A pay period is a regular length of time over which employee time is recorded and paid. Examples of pay periods are: weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, monthly and sometimes yearly.
Setting up your timesheet to reflect pay periods instead of weeks has some benefits. First off, you’ll see the number of scheduled hours in each pay period. You can compare that with the number of hours you’ve entered. Employees quickly know what’s expected of them. Next, if you are required to submit timesheet for review, you’ll be submitting the entire pay period rather than just a week. This saves time for both employees and managers.
Manager also approve a full pay period when reviewing, and usually lock timesheets so they cannot be edited after review.
Pay periods also show up on reporting windows so you can run report for a known date range that corresponds to your payroll cycle. Same is true of exporting to payroll apps. Using a predefined payroll period date range reduces the possibility of error.