The term bimonthly means that something occurs once every two months. Therefore, a bimonthly payroll means paying employees once every two months. Since this is not only illegal in many locations, but also an oppressively long pay period, a bimonthly payroll is extremely not recommended! In many locations, the longest allowed payroll period is one month.
It is possible that the term "bimonthly" is being confused with the terms semi-monthly or bi-weekly. Their definitions are:
- Bi-weekly payroll. This payroll is paid every other week, usually on a Friday. Under this system, there are 26 payrolls per year.
- Semi-monthly payroll. This payroll is paid twice a month, usually on the 15th and last days of the month. Under this system, there aer 24 payrolls per year.
Thus, a bimonthly payroll is very likely a term that is being incorrectly used, where the user really means either a bi-weekly payroll or a semi-monthly payroll.
If there is a choice between implementing a bi-weekly or a semi-monthly payroll, the best practice from an efficiency perspective is to use a semi-monthly payroll, since there are two fewer payrolls to prepare per year. In addition, it is easier to calculate monthly payroll deductions under a semi-monthly system, since there are always two payrolls per month; conversely, there are two months per year in which there are three bi-weekly payrolls, which makes it difficult to handle deductions in the third payroll of the month.