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)
Email: [email protected]

Approval Workflow

The timecards flow the following process when submitted. Note, there are currently four levels of approval; two are displayed below.

01 Approval Workflow

Electronically Signed

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.

Workflow History

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.

Setting up Episodes (for Commercials Only)

Episodes are optional for Features and TV, but they are required for Commercial endeavors. Media Services often sets up Episodes for you, however if you need to create an Episode on your own, you may do so using the Workflow Config option, as such:

02 Setting Up Episodes

Step 1. Click the Workflow button.

03 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.

04 Step 2. Select a Show by pressing the space bar within the Show entry field

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.

05 Step 3. Review the list of Episodes by pressing the space bar within the Episode fields

Step 4. If you cannot see the Episode you require, enter a new one and click Add Episode.

06 Step 4. Click to Add Episode

Step 5. Enter the details requested, then click Save.

07 Step 5. Enter the details requested

Episodes are now available for you to configure workflow for, and are further available for employees to select from on their timecards.

08 Episodes are now available

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:

  1. Assign cast & crew to departments
  2. Determine for each department who the approver(s) are
  3. Activate the workflow

This is set up in the Workflow section of Showbiz Studio:

Step 1. Click the Workflow button.

03 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.

09 Step 2. Retrieve the show and if applicable, the 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.

10 Step 3. Assign all employees to the workflow.

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 4. Create new departments as needed

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 5. Add approvers to each department

12 Step 5. Add approvers to each department-2

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 6. Activate the Workflow

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.

Step 7. Review the Mobile Login Account Report

Setting up Locations

When employees enter time, they are prompted to select their location.

15 Setting up Locations

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:

Setting up Locations Workflow Configuration

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.

03 Step 1. Click the Workflow button

Step 2. Click the Add New Location Button

17 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.

18 Step 3-4. Enter the first few characters of the city

The new location is now available for your employees on the mobile apps.

19 The new location is now available in the app

Verify Employee Access

Occasionally, there is missing employee information, and Mobile Accounts cannot be created. The Mobile Login Access Report must be run to determine if there are any issues with employees using Media Services Mobile.

To run this report:

Step 1. Open the Reports Module.

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 2. Select the Mobile Login Access Report from the Customer menu

Step 3. Review the Report to Identify any Issues:

  1. Do all employees have an email address?
  2. Is COA validation required on the show, and if so, do all employees have a Detail COA populated?
  3. Is there only one active contract per job position?
  4. 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

[1] Payline Mode is a timecard type where units of hours are entered (instead of Ins and Outs).

22 Mobile Login Account Report

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Monitoring the Workflow

You as the production accountant may see the workflow for all timecards using the Showbiz Studio Workflow module. Select either the Pending tab or Completed tab to review the history of each timecard. Simply click the timecard you are interested in.

23 Monitoring the Workflow

Change Sorting

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.

Change Sorting

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.

Disabling Approval Workflow for Show

For a Single Employee

To disable workflow for a specific employee, click off the “Assigned” checkbox, then click the “Save Selection” button.

26 Disabling Approval Workflow for For a Single Employee

Calculating Timecards

After timecards have been approved, they will appear in the Showbiz Studio dashboard, ready for processing.

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.

27 Timecards Pending Review

Calculation Methods

There are two facilities available to calculate timecards: Timecard screen save and Bulk Calc facility.

Timecard Screen

To calculate timecards using the Timecard Screen,

Step 1. Click the Timecards button 

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.

29 Step 2. Select the Show, Payroll Company

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.

30 Step 3. Select & Open the Timecard from the Pay Ending Drop-Down

Step 4. Click Save to Calculate the Timecard.

31 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.

32 Summary by Paycode

Note: For more detailed information on using the Timecard screen, please contact Media Services.

Bulk Re-Calculate

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.

33 Step 1. Click the Re-Calculate Estimate Timecards hyperlink

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 2. Retreive the Timecards you are Interested In

Step 3. Re-Calcuate.
Select the timescards to process using the checkbbox column on the left, then click the Re-Calculate Selected Timecards button.

35 Step 3. Re-Calcuate

Timecard & Timecard Summary Reports

There are two types of Timecard Reports available: Timecard Report and Timecard Summary Report. Both are accessible in the Reports module.

Timecard Report


Timecard Summary Report