Point in time financial data sets have been built so that users can access historical financial statements including a date of when the financial statements were known. Non-point in time data sets do not include a date of when the information became available. Researchers using non-point in time data sets use a lag number of periods, e.g., 15 business days, after a quarter end to adjust their available financial statement information for an assumed amount of time for the information to become available. In Quotient, Scientific Financial labels this ‘known’ date as the vantage date. The vantage date can be either the original report date or the date that the financial statement was recast or restated. Companies adjust their prior period financial statement for a wide variety of reasons including complying with new accounting standards.
In the example table below from Quotient, Reuters fundamental point in time data set shows that Northrop Grumman originally reported net income for their 12/31/2018 quarter of $657M as of a vantage date of 1/31/2019. On the 1/31/2020 vantage date, Reuters fundamental point in time data set, shows that Northrop Grumman recast their net income for their 12/31/2018 quarter to $356M.