Everything About Payroll and HR Services

By January 5, 2024January 8th, 2024HR, Payroll
Read Here about Payroll and HR Services


  • Explore the crucial role of Payroll and HR services in the entertainment industry Learn about the streamlined process to ensure a smooth production.
  • Understand the workflow, from initial consultation to ongoing support, for seamless production management.
  • ABS Payroll’s successful track record includes over 700 productions, demonstrating reliability and efficiency. Apply for a quote today.

Across different productions in the entertainment industry, Payroll and Human Resources (HR) services are crucial to ensuring smooth operations, compliance with industry regulations, and the overall well-being of cast and crew members.

In this blog, we will delve into the basic concepts of what these services entail, their importance, and how they contribute to the success of productions.

We will also highlight the advantages of having an industry-wise partner for these services so that you can focus on making your production successful.

Discover Here All About Payroll and HR Services for the Entertainment Industry

What are Payroll and HR Services? 

Payroll and HR services are the backbone for financial and personnel management of film and television projects. These services cover crucial functions, from payment processes and union agreements to ensuring compliance with labor laws. These services are essential for the success of any production in the entertainment industry.

Payroll and HR services are a comprehensive solution to handle film and television productions’ intricate financial and personnel aspects. These services are designed to streamline the payment process, manage complex union agreements, and ensure adherence to labor laws. ABS Payroll is a prime example of expertise and efficiency in this field.

ABS’s employer-of-record payroll services go beyond just issuing paychecks. We handle various employer responsibilities, including compliance with wage and hour laws, tax withholdings, employee and employer tax filings, worker’s compensation insurance, and more. We specialize in accommodating projects of all sizes, from indie films to larger productions, with budgets ranging from $250k to $15M.

How Do Payroll and HR Services Work?

For entertainment productions, having a dedicated HR and payroll service means entrusting these crucial functions to experienced professionals. This allows producers and production teams to focus on their creative efforts while ensuring everything else will be compliant and legal. The workflow typically involves several key steps:

  1. Initial consultation: Producers begin the process by consulting with a payroll and Human Resources services provider to discuss project details, budget constraints, and specific HR requirements.
  1. Project setup: Once hired, the setup payroll service collects essential information like employee details, project scope, and budget to ensure compliance with industry regulations.
  1. Payroll processing: When production begins, the service provider takes over payroll processing, calculating salary deductions, and ensuring accurate and timely payments to everyone involved, including actors, crew, and staff.
  1. Compliance Management: Payroll and HR services like ABS manage compliance with industry-specific regulations and union agreements. This includes requirements from major unions such as SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, DGA, and WGA.
  1. Tax Withholdings and Filings: The service provider must handle all tax withholdings, ensuring compliance with federal and state tax regulations.
  1. Benefits Administration: The service must manage contribution reports and ensure compliance with applicable regulations for projects that offer benefits such as health plans.
  1. Record Maintenance: The service provider is responsible for keeping records up-to-date with all pertinent information. This record-keeping is crucial for audits and future references.
  1. Ongoing support: Payroll and HR service providers must offer ongoing support to the production company, answering queries, managing changes to project dynamics, and remaining open to industry updates to ensure ongoing compliance.

Filmmaking is an art; payroll is the science that keeps the masterpiece in motion. ABS Payroll, where art and science unite

Payroll and HR Services Benefits

The specialized expertise in hiring payroll and Human Resources services is a critical benefit in ensuring the complex financial and personnel aspects of film and television productions are managed accurately. Therefore, hiring these services offers innumerable advantages:

  • Legal Compliance: Payroll and HR services ensure productions comply with labor laws and regulations. This includes compliance with wage and hour laws, tax regulations, and other legal requirements, reducing the risk of legal problems and penalties.
  • Risk Mitigation: Professional payroll services help minimize risks associated with payroll processing, tax filing, and compliance with industry-specific regulations. This risk management is crucial to avoid costly mistakes that could affect the financial health of the production.
  • Budget control: Professional payroll services help control and manage production budgets from large expenses to small microtransactions that are not usually considered but can throw the budget out of balance. Producers can make informed decisions to keep the project on budget using accurate financial reporting and cost tracking.
  • Efficient time management: By outsourcing payroll and HR responsibilities, production teams can focus on their core activities, leading to more efficient time management. This is particularly valuable in the entertainment industry, where time is money and money is scarce.
  • Adaptability to industry changes: Payroll and HR services remain open to industry changes, including updates to tax codes, union agreements, and other relevant regulations. This adaptability ensures that productions meet the latest standards and requirements.
Read about Payroll and HR Services for TV Productions

Meet ABS Payroll: Payroll and HR Experts

Founded in 1985, ABS Payroll has been a stalwart in the entertainment payroll industry, earning the trust of producers and filmmakers for over three decades. As an employer-of-record payroll company, we take pride in offering services that cover all aspects of payroll and HR, from paycheck processing to compliance with union agreements.

ABS not only excels in cast and crew payroll but also provides the following:

  • Production accounting and software services
  • Ensuring detailed cost reporting
  • Efficient vendor management
  • Seamless cash-flow tracking

Our commitment to client experience and industry expertise has solidified our position as the go-to choice for independent filmmakers and seasoned industry veterans.

Lights, camera, compliance! Explore the unseen heroes of every production with ABS Payroll.

With over 30 years of experience, we exemplify this specialist knowledge, earning the reputation as the “Independent Filmmaker’s Choice” by consistently providing world-class service. This is why working with us has some extra advantages that can make a difference in your production:

  • Project flexibility: At ABS, we meet the diverse needs of the entertainment industry with payroll and HR services. Our experience allows us to work with production teams of various scales and budgets, whether it’s a student short film or a high-budget theatrical feature.
  • Union compliance: At ABS, we comply with the standard requirements of the main unions, such as SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, DGA, and WGA. This expertise becomes particularly crucial during industry events like the SAG-AFTRA strike, where having a dedicated payroll and HR service ensures seamless compliance with union agreements.
  • History of success: At ABS, we have been part of more than 700 productions throughout the industry, managing the issuance of more than 11,000 W2 and 1099 forms and managing complex health and pension reports. These achievements underline the reliability and efficiency of contracting such services.

ABS Payroll stands as a testament to the excellence and dedication required to navigate the unique challenges of the entertainment industry, making us the trusted partner for all payroll and HR needs. If you have a production that needs some of our services, apply for a quote. We will be happy to work with you.