11+ Best Production Payroll Companies [2023]

Production payroll companies help producers and creative teams manage an efficient production. Ensuring pay is fair, timely, and in line with rules and regulations is not just a task–but a necessity. 

While the entertainment industry runs on creativity and talent, there’s a huge amount of logistical coordination required too. Much of that coordination revolves around managing the compensation for the approximately 1.4 million Americans employed in the industry, including the dedicated groups of actors, directors, models, crew members, and every person vital in the process of creating gripping content. 

However, just as varied as the projects and personnel in the industry are, so too are the options for payroll services. So, we’ve curated a list of some of the best production payroll companies for producers on the market. 

What is a Production Payroll Company?

A production payroll company provides software and services to manage payroll operations within the entertainment industry. From print and film to television and commercial productions, production payroll businesses make sure everyone from lead actors to crew members are paid on time and correctly. 

When it comes to production, payroll companies must understand industry-specific norms, pay structures, and contracts. These companies can manage tax deductions, union rules, and varying pay rates like overtime or late hour work. They interpret and enforce complex labor laws that vary between states, know how to delineate between 1099 contractors vs employees, and help navigate entertainment insurance.

Why Use a Production Payroll System? 

Do you know your W-2’s from your 1099’s? How does the AB5 law affect the industry? Production payroll systems offer industry-specific expertise, understanding the unique requirements and regulations of entertainment, including union rules, contracts, and diverse pay rates. 

They aid in adhering to entertainment tax law, worker’s comp and labor legislations. Not using a production payroll system–or using the wrong one–can leave you vulnerable to lawsuits.  

These systems improve efficiency and accuracy with automated calculations, reducing manual efforts, and guaranteeing correct, timely payments by tracking hours and applying correct pay rates. They save time for production companies, allowing them to focus on creative and technical tasks.

They can also help reduce payroll costs: at LÜK, we’ve saved clients over 40% on payroll expenses. 

Top Production Payroll Companies

There are many payroll companies out there, each with different offerings.Take a look at some of the top production payroll companies to help make your search easier.

1. LÜK Network

Luk logo

LÜK comprehensive production payroll services are designed to simplify the complex requirements of the entertainment landscape. From independent contractors to cast and crew members, we accurately classify freelancers and seamlessly handle worker’s compensation and payroll taxes. 

We also streamline payments to talent from diverse agencies, consolidating them into a singular invoice for simplicity and transparency. All you have to do is approve or dispute one invoice per production and then we handle all the payments. 

But, we don’t just stop at payroll. LÜK is also an all-in-one talent-booking platform dedicated to providing the best, most diverse talent available. It’s every agency – in one location. You get to pick talent from any agencies for virtual or in-person casting and we assign you a personal booking assistant to confirm the talent on your behalf. You can add all your casting details like time, date, location, parking instructions, protocols, and anything your models need to bring to the shoot.

Services & Features:

  • Precise worker classification
  • Integrates 1099 workers comp so all your cast and crew are covered
  • Transparent, rapid payments through FlashPay
  • Takes on the liability of paying talent as contractors in accordance with every states’ labor laws
  • Comprehensive tax oversight and management
  • Intuitive casting and booking workflow tools
  • Personalized booking specialist services

Ready to meet your 1099 payroll hero?

2. Media Services

media services

Media Services offers a software solution called Showbiz that addresses several areas in entertainment production, including payroll, budgeting, and scheduling. They integrate this suite of tools into a single platform to streamline these essential processes.

Media Services also provides software training. This measure aims to boost proficiency among entertainment professionals, aiding them in efficiently navigating the various complex systems in their work. 

Services & Features:

  • Showbiz Software
  • TiM Digital Onboarding
  • Mobile timecards
  • Mediaweb production accounting software and services
  • Purchasing cards for production teams
  • Budget and payroll calculators
  • Accounting software integrations
  • Tax incentives and software training

Pricing: Media Services don’t offer pricing details online. They invite you to tell them more about your shoot to receive a quote.

3. Cast & Crew

Cast & Crew is a provider of software products and payroll services for the entertainment industry, primarily for crews working on film, television, and live event productions.

Their PSL+ accounting and financial software offers reporting solutions that allow users to monitor expenses and assess production-related financial data. Beyond just payroll, their services extend to encompass production accounting, consulting on tax credits, and managing workers’ compensation.

Services & Features:

  • PSL+ accounting platform
  • MyCast&Crew payroll system
  • Start+ digital onboarding program
  • Hours+ digital timecard program
  • Robust reporting tools
  • Tax filing and tax credit consulting
  • Compliance management

Pricing: Cast & Crew asks that you contact them to learn more about their services and pricing.

Read the full review on Cast & Crew

4. Entertainment Partners

ep payroll logo

Entertainment Partners (EP) offers payroll services within the film industry, having established cooperative relationships with a variety of top studios and productions. Their solutions, SmartStart and SmartTime, aim at smoothing onboarding procedures and time-keeping processes. 

EP also provides its Scenechronize platform which serves as a central location to coordinate, manage, and distribute budgets, schedules, and documents. 

Services & Features:

  • Production Finance Studio tracks information from onboarding to timecards to payroll and accounting.
  • SmartAccounting system for production cost management
  • SmartStart software for seamless onboarding
  • SmartTime timekeeping software
  • Scenechronize document management software
  • Budgeting and scheduling
  • Customer support and assistance

Pricing: Interested parties will have to contact teams for a quote.

