While looking over a company's annual report, I realized that every business quarter was denoted using roman numerals. E.g. QI,2014 QII, 2014 etc.

I am sure I am being petty and pedantic, however, do you need to express the year completely or should it be: IQ14 or 1Q14

Also, the comma used in QI, 2014 appears jarring to my mind.

Or is it just business writing?

  • 1
    “QI, 2014” seems quite an odd way to write it to me too—but then I’m not much up on my business jargon. Sounds more like it’s season L of a certain TV show. The only variant I’ve seen often enough to say I’m really familiar with it is 1q14 or 1q2014. Oct 14, 2014 at 14:34
  • Although Roman numerals are generally understood to related to ordinality, IQ is obviously confusing and thus seldom (never?) used. AFAIK, there is no single standard followed across domains. I have seen the formats 1Q2014 & 1Q-2014 in finance-related writing. The format QI/2014 is sometimes (very few cases) found too.
    – Kris
    Oct 14, 2014 at 14:45

1 Answer 1


This is a style question. However, comma would add a visual chaos. I am not sure of the best answer. I looked up the question in the CMoS but couldn’t find the answer.

However, Investopedia, puts the quarter with its relevant year, as in Q1 2014 or Q1/14, which represents the first quarter of the year 2014.

  • I've seen it either as Q1 or 1stQ. I've never seen roman numerals used for this purpose. Mixing the meaning of letters (digits or actual letters) within a single "word" will almost always cause confusion and should be avoided.
    – keshlam
    Oct 29, 2014 at 20:42

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