Being a Payroll Clerk

Learning the Ropes

When clerking on a film, you may be asked to assist the payroll accountant.  In this case your help will be an invaluable asset and can put you on the track to becoming a payroll accountant yourself someday!  The tasks asked of you may seem tedious, but if you do them well you will stand out to the payroll accountant - who has the ear of the key accountant and can recommend you on future projects.  Tasks that may be asked of you can invlude transferring actor times, organizing start paperwork and running checks to set.  

SAG Actor Time Cards

On a daily basis you will transfer actor times off The G to the actors' time card.  It will take about 20 minutes each morning and you want to keep up with it every day…because when the payroll accountant needs it…they need it now. 

Before you transfer times you need to check the times against the Production Report and email any discrepancies to the Payroll Accountant as soon as possible so they can alert the appropriate people.

Ask your payroll accountant for a copy of the SAG Handbook and start familiarizing yourself with the different contracts.  Doing this will aid you in future advancement when it comes to payroll.     

Start Paperwork

Each crew member on the project will fill out start paperwork that will be processed for them to get paid.  Helping make sure all the fields are filled in correctly and assisting in verifying the I9 can help speed up the process.  Taking the initiative to check for these things will greatly help the payroll accountant.

Speak with them ahead of time on what fields need to be filled out and when start paperwork comes into the office, go through the packet with a fine tooth comb and help obtain any missing information.  Once you have the forms filled out as much as possible, alphabetize them and give them to the payroll accountant. 

Delivering Paychecks

If you are on a project where they will allow the clerk to run checks to set, get ready to have fun!  Everyone loves paycheck day and everyone loves the messenger.  Make sure to obey set etiquette and stay out of the way while you deliver checks.  You can deliver to department heads or the individual - talk with each department and see what they prefer. 

If anyone has any questions about a check, just simply ask them to email the payroll accountant and be on your way!

Appreciate the Perks

Working in payroll has a lot of perks as well as being fun and having interaction with the crew.  If payroll sparks your interest, NAPA will be providing a payroll class where you can learn the ins and outs of how things are processed and an in-depth knowledge of union rules!