Corporate accounting has long been viewed as the custodian and curator of financial data. However, whether it's bringing the data together or distributing the financial results broadly, the financial consolidation process has long been an onerous drudgery of information assembly, validation, and reporting. The consolidation process for many corporate accounting groups is sometimes measured in months, often measured in weeks, and rarely measured in days.
The need for consolidation has long been an established accounting practice. Consolidated financial statements group together all the related companies that are under a single parent company's control. This gives the reader a single 'operational' view of the consolidated entity.
The financial stakeholders of the parent company, in particular the owners of the company, want and need to understand how management has allocated capital and resources into the various lines of business to generate a return. Consolidation eliminates all inter-group activities and balances to report transactions with external third parties as if the entire group of companies was operating as a single entity. Such a presentation excludes all the business one does with one's self.