Semi-monthly and bi-monthly pay strategies are the two most widely used pay plans. Every now and then, though, a month might have five Wednesdays and the meeting might fall on the first, third, and fifth Wednesdays. So you should still learn the difference between bi-weekly and semi-monthly.

  • If it hires a new employee at an annual salary of $52,000 the employee will be earning $2,166.67 ($52,000 divided by 24 paydays) during each semimonthly pay period.
  • Under a monthly pay schedule, employees will get paid once per month, typically on the 1st of the month.
  • Two popular, yet easily confused, pay periods are biweekly and …
  • For example, biweekly pay schedules may not work on tight budgets during three-paycheck months.

Pay frequency requirements by state determine what pay frequencies you can and can’t use. For example, Arizona requires that employers pay employees two or more days per month, not more than 16 days apart. Only 4.7% of employees are paid monthly, making it the least common pay frequency. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 33.3% of employees receive weekly paychecks, making it the second most popular frequency.

How to choose a payroll schedule for your business

Consult your state laws, as certain states do not allow the use of a semi-monthly pay schedule. Additionally, it is simpler for staff to plan for money receipts every other Friday. This is more convenient than tokens that qualifying r&d credit expenses could be sped up or slowed down by holidays and weekends. For example, banks and other financial services industries often elect for monthly paychecks since people in this profession earn higher than average salaries.


Contrary to popular usage, bi-weekly does not mean twice in the same week. So many speakers and writers use the term this way that there is now widespread confusion regarding the true meaning of the term. Semi-monthly means paid twice in every month (usually at the end of the month). Make your proof of income pay stubs quickly and easily with our state of the art pay stub generator. We recommend getting an electronic time, calendar, and attendance tracking system. Automating the attendance tracking system will help to record and pay for overtime correctly.

Nineteen percent of employees receive their wages on a semimonthly basis. A semimonthly pay frequency can be difficult for employers and employees to track. Employees can receive their wages on a Tuesday or a Friday, all depending on the day the date falls. With a semimonthly pay frequency, you pay employees on specific dates, but the days might differ.

How to calculate semi monthly pay?

Bimonthly may mean occurring twice a month or occurring every two months. In the United States bimonthly may be used as a noun to describe periodicals, the plural noun form is bimonthlies. Bimonthly is derived from the prefix bi-, which means two, twice, double, doubly, occurring twice in every one or once in every two. It comes from the Latin bi-, meaning twice, double, and weekly from the Old English word monað. Some sources recommend avoiding the terms altogether and using twice a week and every other week instead.


Also, they get paid consistently on a particular day of the week, for example, every other Thursday, rather than a random day of the week. The need for overtime pay arises because most months have more than the twenty-eight days or four-weeks used to arrive at the standard 86.67hours. Also, in running a semi-monthly pay payroll, some workweeks begin and end in the same pay period, while others carry over to the next pay period.

The Difference Between Semimonthly and Biweekly Payroll

Monthly is an adverb or adjective that means occurring once a month. The prefix semi- means half in a literal sense and can also mean partial in a less literal sense. Likewise, semiconscious means halfway or partially conscious.

This compensation comes in the form of salaries, wages, overtime premiums, bonuses, holiday pays, sick pays, commissions, etc. Semi-monthly and bi-weekly sound like the same thing, but there are some key differences between these two payroll schedules. Let’s pretend that Company ABC pays its employees semi-monthly, with its employees receiving their paychecks on the 1st and 15th of every month. An employee earning $100,000 per year will receive 24 paychecks of $4,166.67, less taxes.

Benefits of semimonthly payroll schedules

As a business owner, payroll can be your highest expense. And determining your pay frequency can impact your business’s financial health. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know to choose a payroll schedule that’s right for your business. Similar to biweekly payrolls, semimonthly payrolls can also help the HR department of business reduce errors. This is because of the consistency in payments and their regular preparation.

However, semimonthly payroll schedules also have their disadvantages. Businesses need to pay their employees for their services. It is the responsibility of the HR department of a business to deal with employee-related tasks. The HR department must also decide the frequency of payments made to employees, for example, monthly, biweekly, or semimonthly. On the other hand, employees may prefer bi-weekly payroll since they still get paid twice a month but get two extra paychecks per year.

However, pay frequency doesn’t impact an employee’s annual tax liability or net pay (over time, it all equals out). January, March, May, July, August,October, and December have 31 days, while February, April, June, September, and November have 30 days. February typically has 28 days except on leap years when it has 29 days. If you are paid an even sum for each month, to convert annual salary into monthly salary divide the annual salary by 24. Divide that number by 2 and you have the semi-monthly salary. Always remember that states have the last say in how frequently you must pay employees.

If payday falls on a holiday or weekend, you will either need to advance or delay payroll, adding another responsibility to your plate. Because you run payroll less for semimonthly frequencies than biweekly, your employees’ paychecks will be greater. Biweekly paychecks will be less money, but you will provide the two additional paychecks to make up the difference.

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The most common application of semi-monthly is with payroll schedules. Compared with a Weekly pay schedule, there is a significant reduction in administrative and payroll costs since there are fewer pay periods. We calculate overtime based on the 7-day work period established by your employer.

Payday differences

Only the fifteenth and the final day of every month are utilized for this. In contrast to bimonthly, payments are made less frequently under this method. Nonetheless, most organizations ensure that the pay stays the same regardless of the method. Semimonthly and biweekly aren’t the only payroll schedules available.

Monthly paychecks can make financial planning difficult for some employees. Now, it’s time to look at each of the four options—weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, and monthly—in detail. Pay frequency is one of the first decisions you must make when you hire your first employee. If you haven’t thought about payroll frequency, now’s the time to start. Employee satisfaction, legal compliance, and cash flow may depend on it.


Biweekly paychecks will be be for less money, but employees will receive the two additional paychecks to make up the difference. Employers may find paying hourly employees on a biweekly schedule simpler. Employers pay employees on the number of hours they worked in the previous two-week period. In many cases, the employer may track hours a week behind the current payday. For example, the employer may track hours for the first and second week of the month but pay in the third week. That way, employers don’t have to wait for current timesheets before they can run payroll.