The 8 Best Entertainment Payroll Services of 2020
You’ve assembled the perfect cast, hired a film crew, and enlisted a small army of PAs. But before the camera starts rolling, you’re going to need everyone to fill out a tree’s worth of tax forms each. This is just one of the reasons filmmakers use entertainment payroll services.
But distinguishing one entertainment payroll company from another can be daunting as it is boring. While EP and Cast & Crew have been the standard for many years, there’s plenty of newer, cheaper, and efficient options so you can put more money back into your budget.
Sifting through all the drawbacks, benefits, and features of each payroll company, we’ve compiled a list of the 8 best entertainment payroll services of 2020.
The Best Entertainment Payroll Services of 2020
Launched in 2018, Wrapbook is powerful entertainment payroll service that allows you to pay your cast and crew all from your browser.
With your entire production neatly organized on one dashboard, you can easily review expenses, spin up custom time cards, pay people with a click, and share important documents like call sheets with your entire production. Save on mountains of paperwork with their digital onboarding, included for free in the software suite.
Unlike most entertainment payroll services that keep their prices behind quote walls, Wrapbook has a one-time activation fee and charges .75% of the payroll you run, one of the lowest costs to run payroll in the entertainment industry.
Cast and crew love Wrapbook’s direct deposit feature along with the ability to submit invoices and timecards directly from their phones.
Wrapbook was previously known as TakeOne.
Wrapbook Entertainment Payroll Services Contact Info
- Headquarters: New York, NY
- Wrapbook Address: 228 Park Ave S #36206 New York, New York 10003
- Wrapbook Phone Number: 845.367.9679
For years, Entertainment Partners Payroll (EP) has been the industry standard for entertainment payroll. Handling productions like Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom to The Office, it’s a well known name inside studios and Hollywood agencies.
An entertainment payroll company in Los Angeles, EP will handle onboarding, tax information, and cutting checks–but you’ll need to mail all of your documents off for their accountants to review.
If you’re producing a multi-million dollar project, Entertainment Partners Payroll Services should be your go-to, but it will cost you. Unlike the other software-based options like Wrapbook, you’ll likely end up paying significantly more of your budget on payroll.
You have to reach out to them to get a quote.
Entertainment Partners Payroll Contact Info
- Headquarters: Burbank, CA
- Entertainment Partners Payroll Address: 2950 N. Hollywood Way Burbank, CA 91505
- Entertainment Partners Phone Number: 818.955.6000
Created by veteran production accountants, Media Services offers entertainment payroll services as well as both in-house accounting and on-production accounting.
Media Services is primarily used for indie films and low-budget commercials. Unlike modern payroll companies like Wrapbook, you have to request a quote.
In addition to their accounting services, they also offer a line of entertainment apps called ShowBiz, which can help tackle budgeting, SAG timecards, and cash flows.
Media Services Contact Info
- Headquarters: Westwood, CA
- Media Services Phone Number: 310.471.9369
- Media Services Address: 500 S Sepulveda Blvd Floor 4, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Like Entertainment Partners Payroll Services, Cast & Crew is often the best solution for high budget projects. Offering a full HR experience, they can run payroll for film and a variety of other industries including television, theater, music tours, and music festivals.
If you’re looking to produce a play or theater experience, Cast & Crew should be your go-to entertainment payroll company–most of Broadway uses it as their service
In terms of pricing, you have to request a quote for your production. That’s why it’s crucial to get a quote from each company on this list to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
Cast & Crew Contact Info
- Headquarters: Burbank, CA
- Cast & Crew Payroll Services Address: 2300 Empire Avenue, 5th Floor, Burbank, CA 91504
- Cast & Crew Payroll Services Phone Number: 818.848.6022
If you’ve worked on a commercial shoot before, there’s a good chance you’ve been paid by The Team Companies. Like Cast & Crew, they’re one of the few entertainment payroll companies that support live music tours and theater.
If you’re working on a project that crosses many mediums, like a stand up special or a live reality event, it might be worth getting a quote from The Team Companies. They pride themselves as experts in residual payments.
Outside of their entertainment payroll services, The Team Companies also features software to better manage your pre-production, like StudioBinder.
The Teams Companies Contact Info
- Headquarters: Burbank, CA
- The Team Companies Address: 901 W Alameda Ave, Burbank, CA 91506
- The Teams Companies Phone Number: 818.558.3261
If you’re producing an indie film or a commercial, then you might think of working with ABS Entertainment Payroll Services for processing payroll.
Tailored to low budget projects, ABS Payroll can accommodate everything from explainer video shoots to live theater with their payroll and accounting staff.
In terms of pricing, ABS charges a weekly fee to use their services and a gross percentage based on your project’s scope. They also currently do not support software.
If you do want to use a web-based application or greatly save on your payroll, Wrapbook offers more functionality for a fraction of the price.
ABS Entertainment Payroll Services Contact Info
- Headquarters: Burbank, CA
- ABS Entertainment Payroll Services Address: 7530 N Glenoaks Blvd Ste 100, Burbank, CA 91504
- ABS Entertainment Payroll Services Phone Number: 818.848.9200
Purchased by Cast & Crew in 2016, CAPS Payroll is trying to make the entertainment payroll industry more transparent.
In addition to accounting, they offer electronic time cards and CAPSPay, a digital hours to gross tool, where users can spin up reports and submit payroll to CAPS.
While retaining their original name, CAPS is more or less Cast & Crew with different packaging, although they do tend to specialize in smaller budget productions.
Unlike other entertainment payroll services on this list, your software may not be included for free in your package.
CAPS Payroll Services Contact Info
- Headquarters: Culver City, CA
- CAPS Payroll Services Address: 2300 West Empire Avenue,, Burbank, CA 91504
- CAPS Payroll Services Phone Number: 818.848.6022
While some entertainment payroll companies may require you to fax your paperwork off to your paymaster, Greenslate is pushing the entertainment payroll industry paperless.
Much like Wrapbook, Greenslate offers a software backend for timecards, email onboarding, and a digital interface so you never have to scramble for a report.
Plus, they offer printed checks on site.
Greenslate Entertainment Payroll Company Contact Info
- Greenslate Headquarters: Beverly Hills, CA
- Greenslate Address: 12121 Wilshire Blvd suite 205, Los Angeles, CA 90025
- Greenslate Phone Number: 310.789.2001
Entertainment Payroll Companies vs. Software
Entertainment payroll companies can handle everything from paying out your crew to acting as a full-stack HR department.
Traditional entertainment payroll companies are great if you’re dealing with a multi-million dollar budget, residuals, or a project that spans many mediums. That way you can get the specialized attention of production accountants to hash out the details and calculate payroll by hand.
For everyone else, the new companies, like Wrapbook, that offer software + services offer the right blend to automate the mundane like onboarding. timesheet collections, hours to gross calculations and payment notifications, while giving you access to a software supported paymaster to handle complex scenarios.
Ultimately, no two entertainment payroll services are alike. Each will claim it’s offering you the best deal, but it is worth looking through the nuances of digital payments and the real softare (or non-existant software) you will be using before deciding who to ultimately work with.
If you’re deciding between two options or just have a question about payroll, feel free to hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.