Deciding How Frequently to Pay Your Business’s Employees

Deciding how frequently you’ll pay employees is an important point to work out before hiring staff. Most businesses choose one or more of these pay periods:

  • Weekly: Employees are paid every week, and payroll must be done 52 times a year.

  • Biweekly: Employees are paid every two weeks, and payroll must be done 26 times a year.

  • Semimonthly: Employees are paid twice a month, commonly on the 15th and last day of the month, and payroll must be done 24 times a year.

  • Monthly: Employees are paid once a month, and payroll must be done 12 times a year.

You can choose to use any of these pay periods, and you may even decide to use more than one type. For example, some companies will pay hourly employees (employees paid by the hour) weekly or biweekly and pay salaried employees (employees paid by a set salary regardless of how many hours they work) semimonthly or monthly. Whatever your choice, decide on a consistent pay period policy and be sure to make it clear to employees when they’re hired.

For each employee who’s paid hourly, you need to have some sort of time sheet to keep track of work hours. These time sheets are usually completed by the employees and approved by their managers. Completed and approved time sheets are then sent to the bookkeeper so that checks can be calculated based on the exact number of hours worked.