Quarter to Date (QTD)
What it is:
Quarter to date refers to the three-month period extending from the beginning of the quarter to the end of the quarter. In the finance world, quarter 1 usually spans January 1-March 31; quarter 2 usually spans April 1-June 30; quarter 3 usually spans July 1-September 30; and quarter 4 usually spans October 1-December 31.
How it works/Example:
Let's assume Company XYZ's first quarter began on January 1 and ends on March 31. Today is March 31. During this time, Company XYZ recorded the following:
By adding the revenue for the three months of the first quarter, we can calculate that Company XYZ's quarter-to-date revenue is $4,500,000.
Why it matters:
Quarter-to-date information is useful in looking for trends or measuring performance against goals.
Comparing quarter-to-date information among companies with different fiscal-year start dates can distort an analysis: The time included may vary and seasonal factors may become skewed. It is also important to remember that the extra day in leap years may distort quarter-to-date comparisons.