Introduction to the Consolidation Module

The Consolidation module will be useful if you need to produce consolidated financial statements for a group of companies. In this context, a group of companies is a collection of parent and subsidiary companies that, through a common source of control, function as a single financial entity.

The aim of consolidated financial statements is to show the performance of the group as if it were a single entity. All intra-group transactions (sales from one group company to another group company, for example) and intra-group balances (inter-company loans, for example) need to be eliminated as otherwise the consolidated financial statements would double-count these balances. Doing so typically requires a complex set of eliminating and consolidating entries to work back from individual financial statements toward a group financial statement that is an accurate representation of operations.

The Consolidation module in Standard ERP is designed so that information in subsidiary companies can be made available to certain reports in the holding company without the need physically to transfer any subsidiary company information to the holding company. This makes it very easy to produce consolidated reports from the holding company, and removes the risk of error inherent in copying information from one company to another. This communication between companies means that the holding and subsidiary companies must reside in the same database. The module supports multi-level consolidation: subsidiary companies can have their own subsidiary companies. Subsidiaries can be wholly or partially owned, and the ownership percentage may change over time.

In this documentation the holding company will be referred to as the "Mother Company" and the subsidiaries as "Daughter Companies". Subsidiaries owned by Daughter Companies will be referred to as "Grand-Daughter Companies".

In some circumstances, the requirement to have the Mother and Daughter Companies in the same database might not be practical. If so, the Consolidation module also contains a 'Consolidation' Export function, which you can use to export Transaction information from a Daughter Company to a text file. You can then import this text file to the Mother Company (in another database).

The basic steps required to set up the Consolidation module are as follows:

  1. Enter all Companies to the Company register in the System module. Ensure each Company contains its own Chart of Accounts, Fiscal Years, VAT Codes, Nominal Ledger report definitions, Currencies and so on.

    If any Companies use the same Chart of Accounts or Currencies, you can choose to share the Account and Currency registers. This will make the same Accounts and Currencies available to those Companies, so you will only need to enter Accounts and Currencies once. Note, however, that if you share the Account register, you will not be able to link Daughter Company Accounts to different Mother Company Accounts. Please refer here for details about sharing registers.

  2. In the Mother Company, fill in the Daughter Companies setting in the Consolidation module. You should also fill in this setting in any Daughter Companies that themselves have Daughters.

  3. In all Companies, fill in the Consolidation Settings setting in the Consolidation module. This will determine the Currency that will be used in the consolidated reports.

  4. In any Daughter Company that is partially owned, enter a record in the Main Owner Percentage register. This will state on a percentage basis how much of the Daughter is owned by the Mother.

  5. When you produce a consolidated report, the balance of each Daughter Company Account will be added to the balance of the Mother Company Account to which it has been linked. The final step is to establish this link in each Account record in each Daughter Company.

  6. In some circumstances, each Daughter Company will be a separate cost centre that will be invoiced when it uses resources belonging to another Daughter Company. These internal costs and income should be eliminated from the consolidated accounts so that the figures for the group as a whole are correct. In some cases, you can do this simply by using the same Account as the Sales Account in one Daughter and as the Cost Account in the second Daughter. If this is not possible, you can eliminate the balances of Accounts used for this purpose using the 'Account Auto Elimination' Maintenance function.

    You can use the Inter-Company module to help with the process of issuing and recording Invoices between Companies in a group. Please refer here for more details about this module.

Please follow the links in each step for detailed descriptions.

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