Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 5, 2015)


Robert is looking for a way to determine the business quarter in which a particular date falls. For example, if cell A1 has 2/15/15, he would want cell B1 to contain a formula that returned Q1-15. Similarly, if cell A1 has 8/1/14, he would want cell B1 to return Q3-14.

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:


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

"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, and 2013. 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. ...


Changing Default Row Height

Changing the default row height used for a worksheet is relatively easy, as long as you don't mind the row height never ...

Discover More

Excel Self-Tests

Need to find out how good you are with Excel? Here are some places you can check out to quiz yourself.

Discover More

Checking the Size of Apps

Need to know how much disk space is consumed by the small applications (apps) installed on your system? Windows makes it ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Copying Dates a Year Into the Future

Need to copy a range of dates and update them to a different year? Here are a number of ways to accomplish this task with ...

Discover More

Converting Time Notation to Decimal Notation

Want to convert an elapsed time, such as 8:37, to a decimal time, such as 8.62? If you know how Excel stores times ...

Discover More

Entering Dates without Separators

When doing data entry into a worksheet, you might want to enter dates without the need to type the separators that are ...

Discover More

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

View most recent newsletter.


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}] 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 0 + 6?

2016-07-06 14:59:59


I have my quarter as Q1= Nov, Dec, Jan Q2 = feb, Mar, Apr Q3 = May, Jun, July and Q4 is Aug, Sep, Oct.
I have a Cell with month/date/Year and I want to have another cell to show me the result if any body with start date in May will fall in august Audit Q4, start date of june they fall on Sep Audit Q4 and etc

2016-06-01 16:25:21


Scenario: Financial year starts in April.

Using:="Q"&CHOOSE(MONTH(H1513),4,4,4,1,1,1,2,2,2,3,3,3) & "-" & RIGHT(YEAR(A1),2)

I like it, however when I make a pivot table, it thinks that Q4 is in the wrong year (Feb 16 is in 2015 financial year)

Any suggestions?

2016-04-28 13:53:06

Willy Vanhaelen

@Ian Horlick

Forget about the formulas used in this tip. They are way to complicated.

The formula I proposed in my comment of 5 Sept 2015 can be adapted to any requirement.

Replace "111222333444" with "333444111222" and "-yy" with "-yyyy" and you get the formula that will produce what you want (2015-Mar -> Q3-2015):


2016-04-27 11:05:46

Ian Horlick


I'm trying to convert the cell of A1,2015-Mar, to cell B1 to quarter to
read Q3-2015.

Any ideas

2016-01-03 11:01:01

Peter Atherton

Sorry The lookup value was in another cell



Still short!

2016-01-03 10:52:22

Peter Atherton

mm, This is shorter


2016-01-03 07:18:38

Peter Atherton`

It seems to me that the best solution is to use the number of days in the date from the start of the financial year. If date - startdate < 91 then Q1 and so on.

Here's my effort

=IF(B17-FYStart<91,"Q1 "&TEXT(FYStart,"-yy"),
IF(B17-FYStart<182,"Q2 "&TEXT(FYStart,"-yy"),
IF(B17-FYStart<273,"Q3 "&TEXT(FYStart,"-yy"),
"Q4 "&TEXT(FYStart,"-yy"))))
It seems to work for any month of the year.

2016-01-02 06:52:11

Michael (Micky) Avidan

Sorry for “using” an identical formula (just noticed the one you have suggested on 05 Sep 2015)
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2016)

2016-01-02 06:07:41

Michael (Micky) Avidan

1) I'm sure you'll agree with me that alternatives should be a shorter/simpler solution.
2) In addition would you be so kind to check the result of your suggested formula for the date: 06/01/2015
(January, 6th. 2015)
3) I would suggest to use one of the following formulas:
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2016)

2016-01-01 10:50:14


Great stuff here, alternative formula to account for 2015/2016 if your FY starts in April.


2015-12-30 15:29:41


Not quite! You need to consider the fiscal year! For example: Our fiscal year 2017 starts Feb. 1st, 2016 so you need to add 365 days:

="Q"&MID("411122233344",MONTH([@[Sale Date]]),1)&TEXT([@[Sale Date]]+365,"-yy")

2015-10-28 06:57:37

Michael (Micky) Avidan

Try the suggested formula in the linked picture:
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2016)

2015-10-27 18:46:06


ooops! I meant to say I'm trying to convert 10/27/2015 to 2015 Q4 (not Q3! long day :) )

2015-10-27 18:44:49


I am trying to do something similar, only I prefer to have the Year to show up first and then the Quarter...
for example, I am trying to find a formula that will convert 10/27/2015 to 2015 Q3. Any suggestions? thx!

2015-09-06 19:15:43

Steve Adams

For the first 2 formulas, using Roundup function might be a little easier to follow and to understand:

2015-09-05 14:38:27

Brian L.

That tip of Willy's is really a clever approach. I can see that method being useful for other scenarios, too.
Regarding business quarters, it's a bit more complicated, at least for the companies for which I've worked. They have quarters that are based on weeks, and have tricky rules that have to be considered. Example: Every quarter begins on a Monday, and the calendar follows a 5-4-4 pattern: I.e., each quarter is composed of 3 fiscal months, the 1st having 5 weeks, and the 2nd & 3rd having 4 weeks each. Also, extra days are added to the 1st & last months of the year, so that the entire fiscal year falls within the calendar year. So you can see that a quarter might have days that fall outside the "normal" pattern -- for instance, Q3 might include days in June and/or October. As such, it's difficult to consolidate the pattern into an Excel formula, and lookup tables are usually employed instead.

2015-09-05 08:07:05

Willy Vanhaelen

Here is a much shorter alternative for the third formula:


In fact it can be used instead of any formula in this tip.


is an alternative for the second formula...

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.

Newest Tips

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

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.