Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Determining Business Quarters from Dates.

# Determining Business Quarters from Dates

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 18, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365

Robert is looking for a way to determine the business quarter in which a particular date falls. For example, if cell A1 has 2/18/20, he would want cell B1 to contain a formula that returned Q1-20. Similarly, if cell A1 has 8/1/19, he would want cell B1 to return Q3-19.

There are literally dozens of ways that you can determine a straight business quarter from a date. A few of these methods are worth examining, and they are easily modified to adapt to any specific needs. What is assumed here is that you really want to use a self-contained formula, rather than using a lookup table or a VBA macro. Both of those approaches will work just fine, but it is assumed that the simple formulas will work best for your purposes.

The key factor in determining the business quarter is to look at the month of the date. If your business quarters follow calendar quarters you could use a simple formula, such as this:

```="Q" & INT((MONTH(A1)-1)/3)+1 & TEXT(A1,"-yy")
```

Another approach is to use the CHOOSE function. This works well if your business quarters begin in the same months as calendar quarters, but the quarter numbers don't correspond. For instance, the first quarter of your business year may begin in April. Consider the following, which works for the scenario of April being the start of the first quarter:

```=CHOOSE(INT((MONTH(A1)-1)/3)+1,"Q4","Q1","Q2","Q3")
```

If your business quarters don't begin in January, April, July, or October, then you can use the fuller CHOOSE-based approach:

```=CHOOSE(MONTH(A1),"Q1","Q1","Q1","Q2","Q2","Q2",
"Q3","Q3","Q3","Q4","Q4","Q4") &  & TEXT(A1,"-yy")
```

This is a single formula; it is rather long, providing a choice for each of the 12 months in the year. All you need to do is change which quarter corresponds to which month. (As shown, the quarters correspond to calendar quarters.)

Another way is to rely on IF statements to determine the quarter. This is done in the following manner:

```=IF(MONTH(A1) <= 3, "Q1", IF(MONTH(A1) <= 6, "Q2",
IF(MONTH(A1) <= 9, "Q3", "Q4"))) & TEXT(A1,"-yy")
```

The IF statements check the month to see its relation to the various boundaries for the quarters (3, 6, and 9) and then assigns a proper quarter (Q1, Q2, Q3, or Q4) based on the result. A dash and the last two digits of the year is then appended to the quarter.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10634) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Determining Business Quarters from Dates.

##### Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

##### MORE FROM ALLEN

Periodically Delete TMP Files

After using Word for a while, you may notice some "litter" of unused files on your hard drive. This tip explains how ...

Discover More

Sorting Text as Numbers

When you are sorting by text values, Excel can be very literal, which may not get you the sorting that you want. This tip ...

Discover More

Word Won't Capitalize Some Sentences

By default, Word capitalizes the first letter of sentences as you type. If you notice that Word doesn't capitalize some ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

##### More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Elapsed Days as Years, Months and Days

Need to know how many days there are between two dates? It's easy to figure out—unless you need the figure in ...

Discover More

Calculating the Last Day in a Week Number

Given a particular week number for a year, you may want to figure out the date of the last day in that week. There is no ...

Discover More

Advancing Dates to a New Year

If you store dates in your worksheets, you may want to update those dates at the end of the year. This tip explains ...

Discover More
##### Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 5?

2020-07-19 08:44:53

Peter Atherton

Date Quarters

Try again

{[fig}]

2020-07-19 08:28:44

Peter Atherton

Brian Lair

I got the wrong screen shot

{[fig}]

2020-07-19 08:26:44

Peter Atherton

Brian Lair

This will work for a year. Date of finacial year start in B1

=CHOOSE(MONTH(B3-\$B\$1),"Q1","Q1","Q1","Q2","Q2","Q2","Q3","Q3","Q3","Q4","Q4","Q4")&TEXT(\$B\$1,"-yy")

You can see from the figure that if the date is >= to the current year it fails.

(see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1.

2020-07-18 13:57:01

Brian Lair

Lots of good options; thanks for sharing. One thing that’s missing for fiscal calendars that don’t begin Jan 1 is that these formulas will not show the year correctly for all dates. For example, in my company the fiscal year begins July 1, so today’s date (July 18, 2020) is within Q1 FY 21. The formulas assume the year in the quarter-year output will be the same as the year of the source date, so it will be incorrect after July 1 in my company’s calendar.

2020-07-18 08:58:08

Carol

Oh I like this tip! I never thought of using that feature before - thank you!

##### This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.