase, in most cases you will have a locked budget to serve as a reference for you cost reports. In APMS you do this step by creating a CostControl set. There you choose a budget that will be locked afterwards. Changes in your cost estimation will now be effected in the CostControl module through estimates of cost items or by global estimates in each account.

The CostControl module allows you to work with a mix of estimates and actuals that will create most accurate cost reports. Data which has already been recorded by bookkeepers can be imported.

To access the Cashflow and CostControl modules you have to buy a PRO credit. This credit is valid for one project and gives access to Cashflow and CostControl modules for all users of the project. You can buy PRO credits on the website and activate them in the software by pressing "upgrade" in the project manager. You can also activate a trial PRO credit for 30 days.

Synchronizing is absolutely safe. If there is a conflict, e.g. two users work on the same budget in the same project and want to synchronize, APMS will create a copy of the budget. You can then find the differences and bring the two versions together. It is not possible to overwrite changes of another person involuntarily.

You can invite other users to your project in the Admin area on the top right of the window. This area is only visible though if you are the administrator of the project.

To invite other users you need to enter the email address of their APMS account. The project will automatically appear in the other users' project manager. You can also edit the access privileges in the admin window.

The visibility of single budgets, financing plans, cashflows and cost control sets can be adjusted for each user in the synchronization window (visible for..., locked, don't sync).

Yes. You can add up to 3 files with a maximum size of 2MB to each account, e.g. quotes, lists, contracts etc.

When you synchronize a budget, a financing plan or a cost control set, the attached files will be synchronized as well.

APMS is running on the platform-independent runtime environment Adobe AIR.

You can install it separately here if you like:  

To uninstall APMS and Adobe Air, do the following: 

  1. Delete the APMS file (.air)
  2. Uninstall Adobe AIR
  3. If you wan you can also delete potentially not saved/synchronized local data:
  • Windows 7:  c:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\APMS
  • Mac OS: /Users/username/Library/Application Support/APMS