Quarterly rules are the “hardest” to create in almanac because the specification that it is built on top of, the RFC-5545 iCalendar Spec does not include quarterly as a frequency. The rationale for this is that it can always be built from a combination of monthly or yearly rules, if a bit clunky. The goal of this vignette is just to show a few examples of quarterly rules.

library(almanac)
library(lubridate, warn.conflicts = FALSE)

First day of the quarter

This one is particularly easy, but the reason is a bit misleading. Let’s show it first:

on_first_day_of_quarter <- monthly(since = "2000-01-01") %>%
  recur_on_interval(3) %>%
  recur_on_mday(1)

alma_search("2000-01-01", "2002-01-01", on_first_day_of_quarter)
#> [1] "2000-01-01" "2000-04-01" "2000-07-01" "2000-10-01" "2001-01-01"
#> [6] "2001-04-01" "2001-07-01" "2001-10-01" "2002-01-01"

Whenever you need the “first” event per quarter, there is a good chance that that event will fall in the first month of the quarter, as is the case here. Whenever you have a guarantee that your event falls in the first month of the quarter, and can be computed from the start of that month, you can probably just use monthly() %>% recur_on_interval(3) to get your quarterly values.

Altering the fiscal year start

Before moving on to more complex examples, I want to show the general way to change the start of the fiscal year. This means that rather than starting the quarter on January, we could start it on March. Remember that the since date is used as an anchor date for things like recur_on_interval(), so if we chose a since date in March, then we could recur with a different fiscal calendar.

on_first_day_of_quarter_march_start <- monthly(since = "2000-03-01") %>%
  recur_on_interval(3) %>%
  recur_on_mday(1)

alma_search("2000-01-01", "2002-01-01", on_first_day_of_quarter_march_start)
#> [1] "2000-03-01" "2000-06-01" "2000-09-01" "2000-12-01" "2001-03-01"
#> [6] "2001-06-01" "2001-09-01" "2001-12-01"

N-th day of the quarter

As a more general case of the first example, what happens if we want to compute the N-th day of the quarter, from either the front or the back? Unlike the first example, we no longer have the guarantee that the date will be in the first month, and if we count from the back we really need the entire set of 3 months that make up the quarter to count correctly.

The secret here is to break the rule into 4 smaller rules, one per quarter, which you can then combine into 1 larger quarterly runion. Let’s start with a concrete example in Q1. How can we get the 60th day of the quarter?

on_60th_day_of_q1 <- yearly() %>%
  recur_on_ymonth(1:3) %>%
  recur_on_mday(1:31) %>%
  recur_on_position(60)

alma_search("2000-01-01", "2002-01-01", on_60th_day_of_q1)
#> [1] "2000-02-29" "2001-03-01"

This breaks down as follows:

  • Use a yearly() frequency rather than a monthly() one.

  • Recur on the 3 months that make up the first quarter.

  • Recur on all days of the month (it isn’t a problem if a month doesn’t have day 30 or 31).

  • This gives us access to all ~90 days in the quarter (the exact number varies per quarter). With recur_on_position() we can take the nth day of that set.

Using yearly() rather than monthly() is required for recur_on_position() to work correctly. recur_on_position() takes the n-th position of the set, within the frequency. So if we had chosen monthly it would try and take the 60th position within the monthly set, which isn’t what we wanted.

The rest of the quarterly rules are straightforward from here. We just change the ymonth values. To make this more usable, I’ll also wrap it in a parameterized function, and go ahead and construct the combined runion object from the four pieces.

make_on_nth_doq <- function(since = "1970-01-01", nth = 1L) {
  all_days <- 1:31

  on_nth_day_of_q1 <- yearly(since = since) %>%
    recur_on_ymonth(1:3) %>%
    recur_on_mday(all_days) %>%
    recur_on_position(nth)

  on_nth_day_of_q2 <- yearly(since = since) %>%
    recur_on_ymonth(4:6) %>%
    recur_on_mday(all_days) %>%
    recur_on_position(nth)

  on_nth_day_of_q3 <- yearly(since = since) %>%
    recur_on_ymonth(7:9) %>%
    recur_on_mday(all_days) %>%
    recur_on_position(nth)

  on_nth_day_of_q4 <- yearly(since = since) %>%
    recur_on_ymonth(10:12) %>%
    recur_on_mday(all_days) %>%
    recur_on_position(nth)

  on_nth_doq <- runion() %>%
    add_rschedule(on_nth_day_of_q1) %>%
    add_rschedule(on_nth_day_of_q2) %>%
    add_rschedule(on_nth_day_of_q3) %>%
    add_rschedule(on_nth_day_of_q4)

  on_nth_doq
}

Let’s give it a whirl.

on_60th_doq <- make_on_nth_doq(since = "2000-01-01", nth = 60)

alma_search("2000-01-01", "2002-01-01", on_60th_doq)
#> [1] "2000-02-29" "2000-05-30" "2000-08-29" "2000-11-29" "2001-03-01"
#> [6] "2001-05-30" "2001-08-29" "2001-11-29"

It can also select days from the end of the quarter, for example, the last day in the quarter:

on_last_doq <- make_on_nth_doq(since = "2000-01-01", nth = -1)

alma_search("2000-01-01", "2002-01-01", on_last_doq)
#> [1] "2000-03-31" "2000-06-30" "2000-09-30" "2000-12-31" "2001-03-31"
#> [6] "2001-06-30" "2001-09-30" "2001-12-31"

This general strategy of using a base rule of yearly() %>% recur_on_ymonth(), plus some usage of recur_on_position() is how I have solved most of the quarterly problems I can think of.

