SERIES: The questions for a first consolidation: 4 / 4

March 30, 2020

How to draw up the opening balance sheet and pro-forma accounts and automate the publication of consolidated financial statements?

What are the mandatory consolidated financial statements to be produced as part of a statutory consolidation?

Regardless of the basis of reference, groups must publish :

  • A balance sheet (presentation by liquidity according to CRC regulation 99-02 and current/non-current presentation for IFRS)
  • An income statement (including a statement of comprehensive income for IFRS). Net income may be presented by nature or by function.
  • A cash flow statement
  • A statement of changes in equity
  • Notes with information on the scope of consolidation, statements of changes in balance sheet items, effective tax rate, segment information, etc.

For the preparation of the first consolidated financial statements, there are presentation requirements.

At a minimum, an opening balance sheet must be presented, which means that the consolidated financial statements of N-1 must be prepared on a balance sheet basis, whereas the consolidated balance sheet of N is prepared on a cash flow basis.

The notion of opening balance sheet should not be confused with the notion of pro-forma accounts: which refer to the historical financial statements of a company or group, restated to allow comparability, for example following changes in scope (acquisition, disposal) or changes in accounting methods.

How to automate the publication of consolidated financial statements in a minimum amount of time and at a lower cost?

In order to automate the publication of consolidated financial statements, several essential elements must be taken into account when setting up the first consolidation.

  1. Understanding and defining the information to be produced and its frequency
  2. To set up an optimal consolidation service with a precise definition of the role of each of the many players
  3. Investing in the training of the different actors
  4. Establishing an effective information system and developing the current system
  5. Automate tasks that can be automated: automatic injection of intra-group data, automatic generation of the appendix in Word.
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