When Does a Company’s Year End?

The first few months of the year make up the “busy season” for accountants. Tax accountants, of course, have a glut of business leading up to April 15th. And for companies with fiscal years that correspond to the calendar year, financial statement preparers and their auditors also become inundated with work. But not all public companies have a December 31st year-end date. So, how busy is “busy season” for financial preparers and auditors?

The answer — very! As one might expect, roughly 71% of filers[1] have a year-end date on-or-around December 31st[2]. This far surpasses the second most common date of on-or-around June 30th, which is the fiscal year end of about 6% of filers.

Year-End

Source: www.AuditAnalytics.com

The divide is slightly more pronounced when we examine large companies. Of the 1,145 accelerated filers, 861 (75%) have a December 31st year-end. And of the 1,778 large accelerated filers, 1,354 (76%) have a December 31st year-end.

As one might have guessed, 12/31 is overwhelmingly the most common fiscal end date, but that between 25% to 30% of the companies in this population don’t use the calendar year end is a larger percentage than we expected.


[1] Includes active, registered filers with a 10-K or 10-Q filed since Jan 1st, 2014. Excludes subsidiaries and shell companies. There were a total of 6,167 companies in this analysis.
[2] Year-end dates are adjusted to the closest last day of a month. YEs ending on the 15th or before were adjusted to the previous month; YEs ending on the 16th or after were adjusted to the end of the month.