Deciding to utilize a payroll company is often the easiest part of the process. But with so many companies out there to choose from, how do you know which one to choose?
After years of working with a variety payroll companies (Media Services, Cast and Crew, EASE, Entertainment Partners, and CAPS, among others) we’ve come to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each company, mainly with regards to software, customer service, and fees.
Assessing a Payroll Company
The first step is assessing which of the following three items is most important to you:
Are you looking to produce basic industry-standard reports? Or do you also need a software platform that offers P-Card integration, purchase order tracking, and petty cash management? Do you need an online based platform or are you looking to have software installed on a dedicated computer? Are you working on a film, television, or digital project? Are ancillary products such as electronic time cards important?
Each company offers different features and complimentary products, so it’s imperative you identify your must-haves before signing up.
Is your production accountant experienced enough to handle most of the setup and ongoing maintenance of the books on their own? Or do you anticipate he/she will need a substantial amount of guidance, training, and technical support?
Some companies offer great customer service…until you’ve become a client. After that getting technical and other types of support can sometimes be a challenge. Hiring an experienced production accountant is key.
Payroll Company Fees
While most companies offer competitive rates, slight variations in worker’s compensation and check processing fees do exist.
When processing a high volume of payroll these minor price differences can definitely make an impact on your bottom line – so it’s important to make sure you are well aware of each payroll company’s pricing structure.
The Bottom Line: Payroll Companies
No payroll company is perfect (entertainment specific or otherwise!) but some are definitely better than others, depending on your needs and priorities.
Let us know if we can help guide your decision!