I'm building a Date/Time class with a "configurable quarter" system as follows.

  • User specifies which month the quarter starts at (config)
  • Set of functions to deal with quarters (next quarter, prev quarter, etc)
  • All quarter functions respect the config

Now this class is primarily to be used for fiscal quarter calculations. So assuming I have this class with a configurable "quarter" system, would I need another parallel set of functions for calendar quarters too? What are the applications for calendar quarters anyways?

By calendar quarters I mean where Q1 is Jan-Mar, and Q4 is Oct-Dec.

By fiscal quarters I mean whatever standard your Country uses (in India Q1 starts in April)

  • Are paychecks on a fiscal calendar or traditional one? Are months in the fiscal calendar following the traditional one, or something like the 4 4 5 system? I'd also look up how companies that follow the IDR define their fiscal calendar. – user40980 Jun 9 '14 at 14:02
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    I once had a client who insisted that data be stored in the database by fiscal date, not calendar date. Which made calculations stupidly more complicated (December 2010 might fall before Jan 2010, if the fiscal starts in 2009). Good times, Good times. – GrandmasterB Jun 9 '14 at 15:51

I don't know about the business rules, but your app could default to calendar quarters or if someone wants Calendar Quarters then they start with January. With one exception, I've always worked at companies on a calendar quarter for internal operations and customer billing/reporting, but the accounting may not match. Not sure why it matters in your app if someone starts with Jan or Feb., you have to do the math.

How are you going to handle making a change to the configuration after the system is up and running for a customer and they have historical data? Doesn't happen often, but they could make a company/corporation structural change.


In your shoes, I would just create an app for a "fiscal" quarter. A calendar quarter is just a special case of a fiscal quarter, meaning that all calendar quarters can be defined as fiscal quarters. But the reverse is not true.

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