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Is very well known that US financial fiscal year and quarters are not the same as calendar ones. As a result, is pretty much common in US companies to be required to calculate these based on some dates representing accounting information. In general, management needs to present financial reports at the end of each quarter or year.

How is typically solved? In almost 100% of the cases, people are using very long Excel formulas or based on VBA or even calculated SharePoint fields if data is stored into a SharePoint list. I have nothing against, just I do not like to complicate things. There is an easier way to do this with a little help from Power Query as you can create simple custom formulas to extract the information you need.

Let’s take a look on the formula to calculate fiscal quarter.

    fiscalQuarter = (fd as nullable date) =>

     m = Date.Month(Date.From(fd)),    
     fm = if m = 11 or m = 12 or  m = 1 then "Q1" else 
          if m = 2 or m = 3 or m = 4 then "Q2" else 
          if m = 5 or m = 6 or m = 7 then "Q3" else 
          if m = 8 or m = 9 or m = 10 then "Q4" else  ""          
     in fm


I have created a formula which accepts a nullable date as parameter. I get the month number based on it and depending on it I return the quarter name. For 1st, 11th, 12th months the returned results is Q1, for 2nd, 3rd and 4th is Q2, for 5th, 6th and 7th is Q3 and for 8th, 9th and 10th is Q4.

To calculate the fiscal year is even an easier thing to do.

    fiscalYear = (fd as nullable date) =>
    let m = Date.Month(Date.From(fd)), y = Date.Year(Date.From(fd)),
        year = if m = 11 or m = 12 then y + 1 else y
    in year 


I get the year value from a date, which is always a number if provided number is not null, and for 11th and 12th months I increase it with 1 unit.

I found this was easier than classical ways which sometimes generate ugly and long code. After all, who wants to work with very very long formulas in Excel formula bar or with calculated SharePoint columns which doesn’t always work as expected. And as a rule I am driven by in my career: a better solution can be much closer to you than you think. šŸ™‚ Just do more research and you will probably find it.