What Time Period To Use When Completing the B Impact Assessment

Modified on Wed, 31 Jan 2024 at 04:35 PM

Key Highlights: 

  • Identify the “current date” for which your current practices apply based on the date you started your assessment

  • Then, identify what time period is relevant for questions referring to the “last twelve months” (reporting period)—looking from the “current date” back to that same date one year ago

  • For “last fiscal year” questions, use the fiscal year that closed most recently from the “current date” and for which financial reports are available

  • Make sure to submit the B Impact Assessment within 6 months of starting it to keep reported information current 

It’s important to identify an appropriate and consistent time period for your answers to the B Impact Assessment (BIA), as it provides a “snapshot” of a company’s social and environmental performance at a given point in time. Since the objective of the BIA is to capture a recent and accurate snapshot of your company’s performance, companies are highly encouraged to submit the assessment within 6 months of starting it. This is to ensure that the reported information is not outdated at the time at which it is reviewed for verification. 

This article discusses the  three types of time periods that should be used for different questions in the B Impact Assessment. 


Questions that do not mention a specific time period are meant to  assess the current policies and practices that are in place at a company. Answer these questions according to the policy or practice in place at your company at the time of completing the B Impact Assessment. If new policies or practices are adopted from the time the BIA is submitted to the time your company is in Verification, you may ask your Verification analyst to update your response to get a score improvement. 

Examples of questions answered using present-day time period

Reporting Period - Last 12 Months 

Many questions in the B Impact Assessment aim to assess the company’s performance over a period of time and specifically refer to the last 12 months. Any questions with references to “12 months ago” or “last 12 months” should be answered using the time period that began 12 months prior to the date you started the B Impact Assessment (also known as the “Reporting Period”).  For example, if you started the assessment on June 1, 2023, you should answer the question “Job Growth Rate” based on new jobs created between the reporting period of June 1, 2022 and June 1, 2023. 

Examples of questions answered using the Reporting Period

Last Fiscal Year 

Certain questions in the B Impact Assessment refer to the “last fiscal year” and should be answered according to the fiscal year that most recently concluded at the time of beginning the assessment, and for which financial data is available.  For example, if you are beginning the assessment on January 15, 2024, and your company’s fiscal year runs from February 1 to January 31, you may use data from the fiscal year that ended January 31, 2023. However, if financial statements for the fiscal year that ends on January 31, 2024 are finalized before you submit your assessment, you may choose to update your responses to questions referencing the last fiscal year. This is optional.

Examples of questions answered using the last fiscal year 

Recognizing that the B Impact Assessment is completed over a period of time, and that all of these time periods are designed to provide an appropriate measure of a company’s “current” performance, some flexibility is allowed for time periods to shift minimally as the company progresses through the BIA. However, after significant periods of time have lapsed (typically if the reported data is over 18 months old when the BIA is submitted), it is recommended (or in the case of B Corp Certification, required) that companies recalibrate their responses in the BIA to ensure their answers are consistent and appropriate measures of current performance.

Because the BIA offers companies a “snapshot” of their social and environmental performance, over time a company’s score may fluctuate slightly due to normal changes in operations, even if they have not made any substantive changes to their impact management approach. You can think of this similarly to a student who takes a test multiple times—you wouldn’t expect them to score exactly the same each time, even if their fundamental knowledge of the subject remains the same.

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