Add a pay schedule

Add pay schedule to decide how often you pay employees.

How pay schedules work

Pay schedules control how often you pay your employees. Once you've set one up, you can assign it to each employee. You can also set up different pay schedules for different employees or groups. For example, you can assign schedules to pay some employees weekly and others monthly, or pay everyone at the same time.

Bi-weekly pay days occur 26 times per year, and semimonthly pay days occur 24 times per year.

Semimonthly pay schedule

The number of days in the first pay period of a semimonthly schedule is always 15 days including the start date. This is true irrespective of the start date. The second pay period begins the day after the first pay period ends to the day before the next pay period starts. It will be 13, 15 or 16 days depending on the month.

For example, if the start date is the 3rd of the month, Xero calculates the 3rd day of the month plus 14 days. The second pay period then begins on the 18th until the 2nd of the month.

Set up a pay schedule

  1. In the Settings menu, select General Settings.
  2. Under Features, click Payroll Settings.
  3. From the Schedule tab, click Add Pay Schedule.
  4. Select how often you'll pay your employees from the Pay Period list.
    • Weekly
    • Bi-weekly (pay days that occur 26 times per year)
    • Semimonthly (pay days that occur 24 times per year)
    • Monthly
    • Quarterly
  5. Enter a name for your pay schedule.
  6. Click in the Start Date field and select when the schedule will begin.
  7. Click in the First Payment Date field and select when you'll first pay your employees.
  8. Check when the first pay period ends and the upcoming payment dates. These are shown below the selected dates.

    Check upcoming dates

  9. If needed, make changes to the dates.
  10. Click Add.
You'll need four business banking days lead time to pay employees through direct deposit. If you don't meet the five banking day lead time, Xero will ask you to change the date you pay employees, or change the payment method.