Fiscal Year-End

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DEFINITION of 'Fiscal Year-End'

The completion of a one-year, or 12-month, accounting period. A firm's fiscal year-end does not necessarily need to fall on December 31, and can actually fall on any day throughout the year.

BREAKING DOWN 'Fiscal Year-End'

The reason that a company's fiscal year often differs from the calendar year and may not close on December 31 is due to the nature of a company's needs. For example, retailers tend to close their books at the end of January due to the large number of December sales. If the fiscal year-end is too close to a heavy selling season, the company will be hard-pressed to produce its annual financial statements, count inventories, etc. because its manpower will be going toward selling its product.

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