Media Services Mobile™: Accounting User Guide
Crew can now enter timecards on their mobile devices, and department heads and line producers can approve them.
These online timecards are then loaded directly into Showbiz Studio or imported into Showbiz Timecards Desktop where production accountants can review and calculate them, making them ready for invoicing.
Timecard processing has never been easier!
For Technical Support, please contact Media Services:
Telephone: 310 471 9351 (Available M-F, 8am – 7pm PST)
About this user guide
This document is for the production accountant, guiding them through the following tasks:
The timecards flow the following process when submitted. Note, there are currently four levels of approval; two are displayed below.
At each step the user is prompted for a PIN so that each stage is authenticated with an electronic signature. This along with their authenticated log in ensures the authenticity of the user’s action.
A workflow history is maintained for every timecard. This can be viewed when reviewing the timecard in the Mobile App, in the Workflow module of Showbiz Studio, and in the emailed Timecard Reports.
- Feb 1 2016 2:07PM – JACK ROBERT Submitted as Submitter
- Feb 1 2016 2:08PM – JACK ROBERT Approved as Initial Approver
- Feb 1 2016 2:10PM – LEN KAUFMAN Rejected as Secondary Approver with the comment: you only worked one day??
- Feb 2 2016 10:46AM – JACK ROBERT Resubmitted as Submitter
- Feb 2 2016 10:47AM – JACK ROBERT Approved as Initial Approver
Multiple Episodes Supported
Note that in the case of multiple episodes, there may be several approvers for a single week. ALL approvers will be required to approve again if any one of them rejects the timecard.
Step 1. Click the Workflow button.
Step 2. Select a Show by pressing the space bar within the Show entry field.
Only shows that you have access to will appear.
Step 3. Review the list of Episodes by pressing the space bar within the Episode fields.
Note, if you have selected a Feature/TV show the Episode entry will not be active.
Step 4. If you cannot see the Episode you require, enter a new one and click Add Episode.
Step 5. Enter the details requested, then click Save.
Episodes are now available for you to configure workflow for, and are further available for employees to select from on their timecards.
Setting up the Approval Workflow
When timecards are submitted by your employees, they fall into the workflow process. But before that can happen, you will need to set up the following:
- Assign cast & crew to departments
- Determine for each department who the approver(s) are
- Activate the workflow
This is set up in the Workflow section of Showbiz Studio:
Step 1. Click the Workflow button.
Step 2. Retrieve the show and if applicable, the Episode.
Note that if this is a Commercial show, you must choose an Episode.
When you click the Search button, a list of employees currently assigned to the show will appear. If an employee is missing, then run the Mobile Login Access Report to determine the reason why.
Step 3. “Assign” all employees to the workflow.
This will select the “DEFAULT” department for each. So if you’re in a hurry, and your show is small, you can use this department to easily assign an approver or two to DEFAULT.
Note that in the employee list, the Mobile login column displays if the user already has a username and password set up (perhaps for another show). To check access, see the next section.
Step 4. Create new departments as needed.
If your show approval hierarchy is a little more complicated, and using the “DEFAULT” department is too simplistic, then you can create departments as needed, apply them to employees, and select the approver(s) for each department in the next step.
Step 5. Add approvers to each department.
The first approver will approve first, and the second will approve after the first. Note that Approvers need to also be defined as Employees for their names to be available for selection.
Step 6. Activate the Workflow.
After all configuration is set, click the Activate button. The workflow will not work until this is set. And once it is set, any new Mobile User accounts will be created as needed (and invitations sent).
Step 7. Review the Mobile Login Account Report.
The process to create new accounts is run hourly during business hours. This process creates usernames and passwords for new employees, and emails them an “invitation”. After that time you should receive the Mobile Login Account Report via email, which will highlight any issues with creating accounts.
Setting up Locations
When employees enter time, they are prompted to select their location.
The location will default to the show’s primary location, however you may wish to add additional locations for employees to select from. This is done using the Location tab in the Workflow Config module:
The Show’s Default Location will appear at the top of the screen, and this will always be available as a location for crew to select from. To add additional locations:
Step 1. Open the Workflow Config Module and retrieve the show.
Step 2. Click the Add New Location Button
Step 3. Enter the first few characters of the city, state or other address details to find the appropriate location code.
Step 4. Enter a description that your employees will be familiar with, then click Save New Location.
The new location is now available for your employees on the mobile apps.
