Guide for Consolidating Financial Statements 2020

What are Consolidated Financial Statements?

Consolidated Financial Statements are required by a parent company to show the true view of their current financial position by combining the financial information of all entities. They consist of a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement providing a 360-degree view of the health of a parent organization and its subsidiaries. These statements assist in updating board members, stakeholders, and investors of the company’s financial position in its entirety without needing to look into each entity individually.   

How to Consolidate Financial Statements

  1. Determine which entities are considered subsidiaries of the parent company. This includes any business where the parent company owns the majority of shares. Other holdings would be considered subsidiaries if the parent company has; majority voting rights, the ability to cast the majority of votes, the parent company has the control to remove or replace the majority of the board, or the power to govern over the subsidiary. Once you understand which entities need to be considered, gather all the financial statements from each entity. 

  1. Check the fiscal periods as not to mismatch them. If an entity uses a different timeline from the parent company it is prudent to modify the entity to match the parent company – although this usually occurs during the acquisition, but not always. 

  1. Create your reports, open Microsoft Excel, and create tabs for each sheet, one for the balance sheet, income statement, and so forth.  Copy-and-paste the totals from each entity and label the rows to help organize each section such as cash, inventory, etc. Ensure to include rows for the consolidation of debit or credit transactions. Now double-check the numbers inputted before combining them into your consolidated financial statements as attempting to determine where the mistakes are further in the process will be difficult and timely. 

  1. Create your consolidated balance sheet reflecting the sums determined previously. Now undergo the intercompany elimination processes for any entities that transact with each other. Use this data to compile the consolidated income statement and cash flow statement. 

  1. Once completed review all the sheets with a fine-tooth comb to ensure that none contain duplicate values including intercorporate assets or liabilities and money that flows between the two. 

Current Consolidation Methods and Alternatives

The manual process of copying and pasting numbers from multiple reports is a repetitive mistake-prone task. It requires gathering data from across the organization, numbers that are continuously changing – making it a difficult, timely process. 

Luckily there are now software types that assist in the consolidation of financial statements that have value in their ability to automate and speed up these processes. Consolidation software then transforms these numerous data sets into actionable insights all with a mere click-of-a button.  

Utilizing a solution that allows for a unified interface across multiple accounting processes and departments enables the production of truly consolidated financials easily and instantly. Not only does the automation of these processes guarantee accuracy but the time saved gives the finance department time to do what they were hired for – analyzing the data. 

Guide for Consolidating Financial Statements 2020

What is Financial Consolidation Software? 

Can you imagine taking statements from your ERP, CRM, Excel Sheets, and having them all in one place? Financial consolidation software does that and more. It allows you to compile data sources from across the business, its multiple departments, and even multiple entities for easy reporting to a parent company, shareholders, and management.  It provides the ability to create real-time accurate analytics and insights into the health of a company’s financials instantly. It removes the continuous human error found on excel spreadsheets that takes other employees even more time to troubleshoot and lets financial professionals do what they were hired to do – interpret the data for decision making.

In a recent study by Gartner, it was found that; ‘finance departments can save their teams from 25,000 hours of avoidable rework caused by human errors by deploying robotic process automation (RPA) in their financial reporting processes.”  

With so much evidence pointing to the overwhelming benefits of automation, it makes you wonder, why have only one-third of the finance departments adopted a financial consolidation software? 

Well, the issue with current financial automation software is the fact that accounting has been manually done on Excel Spreadsheets for the better part of three decades. With such a finicky process – that is so detrimental to a company – the mere idea of uprooting all of an organization’s current methods is daunting. But the numbers are in and it is time to consider financial consolidation software or be left behind. 

Financial Consolidation Software made for FP&A professionals

Accounting departments consist of a variety of players including CFO’s, VP’s, Directors, and more, each one requiring something different from a chosen software. Rather than uprooting entire processes and departments, DataRails, the financial consolidation software made by FP&A specialists for finance professionals, works with your existing systems and consolidates them to derive actionable insights.

The platform allows you to upload ERP data, CRM data, and even excel- based spreadsheets all onto one cloud-based platform for the easiest integration as well as in-depth analysis and real-time results. Instead of wasting time on manual processes such as catching errors on endless excel templates, use a software that makes use of your existing infrastructure, and make your reporting processes work for you. 

Guide for Consolidating Financial Statements 2020

What used to take me five hours now takes me 15 minutes”

Gregory Henry

Director of Treasury, AGNC

“DataRails maximized our efficiency and made the current process incredibly effective. It was a big win for us.”

Will Lederer

Senior Finance Manager of Business Systems, ForeScout Technologies