The Compliance Channel: Independent Contractor Compliance For a TV Leader

Creative work of business teamIt’s safe to say America is TV crazy. And we have media companies to thank for taking tremendous risks over the past few years to make the odd, exciting, exotic, dramatic shows that fill our TVs. 

Today, television and media is a $134.7 billion industry featuring 1,715 shows in the United States alone. In order to get the shows in front of viewers like us, there are 65,156 television production employees and 5,083 television production businesses. And that’s where Yoh comes in.

Our favorite TV shows are made possible because of the thousands of talented individuals in media companies’ development and production departments. One such mass media and entertainment giant filled many of these positions with independent contractors (ICs), a worker classification that comes with plenty of compliance risks and challenges from IRS regulations. So when the company’s IC workforce became a bit fuzzy, they turned to Yoh to make sure the picture was crystal clear.


The Dilemma

In order to produce quote-worthy TV shows each season, there are thousands of ICs pulled on board to work behind the scenes. While the benefit of Independent Contractors is that they can come and go with ease to get a job done, they also carry with them a lot of baggage. ICs and the companies that hire them are under the close watch of the IRS, especially recently, to ensure all employment laws are being followed. These individuals are not full-time or part-time employees but fully independent workers, which means differences regarding payment, overtime, benefits, and more. With a significant portion of the company’s workforce classified as ICs, there are challenges in making sure each individual is fully compliant with IRS regulations from the hiring day to off-boarding day.

Yoh was tasked with making sure all of the company’s ICs were compliant with the law while managing their payroll, on-boarding, and off-boarding. Yoh had to identify exactly who’s coming, who’s going, and what the details of the project are, otherwise risk IRS penalties.

The show had to go on, and Yoh made it all possible.


The Strategy

Originally, Yoh’s responsibility was to vet the client’s ICs to assess whether they qualify as one, according to IRS regulations. But after seeing the vast IC compliance expertise Yoh brings, the relationship escalated, and Yoh grew its role to fully manage ICs from top to bottom. After a four-month implementation, Yoh worked with hiring managers to assist with the collection and organization of data, centralize all IC contracts, and install new auditing procedures and VMS technology. When dealing with the IRS, there is no room for cutting corners. Yoh created a 10-minute questionnaire designed to mimic the questions an IRS agent would ask when determining if the IC meets their guidelines.

In addition to vetting the ICs, Yoh drafts IC contracts, including what we call the “Statement of What,” which identifies the details of the job duty, the job expectation, the time frame, the agreed-upon payment terms, list of projects and more. Over the course of the four-month implementation, Yoh’s small team of experts together vetted more than 250 ICS, introduced them to the VMS system and built an IC management system from the ground up.


The Impact

Thanks to Yoh’s hands-on approach and diligence, the client had full visibility into IC status, project status, and company spending – something that didn’t previously exist. Procurement can now easily find, track, and budget all ICs instantly and from anywhere. The VMS Yoh implemented has enabled the vetting of more than 450 ICs per year and provides a clear view into every IC and every project, reducing the risk of potential fines and penalties from the IRS to almost nil.

By establishing a clear picture for the client, Yoh showed that the real superstars are behind the camera just as much as they are in front. Want to learn more about how we can bring this show to you? Give us a call; we’re always on demand.

Click here for the full case study. 


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