Consolidating data is perhaps one of the most time-intensive parts of any financial close process, and it can be overwhelming when it is not broken down into pieces. I always like to divide this portion of the close into two main steps: the accounting act of consolidations and the mechanical. The accounting portion requires detailed financial and corporate knowledge, such as which transactions need to be eliminated or which entities should incur an expense or revenue for a specific transaction, that cannot be easily programmed into a computer. The mechanical portion of a consolidation—combining the data, getting consolidated reports, repeatable eliminations, and so on—requires less specific knowledge. These can be classified ...
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