All is quiet on New Year’s Day, at least according to U2. But when you have worked in the software industry long enough, you probably know two things: 1) New Year’s Day is not always the 1st of January and 2) the month before New Year’s Day is the month when many software vendors sell most of their software. It can even be that the sales team is sitting in front of their computer in the office on the 31st of December, instead of celebrating with their loved ones, because the client promised to sign and send that large multi-million enterprise deal before midnight.
A calendar year starts on the 1st of January and ends on the 31st of December. A fiscal year though can start on any day. So, what is a fiscal year? A fiscal year is an accounting year that, unlike the calendar year, doesn’t necessarily end on December 31st. A fiscal year is essentially a customized 12-month period used for accounting purposes. The calendar year is used as the fiscal year by about 65% of publicly traded companies in the United States. So 35% of the companies, at least in the US, have chosen to change their fiscal year from the calendar year. Adobe, Microsoft, Oracle and VMware being some of them.