What is Pay Frequency?

Pay frequency refers to the frequency with which employers pay their employees. The pay frequency starts the entire payroll process and determines when you need to run payroll and withhold taxes.

Selecting and Updating Pay Frequency

The pay frequency is set in the Payroll Definition (to read more about Payroll Definitions, visit this article).

You can select from the following pay frequency options:

  • Weekly - Every week with 52 payrolls per year.

  • Bi-weekly - Once every other week with 26 payrolls per year.

  • Semi-monthly - Twice per month with 24 payrolls per year.

  • Monthly - Once per month with 12 payrolls per year.

  • Quarterly - Once per quarter with 4 payrolls per year.

  • Semi-Annually - Twice a year with 2 payrolls per year.

  • Annually - Once per year with 1 payroll per year.

To enter or adjust pay frequency:

  1. Navigate to Payroll in the left-hand menu,

  2. Next to the Payroll Definition, you would like to update, click edit.

  3. Select the pay frequency for this Payroll Definition using the pay frequency drop-down

  4. Click Save or Save and Next to save changes and run the selected payroll definition

**Note: The pay frequency default setting is weekly. Make sure to check and adjust your payroll definition pay frequency when creating a new payroll definition.


Pay Frequency FAQs:

Q: How is pay frequency used to calculate payroll?

A: For salaried employees, the number of payrolls in a year is used to determine the gross paycheck amount. For example, let's looks at a salaried employee who is paid $52,000 per year.

If this employee's pay frequency is weekly the calculation is:

$52,000 / 52 payrolls = $1,000 gross pay.

If this employee's pay frequency is semi-monthly the calculation is:

$52,000 / 24 payrolls = $2,166.67 gross pay


Q: Are there Federal or state laws about pay frequency?

A: There are no Federal laws on pay frequency, but some states have pay frequency requirements. You can visit the U.S. Department of Labor website to review state requirements.

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