Payroll – Bi-weekly vs. Semi-monthly

I was on a board call for a company today that pays their employees bi-weekly (every two weeks). At some point in time there was a rationale for this since this company has a lot of hourly employees and there was a perception that folks would want to be paid every two weeks. So – presumably this was a logical decision at the time.

However, it creates havoc with our monthly reporting and forecasting as we have at least two months per year with three pay periods. This adds an extra pay period to our expense structure for those two months (and lowers it correspondingly for the other months where we only have two pay periods). As a result of this, we are constantly backing out expenses (or adding it back in) to get “apples to apples” monthly comparisons.

The vast majority of the companies I’ve been involved with pay employees semi-monthly (twice a month – usually on the 15th and last day or the month). While you obviously can do the work to “normalize” month to month expenses if you pay your employees bi-weekly, do yourself and your investors a favor and pay semi-monthly. It’s so much easier to deal with.