DEFINITION of 'Consolidate'

The combining of assets, liabilities and other financial items of two or more entities into one. In the context of financial accounting, the term consolidate often refers to the consolidation of financial statements, where all subsidiaries report under the umbrella of a parent company. These statements are called consolidated financial statements. Consolidation also refers to the merger and acquisition of smaller companies into larger companies. A consolidation, however, differs from a merger in that the consolidated companies could also result in a new entity, whereas in a merger one company absorbs the other and remains in existence while the other is dissolved.

BREAKING DOWN 'Consolidate'

In financial accounting, consolidated financial statements provide a comprehensive view of the financial position of both the parent company and its subsidiaries, rather than one company's stand-alone position. In business, consolidation occurs when two or more businesses combine to form one new entity, with the expectation of increasing market share and profitability, and the benefit of combining talent, industry expertise or technology.

  1. Affiliated Group

    Two or more corporations that are related through common ownership, ...
  2. Merger

    The combining of two or more companies, generally by offering ...
  3. Annual Report

    1. An annual publication that public corporations must provide ...
  4. Defalcation

    1. Combining two or more debts to create one total debt. Defalcation ...
  5. Second Mortgage

    A type of subordinate mortgage made while an original mortgage ...
  6. Encumbrance

    A claim against a property by a party that is not the owner. ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    12 Things You Need To Know About Financial Statements

    Discover how to keep score of companies to increase your chances of choosing a winner.
  2. Credit & Loans

    How HELOCs Can Hurt You

    A home equity line of credit is a convenient way to borrow money. But, there are things to be cautious about before you get into trouble.
  3. Credit & Loans

    Digging Out Of Personal Debt

    Find out why good intentions can put consumers in an even bigger hole than before.
  4. Options & Futures

    Home-Equity Loans: What You Need To Know

    We shed light on why consumers decide to use this form of debt and whether it is a good alternative.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Buy-Side Of The M&A Process

    With almost $2 trillion in sales yearly, find out how these mergers and acquisitions take place.
  6. Professionals

    Hard and Soft Due Diligence: What's the Difference?

    Learn about the differences between "hard" and "soft" due diligence in a mergers and acquisitions deal (M&A) and why soft diligence is increasingly important.
  7. Professionals

    Career Advice: Accountant Vs. Financial Planner

    Identify the key differences between a career in accounting and financial planning, and learn how your personality dictates which is the better choice for you.
  8. Economics

    Calculating Days Working Capital

    A company’s days working capital ratio shows how many days it takes to convert working capital into revenue.
  9. Stock Analysis

    How UPS Plans to Benefit from Its Coyote Acquisition

    Understand the business models of UPS and Coyote Logistics. Learn about the top four ways in which UPS will benefit from the acquisition of Coyote Logistics.
  10. Professionals

    Career Advice: Accountant Vs. Controller

    Learn about the differences between controllers and accountants, how the two are related and which is the best career choice for aspiring bookkeepers.
  1. Do dividends affect working capital?

    Regardless of whether cash dividends are paid or accrued, a company's working capital is reduced. When cash dividends are ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do prepayments provide working capital?

    Prepayments, or prepaid expenses, are typically included in the current assets on a company's balance sheet, as they represent ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Does working capital include salaries?

    A company accrues unpaid salaries on its balance sheet as part of accounts payable, which is a current liability account, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is a profit and loss (P&L) statement and why do companies publish them?

    A profit and loss (P&L) statement, or balance sheet, is essentially a snapshot of a company's financial activity for ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do dividends affect the balance sheet?

    Dividends paid in cash affect a company's balance sheet by decreasing the company's cash account on the asset side and decreasing ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Do dividends go on the balance sheet?

    The only account recorded on the balance sheet, when dividends are declared and before they are paid out to a company's shareholders, ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  2. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  3. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  4. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  5. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  6. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!