What Is an Accounting Period?

what is an accounting period

All businesses are allowed to define as many periods as they want as long as they meet legal requirements. Usually, the accounting period follows the Gregorian calendar year that consists of twelve months starting from January 1 to December 31. Some common accounting periods are a calendar year (January 1 through December 31) or a calendar quarter (January 1 through March 31). Accounting periods are used in

SedonaOffice to track your Accounts within a specific period of

time. By using Accounting Periods your company may generate

reports based on consistent periods from both within a fiscal year

and period vs. period for previous fiscal years.

Form 11-K ALBEMARLE CORP For: Dec 31 – StreetInsider.com

Form 11-K ALBEMARLE CORP For: Dec 31.

Posted: Tue, 27 Jun 2023 20:56:29 GMT [source]

Financial statements, such as the income statement and balance sheet, identify the accounting period in their headers. The income statement includes a company’s revenue and expenses from the entire accounting period. The header will identify the last date of the accounting period, for example, «as of June 30, 20XX.» Use the Enable Accounting Period Window accounting preference to both maintain a minimum number of unlocked accounting periods and prevent entries in locked future periods. When you check the box for this preference, you must set the minimum number of current and future accounting periods available for transactions. NetSuite unlocks the next future period for the window as needed on the first day of each period.

Double-entry Accounting

The accounting period is one of the golden rules of accounting that all accountants must follow. This article goes over what it is, the different types of accounting periods, and just why it is so important. For example, a business may choose a fiscal year from Feb. 1 to Jan. 31 or observe a week fiscal year, where each year rotates between being 52 or 53 weeks long. If a business wants to select the fiscal year for tax reporting, they can do so by submitting their first income tax return observing that tax year.

  • The ability to

    post transactions into a Re-Opened period is controlled by a User

    Group Security option; Access to Re-opened Periods.

  • The expenditure is better matched to the relevant revenue by being spread out across the fixed asset’s useful life.
  • For instructions on how to lock and unlock accounting periods, see Locking and Unlocking Accounting Periods and Locking Accounting Periods in NetSuite OneWorld.
  • Transactions that fall within a given date range form part of the statements or reports for that accounting period.

If you prefer to opt out, you can alternatively choose to refuse consent. Please note that some information might still be retained by your browser as it’s required for the site to function. While the true profit or loss of a business can only be determined when the business finally closes down, it is clearly unwise to wait that long before learning about its financial health. In case a business wants to change from a calendar year to a fiscal year, they would need special permission from the IRS. The Integrated Word-Excel-PowerPoint system guides you surely and quickly to professional quality results with a competitive edge. Rely on BC Templates 2021 and win approvals, funding, and top-level support.

Identifying the Accounting Period on Financial Statements

The purpose of setting this standard is to give a framework for financial statements. Shareholders and investors can analyse the company’s performance from one accounting period to the next. When utilizing accounting periods, another golden rule is the matching principle.

What is 13 months accounting periods?

So, how do 13 periods in accounting work? With 13 accounting periods, each accounting cycle is typically four weeks long (or 28 days) instead of 12 calendar months. This gives you an extra accounting period each year. Basically, there are 13 four-week periods instead of 12 monthly periods.

The depreciation and consequent spreading of expenses across several periods, using the depreciation example from earlier, better align the usage of fixed assets with its capacity to produce income. Reporting and analysis are the online bookkeeping service for small businesses 2021 two main reasons why accounting periods are set up. Theoretically, a corporation aspires to expand consistently over the course of accounting periods in order to demonstrate stability and a view of long-term profitability.

What is the accounting period concept?

You cannot lock a period that is within the current minimum period window. For example, if your window size is 3 and your current accounting period is January, you cannot lock February or March. An accounting period can be defined as the length of time it takes to complete one accounting cycle. A cycle is used and presented in financial terms to keep track of transactions throughout time.

Accounting periods are used to estimate the profit, loss, and financial position of a business for a specific time window. At that point it resets to the end of the month (August 31) and the fiscal year has 53 weeks instead of 52. In this example the fiscal years ending in 2008, 2013, and 2019 have 53 weeks. In management accounting the accounting period varies widely and is determined by management. Today, of course, journals and ledgers usually exist as software and data in electronic accounting systems.

Connect With a Financial Advisor

An accounting period is the time that a set of financial statements cover – the period business transactions are added to a system to create financial statements and reports. Business owners and investors use the tool so they can compare the results of different time periods. The accounting period is usually a month for internal financial reporting, or some businesses break it down to every four weeks. An accounting period is the span of time covered by a set of financial statements. This period defines the time range over which business transactions are accumulated into financial statements. It is needed by investors so that they can compare the results of successive time periods.

what is an accounting period

The length of an accounting period can be measured in weeks, months, quarters, fiscal years, or calendar years. The accounting period is determined by the business requirements and conditions, which may be too complex to warrant different accounting periods. Therefore, all companies are free to set as many deadlines as they need to comply with the law. If different accounting periods are used, then problems can arise in terms of calculating profits and the comparability of incomes and expenses.

Financial Accounting Periods

If a company were to expense an expensive machine in the year of purchase, it still has a long time to generate revenues for the business. However, by spreading the expense over the useful life of the fixed asset, it better matches the expense to its related revenue. Nevertheless, a majority of companies worldwide end their fiscal year accounting periods when the calendar year ends, on 31 December (for example, Ericsson, Virgin Media, and IBM). The Accounting Period concept serves as the organizing basis for financial reporting—as practiced by businesses, governments, and other organizations, worldwide. Open – When your company is ready to begin entering

transactions into a period, the User will change the status to

Open. Once a period status has been set to Open, Users will

be able to post transactions with any date within that accounting


Every year, a corporation records its transactions from January 1st to December 31st and then closes its books. The billing period, in this case, is one year, from January 1st to December 31st. The accounting period corresponds to the 12-month Gregorio calendar year. The calendar runs from January 1st to December 31st, and this 12-month natural progression is followed by an accounting period. According to the Accounting Period Concept, accounting activities should be separated into smaller intervals to measure business performance. One year is the standard accounting time for reporting the performance of the business to outsiders.

Is accounting period the same as accounting date?

A company's finance professionals use accounting periods to determine the set of consecutive months to mine for financial data. Accounting dates serve as bookends to inform finance professionals of the beginning and end points of these reporting months.

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