What is a Payroll Run?

Updated on September 28, 2023

  1. OnPay
  2. Payroll Software
  3. Terms and Definitions
  4. Payroll Run

Payroll run definition and meaning

A payroll run is the act of disbursing wages to individual workers. Also known as running payroll, it occurs on a specific date, called a payday or checkdate, and delivers employee compensation for a specified period of time called a pay period.


More about payroll runs

There’s no hard rule to the number of payroll runs a business can perform in a period, but most businesses run payroll on a regular frequency. The most common payroll runs are:

  • Weekly – 52 payroll runs/year
  • Bi-Weekly – 26 payroll runs/year
  • Semi-Monthly – 24 payroll runs/year

Using payroll run in a sentence

“I’ve approved the payroll run scheduled for Tuesday, but we can still make changes until they draft the funds.”

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