5. ABS Payroll

ABS Payroll logo

ABS Payroll delivers payroll services specifically curated for independent films, television, and commercial productions. The platform rolled out by ABS Payroll supports timecard management, conducting tax filings, and execution of direct deposits.

Beyond solely offering payroll services, ABS Payroll also offers production accounting, administering tax incentives, and assisting with workers’ compensation, making them a comprehensive choice for production entities.

Services & Features:

  • Employer-of-record payroll services
  • Production accounting services and software systems
  • Residuals processing including ATL & BTL payments
  • Timecard management and tax filings
  • Custom reporting
  • Production accounting and tax incentives


ABS Payroll invites interested parties to apply for a quote on their website.

6.  Greenslate

GreenSlate offers payroll solutions and business services for film, television, and commercial productions. 

While GreenSlate offers Employer-on-record (EOR) services, they also pioneered the GreenSlate model where the client opts to take on the EOR role. Their mission emphasizes sustainability, utilizing digital timecards, paystubs, and tax forms instead of physical paper copies.

Services & Features:

  • Digital startwork
  • Digital timecards, paystubs, and tax forms
  • Production accounting and tax credit consulting
  • Reporting
  • Payroll auditing


For full-service payroll, you’ll have to contact them for a quote, but they do list prices on their production software without payroll services. All plans are based on a base price budget of $2.75 million.

  • Their Standard plan starts at $10,000 per project and includes base accounting, budget tracking, accounts payable, crew expenditures, purchase orders, and corporate accounting.
  • The Premium plan starts at $16,250 per project and includes everything from the standard plan plus approval flows.
  • There are also three Stand-Alone Modules that cost $7,500 for the first module and $2,500 for each additional module. These are the Accounts Payable, Crew Expenditures, and Purchase Order modules.

7. Wrapbook

wrapbook logo

Wrapbook combines production payroll and cost tracking on one platform. Production administrators use the software to onboard talent and crew, process payments, and generate reports.

Features include digital time cards for teams to track hours,monitor production budgets and view real-time expenses. 

Services & Features:

  • Employer-of-Record payroll
  • Union compliance
  • Production Insurance
  • Digital onboarding for talent and crew
  • Digital timecard
  • Cost tracking and budget management
  • Accounting
  • Reporting

Pricing: Users have to contact Wrapbook to book a demo and receive a quote on your project.

8. Top Sheet

Topsheet logo

The Topsheet platform allows production teams to create call sheets, manage time cards, process tax documents, create schedules, and oversee their crews. 

The platform is available on both computer and mobile devices, and they offer direct deposit functionality for talent and crew. 

Services & Features:

  • Streamlined payroll processing
  • Digital contracts
  • Reporting tools
  • Accounting software integrations
  • Secure financial data protection
  • Tools for managing extras
  • Smart call sheets 

Pricing: Topsheet offers a pricing structure of 2% of gross payroll or $50, whichever is higher.

9. CAPS Payroll

caps logo

CAPS Payroll, specializing in commercial, music tour, and live event industries, offers payroll services for crew and extras under both union and non-union terms. As an employer-of-record, their role is to ensure legal and regulatory responsibility for employees. Their team assists with all payroll needs, including taxes and workers’ compensation. 

Services & Features:

  • Entertainment payroll services for film, TV, live events, and commercials
  • ETC software for digital onboarding
  • Timecard management and tax filings
  • CAPS+ commercial accounting software
  • CAPS Pay commercial payroll calculator and timecard generator
  • Powerful reporting tools
  • Accounting software integrations

Pricing: For pricing details, please contact them directly to receive a quote.

10. RABS

RABS (Run a Better Set) is an app that offers digital onboarding and management of background talent. Production administrators capture the relevant information of their talent, and send the details to their payroll service for processing. 

Services & Features:

  • RABS App
  • Proprietary onboarding program called Digital Skin
  • Proprietary Wrap program at the end of each production day
  • Digital Background Voucher
  • Custom casting database
  • Compliance add-on capabilities
  • Custom development services for your production

Pricing: While RABS doesn’t list their service costs, they offer a calculator on their homepage that helps you understand how much you can save on your background talent. For more specific details on costs, they ask that you contact them.

11. The TEAM Companies

The Team Companies logo

The TEAM Companies offer customized payroll services for the entertainment industry. The services you can choose from include payroll processing, tax filing, reporting, production accounting, giving tax credit advice, and processing workers’ compensation. Their software offerings cover payroll management, talent and production business management, network clearance, talent rights management, and contactless onboarding.

Services & Features:

  • Production management software
  • Custom payroll solutions
  • Production time cards
  • Tax filings and compliance management
  • Production accounting and tax credit consulting
  • Workers’ compensation services
  • Rights Management
  • Artist Tours payroll

Pricing: The Team Companies invite those companies interested in working with them to contact them for a quote. 

Stay On Top of Your Production Payroll

As an industry professional, staying on top of production payroll is as important as being connected to the latest industry news. Whether you’re in California or elsewhere in the world, choosing an effective production payroll company can make a world of difference–and that’s where LÜK comes in. 

From casting to onboarding to payroll, LÜK has the entire production process down to a science. We empower producers with seamless onboarding, payments, and contractor support–so you can get back to all the creative parts you love.


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