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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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14–14. Overlay the General Ledger with a Consolidation and Reporting Package

It can be extremely difficult to report on the consolidated results of a distributed company, since there may be a number of different general ledger software packages in use, some of which run in different computer environments. Though it is possible to manually consolidate this information, it is a tedious and error-prone process that also requires a considerable lag time before consolidated reports can be generated. Also, if anyone has a question about the resulting report, the accounting staff must research the details in the underlying general ledgers and then create another manual report—all of which takes yet more time. There are two ways to avoid this problem. One approach is to create customized interfaces from each general ledger to a centralized data warehouse, as discussed earlier in the “Use a Data Warehouse for Report Distribution” section. This method is expensive to implement, and requires a considerable amount of programming time. An alternative is to overlay the general ledger with packaged consolidation and reporting software.

This type of software is sold by Hyperion, and is called the Hyperion Enterprise software, as well as the ancillary Hyperion Financial Analysis Solutions software. These packages can be found on the company’s Web site at www.hyperion.com. The software can be linked to any number of general ledgers through published application programming interfaces, as well as ...

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