Accounting Period: Types, Requirements & Benefits Explained

The accounting period is the time span over which commercial transactions are aggregated into accounting information is defined by this timeframe. Investors are looking at it in order to obtain the performance of various periods.

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accounting period

What Is An Accounting Period?

A financial reporting time is an average period covered by an accounting record. The accounting period is the time span over which commercial transactions are aggregated into accounting information is defined by this timeframe. Investors are looking at it in order to obtain the performance of various periods. A quarter is typically considered to be capable of defining corporate revenue recognition. A few companies collect accounting transactions in 4 weeks increments, resulting in 13 fiscal periods per year. Regardless of the income statement chosen, it must be implemented steadily over time.

The accounting cycle is one annum if a statement of cash flows covers the outcomes of a whole year. When the reporting period is 12 months and finishes on a date other than December 31, the period is referred to as a fiscal year rather than a chronological year. The financial year should preferably end when corporate activities are at their lowest point, reducing human assets and debts to examine.

How are accounting periods used by companies?

In most cases, more than one accounting period is active at any given time. The idea of an accounting period acts as a tool for analyzing and contrasting financial information over two separate time periods for the organization.

The financial status of an organization, including profitability and development, as well as its assets and shortcomings, are shown in the financial statements issued within an accounting period. Companies might benefit from knowing their internal reporting tactics, instructions, and potential. 

Analyzing financial development can be made easier if you have a set period for documenting it because you can continuously gather and organize data. This can guarantee that financial information is correct and up to date. 

Companies frequently disclose their financial information and statements with investors in their companies through external reporting, which can be beneficial for maintaining interest among shareholders and getting financing for the next ventures.

Also, analysts and prospective investors can spot trends in a single business’s growth across time by using accounting periods, which is helpful information. In addition, they may assess the efficiency of multiple organizations over the same time frame using accounting periods.

Read More: Bookkeeping

Types Of An Accounting Period

types of an accounting period

The numerous types of accounting periods are as follows:

4-4-5 Calendar Year 

The 4-4-5 calendar year splits a year in which into quarterly and is commonly seen in commerce. The name comes from the fact that each significant proportion comprises 91 days divided into two 4-week and one 5-week month. The key benefit of this timeframe is that each quarter’s closing date consistently occurs on the same weekday. With a few different days as feasible, intervals can closely match the equivalent month of the preceding year.

Calendar Year

The calendar follows the Traditional Calendar’s a year and 365 days, commencing on January 1st and concluding on December 31st. This has the benefit over the financial year in that it coincides with almost the same time range as most occurrences.

Fiscal Year 

International Financial Reporting permits an accountancy term of 52 weeks. Many businesses use a 52-week or 53-week economic cycle for their economic collecting and analyzing. The Income Tax Department (ITD) permits individuals to record their taxes using either the conventional or financial year.

Calendar Quarter 

The beginning of a financial quarter often marks the commencement of a three-month-long accounting period known as a calendar quarter. This indicates that these times typically begin on January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1. These periods are long, allowing organizations to use them to produce reports more frequently than every year, as well as giving them additional information to examine.

Fiscal Quarter

A business’s fiscal year dictates the timing of the quarters, which are each 13 weeks long. This implies that a corporation has a choice of 13 weeks during which to assess and plan its financial progress. 

Calendar Month

An accounting period that continues for one calendar month is spread out across four or five weeks and starts on the initial day of the month a company wishes to take into consideration. For instance, this implies that a company could examine financial period information from August 1 to August 31. Businesses who want to swiftly create financial reports and analyze discrete chunks of information at a time may find that using calendar month accounting periods is advantageous. 

Requirements For An Accounting Period

There are two requirements for an accounting period, they are as follows:

Principle of Complementation:

According to accrual accounting, accounting records recorded in a single accounting cycle should be as full as feasible, and no quantitative statements should be dispersed over various accounting periods. The correspondence theory is a fundamental accounting theory that governs the usage of the financial period.

According to the accrual basis, expenditures must be recognized in the same income statement that the item was generated, as well as all corresponding revenues produced in the process of that spending. The time in which the cost of merchandise available is documented, for instance, might be the same period in which the income for the same commodities is revealed.


The continuous accounting treatment necessitates the creation of an organization or a company whenever a financial event happens, irrespective of when the monetary part of the experience occurs. Accountancy intervals are validated in terms of tracking and reporting. In principle, a corporation wants its development to be consistent throughout the financial period to show sustainability and a lengthy profit projection. The cumulative accounting treatment is the accountancy strategy that encourages this premise.

For instance, the continuous approach of accountancy mandates that a financial instrument be depreciated throughout its expected lifetime. Rather than a comprehensive recording of expenditures when the commodity was purchased, this identification of expenditure over several financial years allows relative consistency over this timeframe.

Benefits And Drawbacks Of An Accounting Period

Benefits of an accounting period:

  • The approach aids the organization in establishing a formalized timeframe during which the accounts must be closed.
  • It can be used to show the financial performance of the business over a set period.
  • The notion is important for financials because it allows them to compare the patterns of monetary performance over time.
  • It can be used to compare accounting transactions from multiple periods.

Drawbacks of an accounting period:

  • When evaluating outcomes from one time to the next, the fundamental causes for the variations are ignored.
  • If the following process is not maintained, it may not be effective.
  • If the taxation term is varied, two independent records must be kept.


The accounting period is a predetermined time frame throughout which the financial transactions of a corporation are tracked and compiled. It acts as a base for monitoring financial progress and giving shareholders reliable details. The length of an accounting period can be measured in weeks, months, quarters, financial years, or calendar years. Accounting principles like accrual accounting and the matching principle are followed by businesses to guarantee the accuracy and uniformity of their financial reporting.

Through this article, we have clearly explained the types, use, advantages, and drawbacks of the accounting period. For any related queries regarding the accounting period, get in touch with our experts at Odint Consulting.


Accounting periods are required for analytics and reporting. In principle, a company wants its development to be consistent throughout the financial period to show consistency and a lengthy profitability projection. The cumulative accounting treatment is the accountancy strategy that encourages this premise.

A bank reconciliation is a placeholder for content that will be moved to a different location once its ultimate destination is selected. A floating charge could be formed for one of 2 purposes: When an accountant is undecided where to deposit an object, she places it in a separate account until further guidelines are received. 

There are several types of accounting periods such as: 

  • Calendar Year 
  • Fiscal Year
  • Calendar Quarter 
  • Fiscal Quarter
  • Calendar Month

The accounting period must be determined because it establishes a structure for financial reporting that is organized, helps with decision-making, assures compliance with the law, and inspires investor trust.

Yes, the length of an accounting period might change depending on elements including statutory requirements, organizational needs, and market customs. Depending on their unique conditions, numerous organizations use various time frames, which may vary from a week to a year.