What is Apple's fiscal year?
Apple fiscal year is a four-quarter calendar used for scheduling orderly payments for mobile app developers.
So, why do we have to care about it?
Once you upload your mobile app to the Apple Store, you’ll start getting payments on designated days. And Apple's fiscal calendar becomes your go-to resource for keeping track of those days. Apple’s fiscal year differs from what we usually refer to as a fiscal year, so let’s see what peculiarities and rules it has.
How Apple Fiscal Calendar works
The rules are as follows:
- The year always starts on the last Sunday of September.
- The calendar year is divided into four quarters, each of which consists of three months.
- The first month of each quarter always has 35 days, while the other two are 28-day long.
- The year consists of 364 days, that is why each five years they add an extra week.
- It’s also important to remember that the company uses the US calendar version, meaning that weeks start on Sunday and end on Saturday.
- The beginning and the end of each period are always on the same day of the week. And most importantly, Apple payment dates usually come 33 days after the end of the previous fiscal month.
Payment days in Apple Fiscal Year Calendar 2023
Apple fiscal quarters this year look like this:
Q1 - Sep 25 - Dec 31
Q2 - Jan 1 - Apr 1
Q3 - Apr 2 - Jul 2
Q4 - Jul 2 - Sep 30
Now let’s see how exactly Apple Fiscal Calendar 2023 works. Following the rule that the first month consists of 35 days, and the payment terms are NET 33 we can predict that the September payment (which is the term Aug 28 - Sep 24 of the previous fiscal year) will be provided on Sep 27 on Thursday, while the October payment (Sep 25 - Oct 29) should be sent on Dec 1, and so on.
Feel free to check the Adapty estimation of Apple Fiscal Calendar 2023. Please, pay attention to the colors of the periods: each corresponds to a concrete day.
As a developer, you should know about how to track your revenues with Apple. Earnings from the App Store are paid a bit differently than usual payments, plus there is a delay. That’s why it’s important to learn how special Apple Fiscal Calendar is, in order to not let your app’s economics get in trouble.
The App Store moderation is not quite clear and transparent, though they do a lot to let us understand how their review system works. Developers are provided with guidelines, but still in most cases you aren’t sure why there are issues with your app. Apple is a huge company that can’t adapt to the changing digital environment timely. It keeps us nervous: if payments aren’t provided on the payday, you’ll get crazy (like over and over logging into the App Store Connect account to check if your app is fine).
It’s time to learn about Apple Fiscal Calendar once and for all! It matters because mistakes in planning your app’s economics may cost you too much!
Get Apple payment notifications into your Google Calendar
Let us help you to be informed about App Store payment events. Submit the form to get a link to a notification calendar about paydays. Add it to your Google calendar and you’ll always be notified about when you get paid.
Why it’s so important
You cannot consider the money from the App Store yours until Apple actually sends it. The funds on your Developer Account aren’t the funds you may use. These 33-day delays may affect the economics of your app and lead to funding gaps. May be a rather crucial mistake to wrongly plan your finances while your app is promoted through paid traffic only. Google and Facebook never care about your finances, they’re gonna bill you anyway :)
Billing issues and non-paid ads
As previously mentioned, Ad networks want their services being paid on time, while Apple pays with a delay. Your ad campaigns optimize not as fast, so it’s not a good idea to stop your ads and restart them in the future. If you set campaigns on hold for a long period, they won’t perform as they used to. So, if you purchase installs at a reasonable cost, try to keep them working as long as possible. And don’t even think of having your ads unpaid and leaving your ad accounts with debts.
Funds and Numbers
What’s plain and simple often gets missed. Don’t forget to match your results and your earnings the right way. Don’t look at payments, look at the stats you have. For example, your December payment will be related to Nov 27 - Dec 31, while the December costs will be for the period Dec 1 - 31. Just keep it in mind and don’t consider “monthly payment” as payment for a month :)
Subscription app’s economics is built mostly on a “zero-profit” basis. That means CAC = LTV almost all the time. Even a small disorder may cause your business to die. Subscription recovery is long term, and having a subscription app is a long term business itself! That’s why under any circumstances try to have some extra resources: if you learn to deal with Apple's delays, your business will have the chance to survive.