Proportional Consolidation

What is 'Proportional Consolidation'

Proportional consolidation, in accounting for joint ventures, is a method of including items of income, expense, assets and liabilities in proportion to the firm's percentage of participation in the venture. The proportional consolidation method was initially favored by IFRS accounting standards, though it also allows use of the equity method. Under U.S. GAAP, a firm's interest in a joint venture is accounted for using the equity method. Recently, IFRS standards have begun to converge with those of GAAP on this matter.

BREAKING DOWN 'Proportional Consolidation'

The issue of accounting for joint ventures has been a matter of ongoing discussion in the movement to resolve significant differences between IFRS and U.S. GAAP. Proponents of proportional consolidation argue that this method provides more detailed information, since it breaks out the performance of the joint venture interest into its component parts. The equity method is favored by others, who feel that it is a simpler and more straightforward approach of accounting for outside investments.