Beyond months: Zoho CRM now supports custom fiscal year formats

Beyond months: Zoho CRM now supports custom fiscal year formats

Hello (again) folks !

You can now set your CRM's fiscal year to follow the 4-5-4 calendar and other widely used 52-week fiscal year formats.

Why this change?

As you know, the fiscal year of an organization may not coincide with the Gregorian calendar (spanning from January 1 to December 31). There could be multiple reasons for this: legal regulations in a region, seasonal patterns in sales, lower cost of auditing services, and so on. In Zoho CRM, you already have the option of choosing the starting month of the fiscal year. This lets businesses shift their fiscal year based on their specific needs.

In many industries, there is an additional need to divvy up the fiscal year into periods that are more uniform than calendar months. So, they look at a fiscal year as 52 weeks instead of 12 months.

For example, in the retail industry, the contribution of weekend sales usually outstrips weekday sales. In such cases, retail businesses would like to split the fiscal year into periods that include the same number of weekends. This enhances the comparability of sales data (across weeks, periods, and quarters), improves forecasting, eases payroll calculation, and simplifies accounting work. So, many retail businesses have adopted the 4-5-4 fiscal year format.

To address the needs of businesses that follow such calendars, we've now added custom fiscal year formats in Zoho CRM. These include:

  • 4-4-5, 4-5-4, or 5-4-4: In these quarter-based formats, each quarter has 13 weeks. Within a quarter, these 13 weeks are spread across 3 periods. The number of weeks in these three periods gives the names of these formats: 4-4-5, 4-5-4, and 5-4-4.

  • 3-3-3-4, 3-3-4-3, 3-4-3-3, or 4-3-3-3: In these year-based formats, each period consists of 4 weeks. A fiscal year consists of 13 such periods. These periods are distributed across 4 quarters in 3-3-3-4, 3-3-4-3, 3-4-3-3, and 4-3-3-3 formats. The names indicate the number of periods in each of those four quarters.

What's changed?

  • Choose your fiscal year type
    A new option called Custom Fiscal Year will be available on the Fiscal Year tab. The previous option of choosing the starting month and following the Gregorian calendar will be available under the Standard Fiscal Year option.

  • Pick a format and start date that works for you
    You can choose one of the seven formats we'd described before. The preview section tells you what each format means in terms of quarters, periods, and weeks.

    A start date can be set to precisely align your CRM's fiscal year to your organization's calendar.

  • Check your fiscal year visually
    You can preview in calendar to know which dates fall in which period and to get a visual representation of your fiscal year. If you're not satisfied, you can change the pattern and check the preview again.

  • Configure display options
    You can also choose how you want the fiscal periods to be displayed in CRM.

  • Manage the surplus week
    Since these formats split the year into 52 weeks (364 days), there is always a slip of a day each year. Depending on your needs, you may need to add an extra week to a financial period. For example, you may need to do this if you want your fiscal year to begin on the first Monday of April always. You can add an extra week to any of the upcoming fiscal periods to correct for this.

  • Track fiscal year changes
    You can also view the history of fiscal year changes in the Fiscal Year tab. For entries with custom fiscal year formats, you can preview them in calendar.

  • Custom fiscal year and forecasts
    Once set, fiscal years can be managed only from the Fiscal Year page. Previously, it was managed in the Forecast Configuration page. Once a custom fiscal year is chosen, we can create forecasts based on quarters or periods. The Monthly option will be replaced by the Periodly option.


Note: Changing the fiscal year type will delete all existing forecasts.

To learn more about custom fiscal year, see: Set up fiscal year in Zoho CRM.

Do let us know your thoughts!

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