Quarter (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4)

What is ‘Quarter – Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4’

A quarter is three-month period on a financial calendar that serves as a foundation for the quarterly reporting of profits and the payment of dividends to shareholders. In the United States, a quarter refers to one-fourth of a year, and it is often abbreviated as “Q.”

The year is divided into four fiscal quarters dates:

  • Q1 = January, February, and March
  • Q2 = April, May, and June
  • Q3 = July, August, and September
  • Q4 = October, November, and December

A fiscal quarter is sometimes represented by the year in which it occurs, such as Q1 2022 or Q1/22, which denotes the first quarter of the year 2022.

Explaining ‘Quarter – Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4’

All publicly traded companies in the United States are required to submit quarterly reports (known as 10-Qs) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States at the end of each quarter. Each 10-Q provides the public company’s unaudited financial statements as well as information on the company’s activities for the three months before the filing (quarter).

For the first three quarters of the year, 10-Qs are needed to be submitted. Each publicly traded company must also file an annual report, known as a 10-K, which accounts for the first three quarters with 10-Q reports, as well as the fourth quarter, and will often contain much more detailed information about the company than 10-Qs do.

What are Non-Standard Fiscal Quarters?

Non-standard fiscal quarters are defined as those in which a company’s fiscal quarters do not correspond to the normal fiscal calendar years (as stated above).

Companies with revenue streams that are significantly seasonal are more likely to have non-standard fiscal quarters. Consider the case of a toy manufacturer that generates more than half of its net revenue during the fourth quarter.

Quarter FAQ

When is Q1?

The first tax quarter begins on January 1 and ends on March 31.

When is Q2?

The second tax quarter begins on April 1 and ends on June 30.

When is Q3?

The third tax quarter begins on July 31 and ends on September 30.

When is Q4?

The fourth tax quarter begins on October 1 and ends on December 31.

When Are Quarterly Reports Released?

Within a few weeks following the conclusion of the previous quarter, companies often release their quarterly reports to shareholders.

Are Quarterly Reports Audited?

Although audits of quarterly reports are not required by law, they can help to boost investor trust by promoting openness and security.

Further Reading