The Difference Between Biweekly and Bimonthly Pay

March 12, 2020  

It’s easy to assume that biweekly and bimonthly pay are the same. They are both issued at least twice a month, and both are popular methods to process payroll. In fact, bimonthly and biweekly payroll are different, especially when it comes to the pay frequency. Each offers advantages and disadvantages for employees and those who prepare the payroll.

What’s the difference between biweekly and bimonthly payments? Learn more about these two systems to help you decide which one is the best fit for your company.

Why Choose Biweekly Pay?

Biweekly pay is issued every other week for a total of 26 times per year. Most companies pay on the same day every two weeks, most often on Fridays. Employees often prefer this type of payroll schedule for a few reasons, including:

  • Receive pay on a more consistent schedule: Employees know their payment will arrive every Friday like clockwork. With bimonthly pay, the pay date may fall on a weekend or holiday, which can delay deposits or the issuing of checks.
  • Get an extra paycheck twice a year: With the biweekly method, employees receive two paychecks most of the time. Twice a year, they actually receive three paychecks a month. This can feel like an added bonus, even though it’s money the employee earned.

Why Choose Bimonthly Pay?

With a bimonthly payroll, also called a semimonthly payroll, employees are paid twice each month. Most companies pay on the same dates every month, usually the 1st and the 15th.

Bimonthly payroll processing can introduce more challenges compared to the biweekly approach. With biweekly, payroll staff take the same steps on the same days every two weeks. The schedule never varies. With bimonthly, schedules change every month. You do not designate a set weekday for processing, which makes it more challenging to maintain standard practices. Sometimes payday falls on a weekend or a holiday, which can complicate the process.

On the other hand, with only two pay periods each month, your staff may experience greater efficiency in the payroll process. Payments are uniform across each pay period, which can decrease the necessity of adjusting entries at the end of the month.

Is Biweekly or Bimonthly Pay the Better Method?

There is no single right way to process payroll. Every organization has different needs and concerns. In fact, the best way to approach payroll may be to use a combination of these methods. Bimonthly pay could work best for salaried employees, while biweekly may be optimal for hourly employees, who then receive a more consistent paycheck.

Outsourcing your payroll services can also save time and increase efficiency. BCM Payroll Services, Inc. offers complete payroll services with paper or online distribution options. We can fit your schedule to match your business’s needs. Contact us online or call 717-264-7374 to learn more about how our payroll capabilities can help your company.


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