Alister Harris

Cast and Crew Union Payroll Software

Union payroll rules are complicated!

Union payroll rules are complicated!

With union payroll rules notoriously complicated to adhere to, and cast and crew union payroll rules for the film industry likely the most difficult of all, we set out to design a cloud-based system that would automate away the complexity. The first thing to do was consult with film-industry payroll experts and review the relevant union payroll contracts. Interestingly, we embarked upon this project a little prior to the Hollywood union strike over the payroll contract negotiations, and this turned into one of the longest such strikes in memory.

Over 80 union contracts involved

With regard to this topic, it's important to understand that there is something in the range of 80 different unions and union contracts, and some of these contracts run for hundreds of pages. So, we elected to start with the biggest of all, the SAG/AFTRA union payroll contract. The sections, provisions, stipulations, and side notes contained in this contract are pretty staggering. You have the notion of “Scale Rates”, determining minimum pay rates for numerous classifications of workers, be they actors, stand-ins, stunt-men, dancers, singers.. the list goes on and on.
Scale rates and player rules

Scale rates and player rules

Along with Scale Rates, one also has the concept of “Player Rules”, meaning that someone working on a movie is classified as a “Player” of some kind or other, and each type of player has a plethora of rules governing all aspects of how they are paid. The rules themselves wind and weave and can be conceptually different to the extent that there is little commonality between the rules that govern “Meal Penalties” versus those that govern “Travel Allowances”. Similarly, for the “Wardrobe” rules versus those for “6 Day”, “7 Date” and “Holiday” allowances.

A lot of variation depending on the worker and whether it's a theatrical or television production

Now, add to all this that everything described above can vary significantly depending on whether a worker is classified as “Daily”, “3-day”, or “Weekly”, and then again depending on whether we are talking theatrical or television, and the scale of the challenge becomes apparent.

Use-cases, process definitions and database calculations

We approached this problem by interpreting the required database entity structure by analyzing these contracts and interviewing subject matter experts. Concurrently with this, we were defining the use-cases and process definitions for first setting up all these rules in the new system, and secondly for the input and processing of the payroll. Rather than have someone sitting there with a calculator to construct the numbers for each of these calculations, our new system was designed to automate the calculations.
Timecard input done on-set via phone

Timecard input done on-set via phone

In short, a payroll administrator would set up the rules using the intuitive interface we designed, and then the timecard info for each worker is either submitted by them via their phones or collected and input by the production accountants on set. We refer to this as our digital-timecard process. Once all the timecard info has been put into the system, the batch of data (often for a week) is transmitted via API calls down into Sessions' central system, from where it can be processed and digital payments with all the taxes calculated sent out.

Recent Framework Blog Posts

Lease Transaction Processing System for Insight Investments

Framework Solutions launches the DealPro Lease Transaction Processing System for Insight Investments Corp. DealPro is a cloud-based MVC.NET portal application which enables users to pre-process and submit transaction to the internal ERP.

Calculate margin commissions when no inventory cost data

The more automated commission calculations are, the less opportunity there is for subjective amounts to be assigned to a sale, and the safer management can feel about the numbers.

Salesforce Dynamics GP Integration Portal for RED8

Salesforce to Dynamics GP integration Portal Solution released by Framework Solutions for RED8, a division of Insight Investments located in Irvine California. Introducing a Custom Middleware Portal with API connections to both Salesforce and GP has dramatically reduced order processing time..

Why You Should Integrate CRM With Your Website

CRM integration can help manage and keep track of all user interactions that occur on your website, whilst capturing customer data, and making it accessible (usable) to your business.

Framework Portal Integrates Microsoft Dynamics GP

Framework portal solution integrates Microsoft Dynamics CRM with Dynamics GP for computer reseller 2NDGEAR, a rapidly expanding division of Orange County company Insight Investments.

2NDGEAR Migrate to Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Online.

Framework Solutions, have just announced their successful online migration of an old CRM On-Premise 2011 system with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for the subsidiary organization of Insight Investment, 2NDGear.

Framework Solutions Custom Software Developer Los Angeles