What Is Year to Date (YTD)?
Year to date (YTD) refers to the period extending from the beginning of the year to the present. In business, note that the beginning of the year is not always January 1; many companies have fiscal years beginning at other times.
Let's assume Company ABC's fiscal year began on January 1st and that today is April 30th. During this time, Company ABC recorded the following revenues:
January - $1,000,000
February - $1,000,000
March - $1,500,000
April - $2,000,000
By adding the revenue from the beginning of Company ABC's fiscal year to the present, we can calculate that Company ABC's year-to-date revenue is $5,500,000.
Why Year to Date (YTD) Is Important
Year-to-date information is useful in looking for trends or measuring performance against goals.
Comparing year-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, as well as the fact that holidays sometimes fall on different dates, may distort year-to-date comparisons.