A term used to indicate the accounting year as distinguished from the calendar year, with which it may or may not coincide. The fiscal year is any annual period which a business or government or subdivision thereof may select as a basis for closing its books in order to determine the results of operations and financial condition. Although most business enterprises close their books and take a physical inventory only at the close of the fiscal year, financial statements are often prepared monthly or quarterly without involving a closing of the books.
The fiscal year of the United States Government shifted beginning with the fiscal year 1977, under provisions of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Through fiscal year 1976, the fiscal year was on a July 1-June 30 basis. Beginning October 1976 (fiscal year 1977), the fiscal year has been on an October 1-September 30 basis. The period July 1, 1976, through September 30, 1976, is a separate fiscal period known as the "Transition Quarter." With most businesses the fiscal year corresponds with the calendar year.
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