Semimonthly Definition & Meaning

So you should still learn the difference between bi-weekly and semi-monthly. The word weekly is an adverb and adjective that means occurring once in a week. A bicycle, for instance, has two wheels, and a bicameral legislature (like the one in place in the United States government) has two houses.

This amount is derived by dividing fifty thousand dollars by 24 as there are two pay cycles every month. Let us ponder over what is the difference between semi-monthly and biweekly pay periods with the help of an example. A notable benefit of semi-monthly pay is that it aligns with the business’ cycle. Since employees get paid around the same time as the business makes money, it is easier to pay them on time. If you are paid semi-monthly, you will be paid $1,750 per paycheck before taxes (your salary divided by 24 checks per year).

This is an important consideration for workers who would rather get paid more often. If you’re looking for more, we created this handy table showing the pay dates for bi-weekly and bi-monthly pay. Now, if we discuss the biweekly pay schedule, the employee earning $50,000 yearly will get his pay divided across 26 pay cycles. Thus, each paycheck will be $1,923.08 before deductions every other week. The amount may seem to be less but then the employee is also getting two additional pay checks in a year.

Getting two additional checks results in extra savings and better management of various expenses. As a result of the pay frequency difference between semi-monthly and bi-weekly payroll, semi-monthly employees receive 24 paychecks each year, while biweekly employees receive 26. Some organizations settle upon a combination of payrolls, using the semimonthly approach for salaried workers and a biweekly payroll for hourly employees. From an efficiency perspective, the main point is to avoid weekly payrolls in favor of either of the methods presented here, thereby cutting the total number of payrolls in half. This knowledge and understanding are advantageous for the business as a payment schedule can be chosen that is to its best advantage.

Most of the time, these terms are interchangeable, but not always. If you have a staff meeting every other Wednesday, you will usually have two such meetings per month (i.e., semi-monthly). 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. I will use each of these words in a few example sentences to demonstrate how they should appear in context. Sign up for a demo of Tapcheck to learn how it can revolutionize your current paycheck system.

Likewise, semiconscious means halfway or partially conscious. Although more paychecks may be a pro to some, the drawback of the checks being smaller may be a con to others. When you add these parts together, you get an adverb that means occurring every two weeks or every other week. Following a semi-monthly pay-schedule has its own advantages and benefits.

How Much Money in Each Paycheck?

Whether a person is a non-salaried full-time employee, the same figures hold true. The only difference between bi-monthly and semi-monthly pay periods is that each paycheck amount gets adjusted including time off or overtime took in a specific pay cycle. Receiving up to two additional paychecks per month compared to a semi-monthly pay schedule is certainly a bonus for employees. For months where additional planning was not put in place, a small business may not have sufficient funds for a three paycheck month compared to a two paycheck month. The difference between a semimonthly and a biweekly payroll is that the semimonthly one is paid 24 times per year, and the biweekly one is paid 26 times per year. A semimonthly payroll is paid twice a month, usually on the 15th and last days of the month.

Furthermore, biweekly paychecks are smaller, but employees will receive two extra paychecks to make up the difference. However, as it stands, the two differ in paycheck quantity. When a semimonthly payroll is used, processing steps constantly shift around among different days of the week, since the pay date is not fixed on a specific day of the week.

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. Your employees work very hard for you and put in a lot of time and effort in the job given to them.

Take a look at the differences, pros, cons, and statistics between the two to help narrow down your choice. Most months contain three full weeks, as well as enough extra days to bring the total up to 30 or 31 days. The key to this puzzle lies in the meanings of the prefixes semi- and bi-. While taking care of their interests, they also need to give due consideration to the state regulations. In many states, there are regulations about how often the employees need to be paid. Thus, it is important to check the frequencies of payment in different states before arriving at the final decision.

what is semi monthly

Compared to a bi-weekly payroll, semi-monthly has significantly fewer pay periods. Which equates to reduced employee paychecks and company savings. Yet each payment schedule has some key differences and choosing the right one is crucial. So let’s dive deeper into the differences between Semi-Monthly vs Bi-Weekly Payroll. While a business may prefer one pay schedule over another, it’s important to note that some state laws dictate the types of payment schedules companies are allowed to implement.


Others may choose to pay for the hours worked currently until the 15th. Either way, the full paycheck will be delayed for many new employees on a semi-monthly payroll cycle. In semi-monthly frequencies, payroll is processed fewer times than biweekly, so employees’ paychecks are larger.

what is semi monthly

As per the semi-monthly schedule, the employees get 24 checks in a year. Since the number of days in a month varies, some pay checks may be smaller or larger than the others. For instance, in the month of February, the second paycheck would cover only 13 or 14 days when in the rest of the months, it covers 15 or 16 days. Depending on whether you are a salaried, permanent employee, the total yearly salary may be divided into 24 checks by the employer. If your company follows the semi-monthly pay schedule, you’ll receive your paycheck two times in a month.


