What is Bimonthly Pay? Benefits, Disadvantages & More

What is Bimonthly Pay? Benefits, Disadvantages & More

A bimonthly payroll is a pay cycle wherein employees are paid twice a month for the entire year.

While paying employees twice a month has advantages for employers and their workers, there are corresponding disadvantages.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of bimonthly pay in this article and discuss the secrets to successfully implementing a bimonthly pay cycle in your company or business.

Key Takeaways

  • A bimonthly payroll is a pay schedule wherein employees are paid every 15th and last day of each month.
  • Some disadvantages of bi-monthly pay include adjustments in the set pay schedule when the date falls on a weekend or holiday, as well as incompatibility with hourly employees.
  • The simple process involved in a biweekly payroll is suitable for small businesses, while the added number of days in between a bimonthly payroll’s pay dates offers more leeway to process the paychecks of a larger workforce.

What is Bimonthly Payroll?

A bimonthly payroll, also called bi-monthly pay or semimonthly pay, is a salary schedule that involves paying employees twice every month. Typically, in a bimonthly payroll cycle, the pay dates are on the 15th, 30th, or 31st of the month.

Initially, bimonthly and semi-monthly pay terms referred to two different types of pay schedules. A bimonthly payroll originally meant that employees were paid once every two months, while semimonthly pay pertains to employees receiving their salaries twice a month.

Now, the meaning of a bimonthly pay and a semi-monthly pay schedule is essentially the same– being paid twice a month.

Since bi-monthly pay schedules have fixed dates, employees can easily spot the dates when they received their salary on their pay stubs. This proves convenient when employees need to backtrack their wages, taxes, and pay deductions in the previous months.

How to Calculate The Bimonthly Salary

To calculate the bimonthly salary, first, you need to get the total number of pay cycles in the said pay schedule. Since a bimonthly payroll entails disbursing wages twice a month, that equates to 24 pay cycles annually.

Next, get the annual net salary and divide the amount by the number of pay cycles.

Here’s an example to help illustrate the formula for calculating the bimonthly salary:

Amy earns an annual net salary of $77,000. If you divide her yearly earnings by 24, her bimonthly pay is $3,208.33.

In the example below, the pay schedule or pay mode, the date when the pay stub was released, and the dates covered by the pay period are highlighted:

4 Advantages of Bimonthly Payroll

The key advantages of bimonthly payroll include:

  • Generates bigger salaries. Employees paid in a bimonthly or semi-monthly pay schedule receive higher salaries compared to employees paid in a biweekly cycle since it covers more work hours and yields more earnings and cash flow.
  • Underscores easier accounting. The fixed semi-monthly payroll schedule also makes it more manageable for accounting staff to calculate accruals ahead of time and ensure the company’s expenses are well-regulated.
  • Complies with state and federal laws. Several states require employers to follow a bimonthly payroll due to its seamless accounting and payroll processing. Federal regulations on pay frequency also entail that bi-monthly pay periods contain a nearly equal number of work days.
  • Enables structured financial planning. Employees can easily plan their finances thanks to the consistency of bimonthly pay schedules. They can anticipate when they can expect to receive their salaries each month, make the necessary adjustments to their budget, and secure timely payments for their bills, basic needs, and other essential expenditures.

4 Cons of Bimonthly Payroll

Using a bimonthly payroll also comes with considerable challenges, such as:

  • Not ideal for hourly workers. It can be challenging to calculate hourly employees' salaries and overtime pay. As such, the added complexity brought by aligning the structure of a bimonthly pay schedule with the steps in calculating hourly wages proves more tedious for a company’s payroll department.
  • Requires adjustment due to the holidays and weekends. The dates when salaries are released in a bimonthly payroll are essentially fixed, but there is no guarantee that the 15th or last day of the month will always fall on a regular working day. Some employers move the salary day to the following working day if the payday falls on a holiday or a weekend.
  • Potentially disrupts employees’ monthly budget plan. Given the pay schedule inconsistencies in a bimonthly payroll, employees may have to make last minute adjustments to their budget to accommodate the sudden payday changes. This is inconvenient, especially if the adjusted pay schedule goes beyond an important payment due date or exceeds the number of days calculated by employees when budgeting their finances for the month.

