M&A Glossary

Accounting Period

The period of time in which financial activity is recorded and financials are prepared.


Normally refers to a 12-month period. The two primary accounting periods are fiscal and calendar year. Most businesses use the calendar year; however, businesses in certain industries, such as retail, often use a fiscal year rather than the calendar year of Jan 1 – Dec 31. When analyzing or comparing two or more businesses, it is critical to analyze them using the same accounting period.

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