This treatise is intended for those who are interested in the compilation and presentation of Consolidated Statements, which disclose the trading results and the financial position of a group of companies. The aim of the writer has been to explore methods which would simplify the actual preparation of these Statements. The novel methods suggested are suitablç,not only to the practising accountant or the secretary who may be required to make up Consolidated Statements for a large and complex group, but also to the student for examination purposes. In the many examples given the same designations for members of the group have been used to avoid confusion to the reader, while diagrams are freely employed to assist him in grasping the essential facts of each group under consideration.
The original intention of the writer was to deal only with the more complex groups, but it was soon realised that the con anal methods of preparing Consolidated Statements, as outlined in accountancy test books, were not adaptable and accordingly, after much trial and error, an entirely new method was evolved. It was also found that the new method, when introduced to simple groups, made the preparation of Consolidated Statements simple and straight forward. The treatise was therefore enlarged so as to deal with the subject from the beginning. Chapters I. to VI. (omitting perhaps the section in Chapter II. dealing with Preference Shares and the gearing of the share capital structure in the valuation of shares) form really a treatise in themselves, suitable for the student who may be studying the subject in order to acquire sufficient knowledge to pass a professional examination of one of the accountancy bodies. Chapters VII. and onwards (Part 2) deal with the more difficult points and the larger group, which may be encountered in practice.
It is fully realised that the method of treating certain matters is controversial. Up to date, however, it cannot be said that any definite rules have been laid down in regard to the constitution of Consolidated Balance Sheets and Consolidated Profit and Loss Accounts. As Consolidated Statements now form part of the annual accounts of a company, it has seemed to the writer and many of his colleagues that the moment is ripe for a more general agreement upon the accounting principles adopted and the methods used. This treatise is offered as a contribution towards that end.