Bimonthly vs. Biweekly Payroll

A biweekly payroll is a pay cycle wherein employees are paid every other week, usually every other Friday.

Below are the key differences between a bimonthly vs. a biweekly payroll:


Just like a bimonthly payroll, employees are also paid twice a month when paid using a biweekly pay schedule. In some instances, a biweekly pay may yield three employee paychecks in months with five weekends.

Annually, there are 24 pay cycles in a bimonthly payroll, while a biweekly payroll has 26.

Pay Schedule

A biweekly payroll entails a consistent and fixed payday, typically every other Friday. As such, employees can accurately plan their finances and anticipate when they will get paid next.

In contrast, while a bimonthly payroll pays employees on the 15th and last day of each month, the dates may fall on a weekend or a holiday.

At the same time, it takes longer for employees to receive their salaries in months, with 31 days, than in February, which only has 28 days.

Costs And Efficiency

Preparing paychecks in a biweekly payroll is more straightforward and faster since employees and payroll officers must prepare the necessary salary information around the same time each month.

Employees also find it easier to follow a biweekly pay structure.

Meanwhile, a bimonthly payroll may be more complex than a biweekly payroll, particularly when factoring in cut-off dates.

Cut-off dates in a bimonthly pay schedule pertain to the deadline by which payroll officers receive instructions regarding any changes or updates on an employee’s salary information.

Let’s say an employee is granted a salary increase. However, the pay increase took effect after the cutoff for the first payday schedule. That means the changes in their salary will likely reflect on the next payday.

Employee Type

A biweekly payroll is more suitable for hourly employees.

Meanwhile, salaried employees benefit better from a bimonthly pay schedule since they earn the same amount regardless of the number of hours they work in a pay period.

4 Strategies for Implementing Bimonthly Payroll

Despite the advantages and challenges of using a bimonthly payroll, you can still maximize its benefits and ensure a smoother implementation for your employees.

Below are four effective strategies to consider when implementing bi-monthly payroll:

Consider Your Company Size

The most basic way to decide whether a semi-monthly pay schedule fits your organization is to examine your company size closely. A smaller workforce will likely benefit from a biweekly payroll since the process is more straightforward and fixed.

However, a bimonthly or monthly pay schedule may be more suitable if your company employs over a hundred workers. A bimonthly payroll gives your payroll and accounting staff enough leeway to prepare paychecks and salary information for all your employees.

Follow Existing Federal and State Regulations

Be mindful of the existing and applicable federal and state regulations on pay frequency. Not all states allow all types of pay schedules or frequencies.

For instance, Alaska only allows employers to use a semi-monthly or monthly payroll. In contrast, California allows all types of pay frequency and will enable employers to decide based on the nature of their work.

Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina are the only states with no laws or regulations on pay frequencies.

Use a Pay Stub Generator

With a pay stub generator, you can prepare employee pay stubs in less than a minute and focus on more crucial aspects of ensuring employees receive the correct salary amount.

Moreover, if your company uses payroll software, a pay stub generator helps secure employee paychecks better.

Pay stub generators let you download digital copies of employee paychecks, which you can then upload and include in each employee file integrated into your payroll management software.

Hire a Payroll Manager

You can hire a payroll manager with commendable experience and expertise handling simple to complex payroll schedules for businesses with a larger budget.

A payroll manager can help pinpoint existing flaws in your payroll processing system and devise feasible solutions to boost your efficiency and meet employee expectations.

Final Thoughts

The key to using a bimonthly payroll is to check that its structure suits your company, employees, and nature of work. Align your payroll system with online practical tools, such as a pay stub generator.

A pay stub generator is instrumental in producing pay records with clear and consistent information on employee salaries and deductions.

By highlighting transparency and an orderly paycheck process, you can minimize errors and manage the corresponding disadvantages of using a bimonthly payroll or any other type of payroll schedule.


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