Step 1. Open the Reports Module.
Step 2. Select the Mobile Login Access Report from the Customer menu.
Specify the show name, click Add Criteria then hit Run Report.
Step 3. Review the Report to Identify any Issues:
- Do all employees have an email address?
- Is COA validation required on the show, and if so, do all employees have a Detail COA populated?
- Is there only one active contract per job position?
- Do all contracts have a supported Timecard Type?
|Supported Timecard Types||Unsupported Timecard Types|
|1. Non-Union Hourly||1. Union Weekly Commercial|
|2. Non-Union Salary||2. Union On Call Features|
|3. Union Hourly & Daily Features||3. Payline Mode1|
 Payline Mode is a timecard type where units of hours are entered (instead of Ins and Outs).
- If email address is missing, the Mobile User Account will not be created and no invitation sent.
Problem: Anthony Lenk is missing an email address, so a mobile account will not be created for him.
Solution: Add his email address.
- If the timecard type is not supported, the employee won’t be able to see the show in the app.
Problem: Mary Jones and Anthony Lenk have contracts using Pay Line mode timecard types, so they will not be able to store time for this show.
Solution: Union Agreement configuration would be required. Please see Business Affairs.
- If there are two contracts for the same job title, the system will not know which one to use. It will use the contract with the newer contract ID, which may not always be correct.
Problem: Taylor Smith has two contracts with the same job title, it is likely the rates are different. The system will take the newest contract, and this may not be correct.
Solution: A payroll coordinator will need to inactivate one of these contracts so that only one remains.
- If Detail COA is missing, and the COA Validation on the show is set to Full, then the save of the timecard will fail in Showbiz Studio.
Problem: Jack Robert is missing the Detail COA, so when the production accountant saves the timecard in Showbiz Studio the save will fail. Do not if the show’s COA Validation was switched to None, no COA would be required.
Solution: The production accountant would them need to manually update the COA String.
You can change the sorting by clicking each column header, or you can filter the contents by clicking the down arrow icon on each header, and providing filter criteria.
Disabling Approval Workflow
When you disable workflow, timecards will no longer be able to be submitted for approval. Employees may continue to enter time, but when submitting the week for that workflow, they will be notified that the workflow has been disabled.
For the Show
Workflow can be disabled for an entire show, or for a specific employee. To disable Workflow for an entire show, click the “Deactivate” button on the Workflow Configuration screen.
For a Single Employee
To disable workflow for a specific employee, click off the “Assigned” checkbox, then click the “Save Selection” button.
Timecards Pending Review
The Timecards Pending Review screen displays those fully approved timecards that are in various stages of processing:
- HTG Pending – The timecard is ready for a production accountant to calculate it.
- HTG Calculated – The timecard is ready for Invoicing by Media Services.
- Invoiced – The timecard has been applied to an estimated invoice, and the invoice is pending approval by the production office.
Once invoices for related timecards have been finalized, the related timecard no longer displays in this matrix.
There are two facilities available to calculate timecards: Timecard screen save and Bulk Calc facility.
To calculate timecards using the Timecard Screen,
Step 1. Click the Timecards button
Step 2. Select the Show, Payroll Company, then hit the Space Bar in the Employee listing.
Doing this will show you a list of those timecards that are awaiting invoicing. The numbers in parenthesis should you how many timecards are awaiting invoicing.
Step 3. Select & Open the Timecard from the Pay Ending Drop-Down.
Select an employee form the list with timecards awaiting invoicing, and click the down arrow next to Pay Ending. Select one of the timecards displayed in the list, then click Open Timecard.
Step 4. Click Save to Calculate the Timecard.
This will generate the wages, and the results will be presented in the Summary screen for your review.
Note: For more detailed information on using the Timecard screen, please contact Media Services.
The Timecard screen will require you to open each Timecard individually. If you wish to calculate multiple timecards at once, use the Bulk Recalculate facility.
Step 1. Click the Re-Calculate Estimate Timecards hyperlink.
Located in the upper left hand corner of the Timecard screen.
Step 2. Retreive the Timecards you are Interested In.
Enter the Show and Specify Drafts Only, then click the Search button. The timecards that have not yet been saved/calcualted will appear. Refine the list with the other criteria items and click Search again if needed.
Step 3. Re-Calcuate.
Select the timescards to process using the checkbbox column on the left, then click the Re-Calculate Selected Timecards button.