When Does a Canadian Company’s Year End?

In the past, Audit Analytics has analyzed year-end dates for public companies. For companies with a calendar year-end fiscal year, the weeks leading up to April 15th are exceptionally busy for financial professionals.  To see how busy this “busy season” is outside of the United States, our previous analysis has been updated to specifically examine year-end dates for Canadian public companies.

Our analysis captured 2,822 public companies that filed annual audited financial statements on SEDAR in 2017.

Nearly 57% of Canadian companies in the analysis have a December year-end. While it is not surprising that this is the most common year-end date, it is interesting that this number is not higher, considering in 2014, 71% of U.S. public companies had a December fiscal year-end. 

The next most common year-end was March 31 with 6.5% of companies, followed very closely by June 30 and September 30, with 6.02% and 5.99%, respectively. This is consistent with the trends seen among U.S. filers.

Overall, May year-end dates are the least common with only 2.4% of companies, followed by February year-end dates with 2.7%.

Of note, 30 companies (1% of analyzed population) employ a non-standard year-end date that does not correspond to the last day of a month – including twelve companies with a December 29 or 30 year-end and five companies with a January 28 or 29 year-end. For purposes of this analysis, these year-ends were not disaggregated.

To further examine trends for Canadian public companies year-ends, market caps for 2,706 Canadian companies were divided into three buckets:

1. Small-cap companies with market cap under CAD 75 million
2. Mid-cap companies with market cap between CAD 75 million and 700 million
3. Large-cap companies with market cap over CAD 700 million

Interestingly, our analysis shows that as market cap increases, the percentage of companies with a December fiscal-year end decreases.

Nearly 86% of small-cap companies have a December year-end. Less than 75% of mid-cap companies with market cap between CAD 75 million and 700 million have opted for a December year-end.

The greatest variation of year-ends occurs in large-cap companies. Only 47.9% of large-cap companies have a December fiscal year-end. The next most common is a March year-end (7.6%), followed closely by a June 30 year-end (7.3%).

July 31 is overwhelming the least popular year-end for smaller companies. Less than 1% of small- and mid-cap companies have a year-end in July. In contrast, 4.29% of large companies with a market cap greater than CAD 700 had a July year-end in 2017.

Consistent with expected trends, December 31 is the most common fiscal year-end date for Canadian public companies. However, it is surprising that nearly 44% of companies do not use a calendar year end.

Audit Analytics tracks audit fees, auditor changes, controls, and restatements for Canadian issuers. Please contact Audit Analytics for an online demonstration or to learn more about these data sets. You can call us at (508) 476-7007 or e-mail info@auditanalytics.com.