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 June 4, 2024)
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

Determining Page Layout

Getting your document onto paper is the whole purpose of word processing. Here are some concepts that are important when ...

Discover More

MS-DOS with Line Breaks Format in Word 2002 and Word 2003

Finding the built in functionality in Word 2002 & 2003 for saving your document as a MS-DOS format.

Discover More

Saving Money on Printing Labels

Labels can be expensive, and a little common sense will help you waste less money as you try to get your labels to appear ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

##### More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Calculating a Date Five Days before the First Business Day

Excel allows you to perform all sorts of calculations using dates. A good example of this is using a formula to figure ...

Discover More

Forcing Dates Forward

Want to push a date to some pre-defined day of the month? Here are some ways to force the issue.

Discover More

End-of-Month Calculations

Don't want to use the EOMONTH function to figure out the end of a given month? Here are some other ideas for discovering ...

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 3 + 7?

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.

##### Subscribe

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