Using a calendar year vs. a fiscal year in your forecast

You can set your LivePlan forecast to reflect either a calendar or a fiscal year. When you set your forecast start date to January, LivePlan will automatically create a calendar year forecast, with each year running from January through December in the same year.

When you set your forecast start date to a month other than January, LivePlan will create a fiscal year structure. In that structure, each year will run 12 months from its start date. For example, if you started a forecast in October 2022, the fiscal year would run from October 2022 through September 2023.

When you have a fiscal year forecast, the fiscal years are labeled according to the year in which they end. Using the previous example, with a forecast starting in October 2023, the fiscal year would end in September 2024, which would label it Fiscal Year 2024. All financial statements and tables will display that year as "FY2024," as shown below:


You can change an existing forecast from a calendar to a fiscal year, and vice versa, at any time. For more details on what happens when you change the start date of your forecast, read Changing the start date of your forecast.


When to use a fiscal year

Businesses most often choose to report on a calendar year basis. However, there are some benefits to setting your own fiscal year.

If you have a seasonal business, you may want your reporting period to reflect the seasonality of your business. For example, retail stores may see a large volume of sales in December and into January. For this reason, many stores have a fiscal year that runs from February to January to ensure their holiday season is captured in one year of reporting. 

Because most businesses report on a calendar year basis, accountants and accounting firms will be busiest in December preparing end-of-year reports. For this reason, some small businesses choose to set their own fiscal year to save money on accounting fees. 

You can change your forecast start date in LivePlan at any time.

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