A quarter is generally referred to as a three-month period on a company’s financial calendar. It acts as a basis for periodic financial reports and the paying of dividends. Most financial reporting and dividend payments are done quarterly.
Not all businesses match the first quarter with the first three months of the year (Jan, Feb,Mar) some do it sooner and some do it later depending on the business.
The calendar year is generally divided into four quarters, and abbreviated as Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4.
In Gregorian calendar:
First quarter, Q1: 1 January – 31 March (90 days or 91 days in leap years)
Second quarter, Q2: 1 April – 30 June (91 days)
Third quarter, Q3: 1 July – 30 September (92 days)
Fourth quarter, Q4: 1 October – 31 December (92 days)
In Chinese calendar, the quarters are associated with the 4 seasons of a year:
Spring: 1st to 3rd month
Summer: 4th to 6th month
Autumn: 7th to 9th month
Winter: 10th to 12th month