Debitoor Dictionary

Accounting terms explained in a simple way

Over 150 Articles for Founders and Entrepreneurs

  1. Assets
  2. Balance sheet
  3. Expense
  4. Income statement
  5. Revenues
  6. Subsidiary

Group consolidation – What is group consolidation?

Group consolidation is the merging of two or more business entities.

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Consolidation can be a formal process whereby two businesses are legally combined, or a method of financial reporting whereby a group of organisations is treated as a single entity.

Consolidation of businesses

Consolidation occurs when two or more organisations are legally combined, resulting in an entirely new business entity or creating a new subsidiary within an existing organisation.

Though similar, consolidation is not the same as a merger. A merger occurs when a smaller company is absorbed by a larger business, resulting in the dissolution of the smaller organisation. Within consolidation, either a new entity is created and both original businesses cease to exist, or the acquired business continues to function as a stand-alone business but is legally recognised as a subsidiary of the larger organisation.

Consolidation is usually expected to increase market share; reduce competition; or increase profitability by combining resources, technology, and industry expertise.

Consolidation of financial statements

If parent company controls more than 50% of a subsidiary business, it is usually possible to report the subsidiary's finances under the umbrella of the parent company. This process is known as consolidating financial statements.

Within consolidated financial statements, the total assets, revenues, or expenses of the parent company and its subsidiaries are recorded on the parent company’s balance sheet and income statement.

If the subsidiary is based in another country or operates using a different currency, it is important to translate their financial statements into the currency of the parent company.

Although the parent business and its subsidiaries may operate as individual, stand-alone businesses, when financial statements are consolidated, the parent company and its subsidiaries are treated as single entity. Consolidated financial statements therefore give investors, regulators, or customers a better overview of the entire entity’s overall financial health.