In the last 20 years, there hasn’t been much technical progress for production finance. Productions and individual crew members' reliance on paper processes and sometimes outright rejection of digital timecards, start work, and other production solutions presented real barriers to digitalization.
But times have changed.
The pandemic has created an urgent need for production finance teams to go 100% digital and contactless for all of their crew onboarding, production payroll, and accounting workflows and approvals. And studios have an opportunity to capitalize on digital adoption from the cast and crew to upgrade from old platforms and processes to work smarter and more efficiently.
DIGITAL HYPE VS. TRUE EFFICIENCY
All back-office providers say they are “100% digital,” but what does this really mean? Unfortunately, there is some marketing spin being used to describe old and dated software systems as “complete and modern solutions,” even though they are not all-in-one solutions, completely web-based, or entirely in the cloud.
Often, when businesses discover their software has gaps in providing what their clients need, they begin to address specific problems with patches and add-ons. They acquire existing products to fill those gaps, from entire systems to single solutions, with the goal of piecing together a “complete” solution that looks and feels the same. But it can never fully hide the fact that they are separate systems and their clients have yet one more system to learn, one more login to remember, and one more user interface to use.
Imagine building a new facade on the front of an old house. It might look good from the street, but it’s a completely different story inside. Inside, you quickly find the plumbing is old, the heating and electrical are from different decades, and the building offers no efficient or modern amenities. Nowadays, you need more than a washboard and a bucket. No one wants to spend hours using outdated tools when there are better and faster ways to do things now.
The alternative approach, and the best way to deliver true efficiency, is to give users one end-to-end system with one interface. This approach provides a seamless workflow and naturally eliminates the need to export from one system to another or repeat data entry in disparate databases. It also ensures the integrity of data since it’s all in one place, rather than being distributed and fractured.
FULL SPECTRUM DATA ACCESS
Studios need full spectrum data access from their finance application and their third-party production companies. When everyone adopts one system, that helps to:
- Reduce data entry
In an all-in-one system like GreenSlate, we never make you repeat the same data twice. There is no need to fill out the digital timecard hours, then export into your HTG system, then export to your payroll provider.
- Improve data integrity
When every part of the application knows about every other, you always have the most up to date information at your fingertips. Your account coding on your timecard is accessible directly from your chart of accounts.
- Manage more projects
From a single consolidated view. You can see your entire slate in one dashboard and easily drill down to journal entry details, timecards, PTO, and more … in the same system.
WHY SHOULD STUDIOS CARE? WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Today, there are three main entertainment payroll providers, but the way these platforms have been built is fundamentally different.
GreenSlate is built from the ground up to the most advanced web-based coding standards. It hasn't been assembled via acquisition.
Offering the industry's only all-in-one web application for payroll and production accounting provides unique benefits to productions, production accountants and the crew.
- There is no logging in and out of multiple platforms, exporting and importing, or piecing together solutions with different software.
- Everyone works in one system so everyone can work faster.
- Individual data is entered directly in the app by the individual, eliminating errors from rekeying or syncing apps.
- The data is stored and reusable from project to project.
At the enterprise level, data integrations are especially attractive. They can be built quickly and support large scale erp systems like Workday, SAP, or NetSuite. Studios can push data into the GreenSlate application and easily pull data out via APIs.
Here are just a few examples of how some companies are taking advantage of data integrations today.
- Push employee data into our app to facilitate onboarding and start work forms.
- Push timecard info into our app from third party systems.
- Use the GreenSlate HTG engine to calculate union gross pay.
- Synchronize user accounts between systems.
- Pull payroll invoice or vendor info out of our system to synchronize with corporate payment systems.
- Push accounting data into our system for cost reporting.
- Pull accounting data into corporate reports.
Now more than ever studios need to go digital to streamline operations, seamlessly access information from anywhere, and simplify approval flows and processes, but they will need to replace outdated providers with a more powerful all-in-one system that has the capabilities they need.
GreenSlate offers a true all-in-one web-based platform, built from the start on a modern tech stack. Learn more about our enterprise integrations.