Topsheet vs. ABS Payroll

Topsheet is the entertainment payroll company that you’ve been waiting for. Our team is comprised of filmmakers and gifted software engineers who have done a phenomenal job anticipating the needs of those working in film, because half of us have “been there”. And we continue to work hard to meet and exceed your needs and expectations because we are passionate about filmmaking. We are often asked what makes us so different from our competition. In a word: automation. Below, I have outlined the major differences between Topsheet and ABS Payroll.

What ABS Offers

ABS, a Bondit Media Capital Company, located on Glenoaks Blvd in Burbank, CA, has been “Independent Filmmaker’s Choice”® for film and television payroll for over 30 years. They focus on indie projects and have payroll coordinators that look through all of your paperwork and are the employer-of-record for your productions.They make sure you comply with laws and union standards for; SAG-AFRA, IATSE, DGA and WGA. They handle WCI (workers compensation insurance), pension health and welfare, unemployment, state and federal tax withholding, etc. ABS primarily functions as a pen-and paper company, though they have accounting software to help you on your journey, that you pay extra for. They also tack on: weekly usage fees, fees for SAG pension and health report, plus a percentage of your payroll. With the current system, it’s virtually impossible to budget in your full payroll cost. And you need to wait for a quote. As far as entertainment payroll is concerned, they’re pretty run-of-the-mill.

What Topsheet Offers

Topsheet works to create the production management solutions you didn’t even know you needed: automated production. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, an automated process to the most time consuming and mundane tasks involved in filmmaking, allowing you to run entertainment payroll for your project up to 25x faster, from start to finish, than you’ve ever done it before with a flat rate (2% of payroll) that you can budget in. Meaning: no surprises, no monthly fees, no set up fees. We get you ready to make that movie magic!

Crew Management

With Topsheet, you have the power to manage your crew with ease. At the tap of a button, you can: hire, schedule, give permissions, update or release your crew. Making workforce management just that easy. When you have a film or project ready for hiring, even if it’s just you and another producer to start (you can always add members, as you go, at no extra cost), create your project on our app and invite your crew, using just their position and phone number. They will then receive a text message inviting them to join. From there, they can easily create their own profiles, fill out their tax forms (once, and update as needed), and enter their bank information for direct deposit. Once their profile is created, they can: view their schedules, view their call sheets, fill out time cards before the standard is set, if the admin chooses to set a standard, or wait until the standard is set and just sign time cards (more on time card standards below).

Call Sheets

We provide everything production companies need to effortlessly: create, update, track, notify, and distribute call sheets to your cast and crew. And it’s FREE forever. PLUS, “nearest hospital” and “weather report for the day” are automatically generated based on the location of the shoot. Simply create a call sheet, enter the pertinent information and select the users you want to send it to. They will receive their call sheets instantly on their mobile devices.

Time Cards

Using Topsheet for time cards, production management can: track your crew’s hours, add adjustments, add union standards, create your own standards for groups or individuals, sign and approve with ease. Here’s the really cool part: prepare to have your mind blown in 3, 2, 1… we have removed the need for long lines at the end of the day to have time cards approved. Wait, what? Yeah, you read that correctly. NO MORE LINES. How? I’ll tell you. The admin, usually the UPM, can choose to set time card standards by selecting departments, individuals or everyone, for everybody on set. Simply select the group or individuals you are creating the time cards for, add in: start time, meal time beginning and end, adjustments for speaking lines or smoke, etc and wrap time. Send it off to the selected group or individuals to sign. If they agree that the information is correct, they sign it and send it back for the admin to approve. All signed time cards, with no adjustments made by the crew, will appear with a green dot next to it for the admin to quickly approve. For the time cards that any crew member did not sign because they requested an adjustment for a speaking line or something that wasn’t stated on their time card, a yellow dot will appear next to their name, so the admin can check it and either adjust and approve or remove the request, if it was incorrect, and then approve. However, if the admin chooses not to set the standard, at wrap, the UPM can announce all of the time card information for the crew to add in themselves, sign and submit it for approval from their phones, still removing the need for long lines and wasted time and paper. The admin can then approve each time card and make adjustments as necessary. Nobody has to wait in lines, it can all be done on the go.


Topsheet provides you with the fastest entertainment production payroll paired with W4 and W9 support and direct deposit. We process payroll 25x faster than paper-and-pen production payroll companies, like ABS. We offer a suite of tools to service your films, television, new media and commercials. Our software supports paperwork like W4 and W9 forms by processing them in our mobile application. You can instantly fill out and approve time cards on the go. We create your pay stubs and provide workers with direct deposit. Our flat fee is 2% of payroll with no hidden fees and lots of free resources at your disposal like our: Union Rates Search, Product Guides, Payroll Calculator and a blog on topics ranging from the AB-5 law to film insurance to creating low budget films and more. We handle taxes and Workman’s Comp (WCI) and Union fees. Topsheet acts as the employer of record on behalf of the producers and automates the calculation of payroll and union benefits- observing federal and state labor laws and union contracts.

Contact us today to learn more and request a free demo. We are currently in the process of creating instructional videos so you can see for yourself just how easy the app is to use. We can’t wait to help you get started on your next project and support your success in the entertainment industry.

Welcome to the future of filmmaking.

About Topsheet

Topsheet is an entertainment tech company specializing in production payroll. We service clients from commercials for Fortune 500 to feature films. We are born in technology, built with filmmakers in mind.

Do you need production payroll?

Hi. We are Topsheet. We are determined to revolutionize production payroll. Our only question is, will it be your production?

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