What is

Payroll Cycle


Payroll cycle refers to how often a company pays its employees. Every country has different payroll cycles.

What Is a Payroll Cycle?

A payroll cycle refers to how often a company pays its employees. Every country has different payroll cycles. Payroll cycle, pay period, and payroll processing are often used interchangeably.

Global Payroll Cycles

There are various payroll cycles around the world. This ranges from monthly, bi-weekly, semi-weekly, or weekly.


Employees receive their pay on a monthly basis, so there are 12 pay periods per year. The day on which employees receive their pay during the month is completely up to the employer. Many companies choose to adopt monthly payroll cycles because it’s convenient. 


Bi-weekly pay refers to employees being paid every two weeks. There is a set day every two weeks for when an employee is paid, like every second Thursday. Employees paid on a bi-weekly payroll cycle receive 26 paychecks per year.


Semi-monthly pay is dependent on how long each month is. Semi-monthly pay breaks down the month into two working blocks — the start of the month and the end of the month. For example, the first half of a semi-monthly payroll cycle could be May 1st to 15th, and the second half would be May 16th to 31st. Employees paid on a semi-monthly pay period receive 24 paychecks per year.


Employees are paid on a weekly basis using this kind of payroll cycle, typically on the same day, like a Friday. Employees get 52 payslips each year.

The Payroll Cycle Process

To guarantee legitimate payroll processing, there's a wide range of steps to include.

  • Obtaining employee documentation: Businesses should accumulate the right documentation from their staff. This is to guarantee the worker is lawfully permitted to work in the country they reside in.
  • Tracking hours worked: This cycle incorporates following hours worked and entering these into the finance framework.
  • Deducting benefits and taxes: Employers are to deduct the appropriate amount of taxes and social security contributions from an employee’s paycheck.
  • Compensating employees: Once the information is up to date and everything has been deducted, it’s time to pay employees. This can be done through physical paper checks or sending direct deposits into their bank accounts.

When hiring employees abroad, especially in multiple countries, it’s hard to keep up with the regulations and laws surrounding payroll cycles. Rather than try and keep track of it yourself, work with Borderless. Borderless makes it easy to pay employees safely and on time with global payrollBook a demo today.