What are the fiscal year ends of Walt Disney, Carnival Corporation, and Royal Caribbean Cruises, and others?

A calendar year runs from January 1 to December 31 each year.  Companies are allowed to select a fiscal year that is different from the calendar year, which means not all companies’ financial statements cover the calendar year of January 1 through December 31.

Here is a list of a variety of companies and their fiscal years:

  • The Walt Disney Company: Fiscal year ends on the Saturday closest to September 30 and consists of fifty-two weeks with the exception that approximately every six years, there is a fifty-three week year
  • Carnival Corporation: Fiscal year end is November 30
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.: Fiscal year end is December 31
  • Microsoft: Fiscal year end is June 30
  • HP: Fiscal year ends on October 31
  • Intel: Fiscal year end is December 31
  • Walmart: Fiscal year end is January 31
  • FedEx: Fiscal year end is May 31
  • General Mills:  Fiscal year ends on the last Sunday in May and consists of fifty-two weeks with the exception that approximately every six years, there is a fifty-three week year

About 60% of the largest companies use a calendar year end.

Just a quick reminder that the balance sheet is the only one of the four financial statements that is as of one specific date. A balance sheet for HP, for example, would say “October 31, 20XX” in the heading of the balance sheet. The other financial statements (income statement, statement of retained earnings, and statement of cash flows) would have date headings that specify the period covered by the statement rather than just one date. For example, HP’s income statement for the year 20X1 would have “For the year ended October 31, 20X1” at the top.

View a quick tutorial video about fiscal year ends at this link and then answer the following questions. (The video includes fiscal year ends for several more companies.)


1. For each of the companies listed, give at least one reason it might have chosen the fiscal year end that it has. (Use your imagination.)

2. What is the fiscal year end of your educational institution?

3. Is a company allowed to change its fiscal year end at will? Why or why not?

Copyright 2022 Wendy M. Tietz, LLC

About Dr. Wendy Tietz, CPA, CMA, CSCA, CGMA

Dr. Wendy Tietz is a professor of accounting at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, USA. She is also a textbook author with Pearson Education.

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