The Purpose of Entertainment Payroll in the USA


The entertainment industry revolves around the partnership between filmmakers and production companies across the globe. For any filmmaker, director, or member of the production team, understanding entertainment payroll is a crucial aspect. Entertainment industry payroll may seem a complex topic at the beginning for new line producers. Therefore, to simplify the topic here is an analysis of the purpose of entertainment payroll for the film and television industry.

In earlier days, only big companies used to control entertainment payroll. Today, with the advancement of technology, the needs of production have also changed. Many companies control cast and crew payroll for production houses across the US.

What is Entertainment Payroll?

Entertainment or production payroll is a service hired by production companies to cater to the payroll of the cast and crew in television, commercial production, and films. Usually, entertainment payroll companies work with production accountants to submit payroll weekly. An entertainment payroll service is distinct from the other forms of third-party payroll.

What is the Purpose of Entertainment Payroll?

Entertainment payroll companies understand the industry’s wage and hour laws better than the other professionals in the industry. It ensures every cast and crew member gets accurate paychecks on time. A complete entertainment payroll service also takes care of taxes, unemployment, union fees, and workers’ compensation insurance.

Why is Entertainment Payroll Important for Film and Television Industry?

In the process of understanding entertainment payroll, one must acknowledge the fact that the service differs from industry to industry. For instance, the entertainment payroll system in the California Wage Order for the Motion Picture Industry differs from other industries. This difference often depends upon the regulations of the local unions and guilds.

Understanding the Needs of the Entertainment Industry:

Every production team or company requires an entertainment payroll service to ensure accuracy and timeliness. To provide accurate payments, the entertainment payroll company may have access to the data from the set to the production offices. A reputed entertainment payroll company always tried to make the production accountants satisfied.

The Impact of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on Entertainment Payroll:

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was initiated in 1938 to protect all fraternity members from unlawful practices. FLSA was mainly established to protect minors with a set of laws. Like any other industry, it safeguards the rights of film and television employees. Even today, the FLSA has an impact on production payrolls. The government has initiated further strict regulations to track the misclassification of employees.


The entertainment industry payroll is an integral part of the entertainment industry in the USA. The film and television industry requires an entertainment payroll company to ensure timely and accurate payment. In the film and entertainment industry, the needs are quite different from other industries such as IT or healthcare. Hence, it requires a dedicated company that understands the complex needs of the industry ranging from SAG-AFTRA signatory to state tax incentives. While choosing an entertainment payroll company, one should check online reviews to know about their service quality.

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