What are the differences / benefits of consolidated posting and detail posting?
There are two places to setup consolidated or detail posting:
- In each subledger under Setup / GL Integration.
- In the GL. Each account can be designated to be posted to in detail or consolidated.
Subledger Consolidation: Under Setup / GL Integration, there is a setting 'consolidate GL batches' and this setting determines in what format the subledger transactions are sent into the GL batch listing for posting in the GL. The options are:
- Do not consolidate - all detail is sent to the GL. Each transaction in the subledger is exactly duplicated (1:1 ratio) in the general ledger. This setting produces the most number of transactions in the GL, making the GL quite large, but it is also the best setting when trying to reconcile a sub-ledger to the GL specifically because there will be an individual GL entry for every sub-ledger transaction.
- Consolidate by Post Seq., Account and Fiscal Period - at the time of posting, the transactions in the posting sequence, are grouped by account and fiscal period and sent to the GL. If only one fiscal period is referenced in the AR transactions, only 1 journal entry is created in the GL batch list. There is one GL entry created for each fiscal period. The date of the GL entries is the last day of the fiscal period (regardless of what dates are in the individual AR entries) and the Description field identifies the entry as 'CONSOL. by AR on 1/25/2016', referencing when the AR batch was posted which is based on the Sage signon date. Depending on when the AR transactions are being sent to the GL (during posting or on request), this will change the resulting consolidated entry in the GL. Sending the AR postings to the GL 'On Request Using Create G/L Batch Icon' will mean that all types of entries (invoices, payments, adjustments, revaluations) will be consolidated into one entry. If the setting is set to 'During Posting', this will separate the types of transactions simply because only one type of transaction can be posted at a time.
- Consolidate by Post seq., Account, Fiscal Period and Source - this is very similar to the option just described above, except that in the event the sub-ledger transactions are sent to the GL 'On Request Using Create G/L Batch Icon', and all types of transactions are sent over at the same time, the entries in the G/L will be separated by the source code (type of transaction). This means that AR invoices, AR receipts, and AR Adjustments will each have their own GL entry.
The benefits of consolidation is to reduce the number of transactions in the G/L, thereby reducing its size. However, this does make reconciliation between the sub-ledger and the GL more difficult (not impossible, just difficult), because there is no reference, in the G/L entry, to the posting sequences from the sub-ledger that have been consolidated together in the entry. Therefore, good record-keeping and procedures will need to be in place if someone wants to know or track specifically which AR (for example) entries were consolidated into a specific GL entry. Also note that if sub-ledger entries are consolidated, the ability to drilldown to the source entry from the GL is lost. This function is only available when the detail is sent.
GL Account Consolidation: Under GL Accounts / Accounts - there is a setting 'Post to Account' which determines how the entries in a batch will be posted to the account. The options are:
- Detail - all debit and credit details are kept and posted individually. They can be seen on the GL Transactions Listing report.
- Consolidated - All debits and credits for the same account within the entries in the posting sequence will be combined into one value for that account. The posting sequence will itemize the individual entries, but the value in the account being consolidated will be a sum. There is a small 'c' beside all the values in the posting sequence report that identify them as being consolidated. The description on the line item of the consolidated value is 'CONSOLIDATED POSTING'. The date will be on the last day of the period, regardless of the dates on the original entries. Drilldown to these consolidated entries show a one-line entry. In order to see the detail behind the entry, the posting sequence will need to be printed. Note - optional fields in the entries are not saved when consolidated posting is in place.
- Prohibited - this option disables the account in the GL. No posting to this account is allowed in the GL. This does not stop posting to this account from any of the sub-ledgers, however, the transaction will fail at the GL level.
It is possible to have all transactions posted in Detail, and then once all reconciliations have been completed, to consolidate the account(s) transactions after the fact. This can be done in GL Periodic Processing / Consolidate Posted Trans.
It may be beneficial to use a combination of consolidation / detail settings to get the desired result. For example, the AR transactions may be sent over in detail, and the GL account for taxes payable may be set to consolidated. This allows the AR trade account to be effectively reconciled, because all the detail is available, but the Tax Payable account is significantly reduced in size because those amounts are consolidated.