Sunday, March 6, 2016

Leap February

Well - my best intentions to keep routinely blogging resulted in a first - Leap February (or should I say leap right over February).  There is no blog entry for the entire month of February.

People miss speak of this as a Leap Year - meaning an extra day in February.  The precise term should be that this year has a Leap Day in it. Why they call the extra day a Leap Day vs "Extra Day", I have no clue.  Our next Leap Day is Feb. 29, 2020 (on the every four year cycle).  Something I did not realize is that there is also a 100 year "Leap Year" cycle which ignores the 4 year cycle of Leap Day (our last one was 1900 and the next will be 2100).  In the case of these two years, Feb. 29 is leaped over (e.g. ignored). But why not 2000?  Because it is divisible by 400. Hmmmm

Somehow, I had missed the significance of the Year 2000 (Leap Year exception) as I was focused on all the other Information Technology conversion issues related to programs that were coded without foresight of still being executed in the year 2000.  As a programmer we were never really worried about the 100 year "Leap Year" exceptions.

So what economic significance is there for a Leap Day?  It depends.  For some businesses (like Accenture) a Leap Day could be an extra day of revenue with no real cost for salaried worker ( an automatic 0.02% increase in annual gross margin). But you can't automatically assume a Leap Day adds an extra workday in the year.

The real question of how many workdays  there are in a year which depends BOTH on whether there is a Leap Day falling on a weekday AND on how weekends fall in any given year AND on the number federal holidays.  Is your head spinning yet? 
Here is the calculation of workdays for the next few years:
2016 - 251 days (Leap Day)
2017 - 250 days
2018 - 251 days
2019 - 251 days
2020 - 252 days (Leap Day)

So look for a gross margin increase for consulting firms (without doing anything) not this year - but in 2020.  Be careful next year as the number of workdays goes down - better work a billable Saturday to make it up. 

PS - Want to spin your head more -  What happens to 24/7 businesses when daylight savings time kicks in next week.

PPS -  Couldn't resist looking to see if I had "productively" entered a blog on the last Leap Day (Feb. 29, 2012).  Amazing. - it is my top read blog - "Four Hole Buick".

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