Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 18, 2020)

5

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 Office 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

Single-Character Fractions

Some fractions Word automatically converts to single characters, some it doesn't. Here's why that happens and what you ...

Discover More

Incrementing References by Multiples when Copying Formulas

You can easily set up a formula to perform some calculation on a range of cells. When you copy that formula, the copied ...

Discover More

Displaying Edits by Date

Track Changes is a great tool; it allows you to see what changes were made in a document and then determine whether you ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Specifying Different Weekends with NETWORKDAYS

The NETWORKDAYS worksheet function can be used to easily determine the number of work days (Monday through Friday) within ...

Discover More

ISO Week Numbers in Excel

Work in an industry that uses ISO standards when it comes to working with dates? You'll love the formula in this tip ...

Discover More

Pushing Dates Into Last Month

Excel is great when it comes to working with dates and times. You can even do math on dates. One such easy manipulation ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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 2 + 9?

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.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

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.