In the United States, businesses can choose to end the fiscal year on any date of the calendar year, and most tend to use the end of a month to simplify accounting. Furthermore, most companies’ fiscal year coincides with the beginning of the calendar year on January 1st or at the beginning of a quarter (April 1st, July 1st or October 1st), but there are many variations on this theme for diverse reasons.
Department stores, for example, decide to let the entire holiday shopping season (including post-holiday returns) fall in one fiscal year. They also might want to have plenty of time to finish post-holiday inventories before tackling the end-of-fiscal-year accounting. As a result, the fiscal year for many of these companies ends on January 31st or the Saturday closest to this date.
Most multi-site restaurants’ accounting periods consist of four weeks. They have 13 four-week periods a year, instead of 12 monthly statements. The business reason for this is that most restaurants generate 45 percent to 60 percent or even more of their weekly sales on two days of the week, normally Friday and Saturday. This makes it difficult to compare results using monthly periods as the number of weekends differ from month to month.
Still other companies use what’s referred to as a “52 / 53 week” fiscal year. Some companies choose to close on the Saturday closest to the end of the month. By doing this, they keep comparisons consistent―four weeks per month, 13 weeks per quarter, and 52 weeks per year. But this equals only 364 days for a 52-week year. Because of the extra day each year, and then another for a leap year, every 3 or 4 years, they end up with 53 weeks in the year in order to still close on the Saturday nearest the end of the month.
With Ecova’s fiscal normalized reporting feature, energy cost and consumption data can be synchronized with organizations’ fiscal periods, which facilitates comparison to budgets and financial reporting. Resources can be synchronized with organizational reports, and companies can quickly access information translated into the appropriate fiscal periods.
Our clients have properties that are served by hundreds if not thousands of different utilities. They manage multiple data sets and are constantly tasked to sync up energy performance data with their internal financial data, such as budgets and trend reports. With the fiscal normalized reporting feature, this headache is removed and resource consumption can easily be evaluated within the same business parameters as other budget areas.
Learn more about how Ecova can make energy budgeting and reporting easier for you through our Fiscal Normalization solution.