N-th week day of the quarter

To showcase this strategy again, let’s figure out how to get the nth week day of the quarter. Again, start with Q1 first, this time computing the 6th Monday of Q1.

since <- "2000-01-01"
wday <- "Monday"
nth <- 6

on_6th_monday_of_q1 <- yearly(since = since) %>%
  recur_on_ymonth(1:3) %>%
  recur_on_wday(wday) %>%
  recur_on_position(nth)

alma_search("2000-01-01", "2002-01-01", on_6th_monday_of_q1)
#> [1] "2000-02-07" "2001-02-05"

Multiple week days can be used here.

since <- "2000-01-01"
wday <- c("Monday", "Tuesday")
nth <- 19

on_19th_monday_or_tuesday_of_q1 <- yearly(since = since) %>%
  recur_on_ymonth(1:3) %>%
  recur_on_wday(wday) %>%
  recur_on_position(nth)

alma_search("2000-01-01", "2002-01-01", on_19th_monday_or_tuesday_of_q1)
#> [1] "2000-03-06" "2001-03-05"

Now generalize:

make_on_nth_wday_of_the_quarter <- function(since = "1970-01-01",
                                            wday = "Monday",
                                            nth = 1L) {
  on_nth_wday_of_q1 <- yearly(since = since) %>%
    recur_on_ymonth(1:3) %>%
    recur_on_wday(wday) %>%
    recur_on_position(nth)

  on_nth_wday_of_q2 <- yearly(since = since) %>%
    recur_on_ymonth(4:6) %>%
    recur_on_wday(wday) %>%
    recur_on_position(nth)

  on_nth_wday_of_q3 <- yearly(since = since) %>%
    recur_on_ymonth(7:9) %>%
    recur_on_wday(wday) %>%
    recur_on_position(nth)

  on_nth_wday_of_q4 <- yearly(since = since) %>%
    recur_on_ymonth(10:12) %>%
    recur_on_wday(wday) %>%
    recur_on_position(nth)

  on_nth_wday_of_the_quarter <- runion() %>%
    add_rschedule(on_nth_wday_of_q1) %>%
    add_rschedule(on_nth_wday_of_q2) %>%
    add_rschedule(on_nth_wday_of_q3) %>%
    add_rschedule(on_nth_wday_of_q4)

  on_nth_wday_of_the_quarter
}
on_last_friday_of_the_quarter <- make_on_nth_wday_of_the_quarter(
  since = "2000-01-01",
  wday = "Friday",
  nth = -1
)

fridays <- alma_search("2000-01-01", "2002-01-01", on_last_friday_of_the_quarter)
fridays
#> [1] "2000-03-31" "2000-06-30" "2000-09-29" "2000-12-29" "2001-03-30"
#> [6] "2001-06-29" "2001-09-28" "2001-12-28"

wday(fridays, label = TRUE)
#> [1] Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri
#> Levels: Sun < Mon < Tue < Wed < Thu < Fri < Sat

Combining with other rules

Remember that each of these results are just rbundles that can be combined with other rules if you need to create more complex quarterly strategies. For example, let’s take the “last Friday of the quarter” runion and combine it with a rule for “on every Wednesday”.

on_wednesdays <- weekly() %>%
  recur_on_wday("Wednesday")

on_last_friday_of_quarter_or_wednesdays <- runion() %>%
  add_rschedule(on_wednesdays) %>%
  add_rschedule(on_last_friday_of_the_quarter)

last_friday_or_wednesdays <- alma_search(
  "2000-01-01", "2002-01-01",
  on_last_friday_of_quarter_or_wednesdays
)

last_friday_or_wednesdays[1:15]
#>  [1] "2000-01-05" "2000-01-12" "2000-01-19" "2000-01-26" "2000-02-02"
#>  [6] "2000-02-09" "2000-02-16" "2000-02-23" "2000-03-01" "2000-03-08"
#> [11] "2000-03-15" "2000-03-22" "2000-03-29" "2000-03-31" "2000-04-05"

wday(last_friday_or_wednesdays[1:15], label = TRUE)
#>  [1] Wed Wed Wed Wed Wed Wed Wed Wed Wed Wed Wed Wed Wed Fri Wed
#> Levels: Sun < Mon < Tue < Wed < Thu < Fri < Sat