Because hourly wages are easier to calculate on a bi-weekly basis, as each paycheck accounts for the same number of days. Conversely, semi-monthly paychecks will vary in the number of days they include, making it more challenging for whoever handles the company’s payroll. Although bi-weekly offers smaller paychecks each pay period compared to a semi-monthly pay schedule, it still equates to more paydays. This makes it easier for employees to save more money during certain months because they receive an additional paycheck. Additional paychecks can be very beneficial during the holiday season. Bi-Weekly pay is when employees are paid every other week on a specific day.

  • Monthly is an adverb or adjective that means occurring once a month.
  • In many states, there are regulations about how often the employees need to be paid.
  • Either way, the full paycheck will be delayed for many new employees on a semi-monthly payroll cycle.
  • Meanwhile, 19.8 percent of employees get paid semi-monthly.
  • This depends on the day they started in comparison to the payment schedule.
  • After knowing the differences between semi-monthly vs bi-monthly payroll cycles, businesses and employers can make a choice between the two.

For example, in Alabama and South Carolina, there are no specified regulations, so companies can choose whichever schedule they prefer. In other states, however, companies are required to pay their employees at least on a bi-weekly basis. Bi-weekly payroll ensures employees receive their wages the same day every two weeks. Meanwhile, with semi-monthly, the day of the week can change. Semi-monthly payroll goes off of two dates in the month, generally the 1st and the 15th, thus the day it falls on per month can differ.

Bi-Weekly Cons

In a biweekly pay period or schedule, the employee is set to receive a paycheck every other week. Usually, the employers distribute pay checks on Fridays sticking to the same day every pay week. Thus, in this pay period, the employee receives 26 pay checks annually. If an employee earns a fixed amount or is salaried, the pay check received will be of the same amount every time it is received. In the case of hourly pay, the amount in the paycheck may differ as it will be as per the number of hours worked in that specific pay cycle.

  • Businesses with hourly employees or commission employees may not find a semi-monthly frequency is the best option.
  • Businesses consider various factors that help them to decide between the two options.
  • Meanwhile, with semi-monthly, the day of the week can change.

One of the checks will be received in mid-month and the second check will arrive either at the beginning of the next month or on the last day of the current month. Usually, such payments are done on either the 1st or 15th day of the month or on the 15th and the final day of the month. After knowing the differences between semi-monthly vs bi-monthly payroll cycles, businesses and employers can make a choice between the two. Businesses consider various factors that help them to decide between the two options. It is prudent to go through the pros and cons of both options, weigh both of them, and then, finally decide which payroll options are best suited for their purposes.

What is Semi-Monthly Payroll?

Payroll is one of the most important aspects of running your business, yet shopping for payroll services can be confusing. After learning the difference between semi-monthly and bi-weekly payroll, let’s look at the pros and cons of each. From an efficiency perspective, the semimonthly payroll is preferable, since there are two fewer payrolls per year to prepare. Also, it is somewhat easier to apportion salaries and wages among the correct months with the semimonthly method, since there is less need for month-end adjusting entries. Bi-weekly and semi-monthly pay are similar, but there are three key differences. Every now and then, though, a month might have five Wednesdays and the meeting might fall on the first, third, and fifth Wednesdays.

If you’re paid bi-weekly, you will receive $1,615.38 per paycheck before taxes (same salary divided by 26 checks). Although your total annual earnings will be $42,000 with either option, this is definitely a factor that is worth noting — especially when you’re creating your monthly budget. Semimonthly is an adjective that is derived from the prefix semi-, which means half, part, partly, twice, as it comes from the Latin semi-, meaning half, and monthly. In the United States semimonthly may be used as a noun, the plural noun form is semimonthlies. Semimonthly is often found hyphenated as in semi-monthly, but the Oxford English dictionary only lists it as one word, unhyphenated. Remember, bimonthly may mean occurring twice a month or occurring every two months, semimonthly only means occurring twice a month.

Semi-monthly and bi-weekly pay schedules each have their benefits and drawbacks. For businesses, it can be less expensive to pay employees semi-monthly instead of bi-weekly. In addition to the cost savings, semi-monthly pay makes it easier for businesses to calculate tax and benefits deductions. If an employee is earning $50,000 every year and is getting paid as per a semi-monthly pay schedule, he will get a paycheck of $2,083.33 gross.