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A salary is a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee, which may be specified in an employment contract. It is contrasted with piece wages, where each job, hour or other unit is paid separately, rather than on a periodic basis. From the point of a view of running a business, salary can also be viewed as the cost of acquiring human resources for running operations, and is then termed personnel expense or salary expense. In accounting, salaries are recorded in payroll accounts. Salary is a fixed amount of money or compensation paid to an employee by an employer in return for work performed. Salary is paid, most frequently, in a bi-weekly paycheck to an exempt or professional employee. In most years, an employee's salary is paid in 26 even paychecks over the course of the year. Salary is determined by market pay rates for people doing similar work in similar industries in the same region. Salary is also determined by the pay rates and salary ranges established by an individual employer. Salary is also affected by the number of people available to perform the specific job in the employer's employment locale. (via Freebase)