The Best Alternative to ABS Payroll Services

10 October 2019

Meet Wrapbook: The Best Alternative to ABS Payroll Services

Ensuring that everyone on your shoot is paid on time and according to the law is one of the most important tasks a producer has. While there are many entertainment payroll services available, both ABS Payroll Services and Wrapbook offer a powerful suite of services that support film, TV, commercial, and live production.

Here, we explain some key differences between Wrapbook and ABS Payroll Services to help you decide which payroll company is right for your production.

1. The Full Gamut of Entertainment Payroll

From a compliance perspective, entertainment payroll can be a nightmare. In most cases, everyone from the director to the PA shuttling cast and crew to set are your production’s employees. This means your production will need to procure worker’s compensation insurance, cover payroll taxes, and send off the proper forms come tax season.

Plus, if any of your cast and crew are in unions, you’ll be responsible for staying compliant which usually means sending health and pension to various guilds each week of your production.

As an entertainment payroll service and accounting firm in one, ABS Payroll Services can handle all of these tasks for you in house. Before and during shooting, you’ll have to send invoices and a stacks of paper documents to your dedicated paymaster, who will then pay out your production. To track a payment or expense, get in touch with your accountant.

In addition to a dedicated paymaster, Wrapbook’s software-first approach to entertainment payroll allows you to track your production’s cashflow and run payroll in real time. After onboarding cast and crew through the app, timesheets and expenses appear in app every time your crew submits them through their Wrapbook account.

Unlike ABS Payroll, Wrapbook allows you to view your production invoice without having to dial up an accountant.
Unlike ABS Payroll, Wrapbook allows you to view your production invoice without having to dial up an accountant.

Easily toggle between your various productions. When you’re ready to run payroll, just click “Run Payroll.” Send money to your freelancers and employees in seconds, since Wrapbook is one of the few entertainment payroll companies that supports direct deposit.

Wrapbook Allows You To Manage Multiple Productions
Wrapbook Allows You To Manage Multiple Productions

What is ABS Payroll Services?

For forty years, ABS Payroll and Production Accounting Services has offered payroll support to indie features, commercials, and low budget projects. Cost varies based on production, as they require you to ask for a quote.

2. Transparent Pricing, Lowest Cost to You

Once you’ve raised enough money to greenlight your project, the last thing you want to do is spend it on entertainment payroll. No matter how big or small your budget is, you should get the most of every dollar.

Like many other entertainment payroll services, ABS Payroll has you request a quote for their payroll services, which usually includes a weekly fee just to use payroll services, a fee per paper check, a fee per SAG pension and health report, plus a percentage of your payroll.

Wrapbook charges 0.5% of your gross wages and a one-time setup fee for unlimited access to their intuitive software. And that’s it.

While your worker’s comp rate depends on what state you’re shooting in, Wrapbook typically is two percent lower than ABS Payroll Services. This alone can save you thousands of dollars on your shoot.

Our software-first approach cuts out much of the money you’d spend on tasks that could easily be automated, so you can make the most of your project’s budget. With Wrapbook, pricing is as transparent as possible, so each production knows exactly what we charge.

3. Film Payroll Fringes

Your production company is based in New York, but you’re shooting in Georgia, and your cinematographer is based in Texas and union. How exactly do the taxes on that work on that? Enter: your payroll company.

Given their years of experience, ABS Payroll has deftly navigated situations like this before. By faxing off the piles of start paperwork for each crew member to ABS, they’ll then review your financials and give you an adequate estimate of your fringes.

Wrapbook gives you the same answer in seconds. Drawing from the latest tax codes, Wrapbook calculates employer taxes automatically in the Wrapbook app automatically. When employees onboard directly through the software, their data is used to update your fringes.

When talent and crew are onboarded, Wrapbook gathers their tax information upfront.
When talent and crew are onboarded, Wrapbook gathers their tax information upfront.

Preview your payroll instantly without ever involving an accountant.

4. Onboarding Your Cast and Crew

Once your cast and crew have signed onto your project, they’ll have to fill out a tree’s worth of start paperwork each. Including I-9s, guild membership status, and loan out company information (to name a few), this paperwork is crucial to calculating how much your payroll will run.

At entertainment payroll companies like ABS Payroll Services, onboarding crew and running payroll are treated as two separate entities. Acting as an aggregator, ABS Payroll merely collects the cast and crew information, has an accountant review it, and then have another part of their business cut the checks.

Wrapbook automatically collects forms from your crew and actors when they join your production – all on the app. It then uses that same information whenever a time cards are submitted or a pension and health report is submitted to a union.

Easily track who hasn't submitted their forms so you know who to text passive aggressively.
Easily track who hasn't submitted their forms so you know who to text passive aggressively.

Utilizing Wrapbook’s direct deposit feature, you can onboard and pay crew in the same hour, versus ABS Payroll Services’ lengthy set up time.

5. Union Ready

Both Wrapbook and **ABS Payroll keep up with every union regulation, keeping your entire production compliant.

Whether you’re submitting your crews members’ respective guild or having them report it when they onboard in Wrapbook, both payroll companies will ensure you’re paying according to the bargaining agreements.

All you need to do is flag your crew members respective guilds, when you run your payroll, the Wrapbook app will automatically use this information to calculate their pension and health in their payroll preview. And unlike most other entertainment payroll services, Wrapbook does not charge extra to support union payroll.

Wrapbook submits pension and health to following guilds:

Currently, Wrapbook is not accepting any more SAG clients. In order to get on the wait list, email success@wrapbook.com.

6. Insurance + Payroll

In order to run a shoot, you typically need two things: production insurance to protect yourself from fault and a payroll company to keep yourself compliant with the law.

Besides making onboarding and cutting checks easy, using a payroll company is often required when working with unions like SAG.

While ABS Payroll Services can process your payroll, they currently do not offer insurance at this time.

Wrapbook provides both services under one roof. In addition to providing some of the affordable entertainment solutions on the market, Wrapbook can customize unique insurance packages to keep you complaint with any union for the lowest cost to you.

Drawing from the latest tax codes, Wrapbook calculates employer taxes automatically and provides worker’s comp insurance, which most insurance agencies do not.

These in tandem make Wrapbook one of the best film insurance agencies.

7. Take a Test Drive

Like so many things in entertainment, most decisions regarding payroll are made on recommendations from friends – people who have worked with vendors who cut checks on time and responded in a timely manner.

While you have to wait to get a quote from ABS Payroll Services, it’s absolutely free to demo Wrapbook which you can do instantly.

Set up a mock production, collect timesheets, onboard your team, and get everything just the way you like it. You take a new car for a spin before you buy it. Shouldn’t processing millions of dollars operate similarly?

Wrapbook only charges a fraction of a percent when you finally cut the checks or pay out via direct deposit. Plus, Wrapbook doesn’t require a payroll bond, so you can pay your crew without having to front your entire budget upfront.

Click here to try a demo.

Wrapbook Is The Best Alternative to ABS Payroll Services…

Because it allows you to put more money into your actual film’s budget. Producing a film is a long and difficult process. Entertainment payroll shouldn’t be.

The Best Production
Payroll Company

Pay your cast and crew quickly and compliantly.

Wrapbook calculates timecards, witholds taxes, handles unions, and processes payments in user-friendly app.

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Film Payroll