This guide will help you set up and automate your multi-entity consolidation process in Causal.

If your business has multiple entities, you'll face a few challenges when reporting and planning:

  1. Converting data from each entity into your base currency
  2. Combining data from all entities into a single shared structure, e.g. a “Consolidated P&L”
  3. Creating reports (e.g. Budget vs Actuals) at the consolidated level

This guide will explain how you can do each of these things in Causal.

1. Connect your data

To connect your entities, go to the Data page and run through the connection flow.

Causal has no limits on the number of entities that you can connect to, and allows you to connect to a mixture of QuickBooks and Xero entities. (Note that each entity will require its own Data Connection, which are billed individually).

Once you’ve connected all your entities, you can move on to the next section.

2. Structure your model

2.1 Set up entity structure (optional)

(If you only care about seeing the consolidated numbers, then skip to the next section.)

If you want to see entity-level breakdowns, then you’ll need to set up this entity structure using Categories.

Create a Category called Entity and set its items to be the names of your business entities.

2.2 Set up model structure

2.2.1 Line items

The basic structure of your model is as follows:

Each “line item” in your consolidated model should have its own Variable, and each line item can represent a single GL account, or multiple GL accounts combined.

If you already have a reporting structure that you want to stick with, then you can recreate this in Causal.

If you don’t have a reporting structure in mind, then we recommend breaking out separate line items for anything that you’d realistically want to report or budget for, rather than breaking out every GL account. For example, the “Stationery supplies” GL account could be grouped together with the “Rent” and “Telephone and internet” accounts into a single “Office expenses” line item.

2.2.2 Entity breakdowns (optional)

If you set up the Entity category in 2.1, then you can now apply this category to each of your line items. This will let you see actuals and forecasts at the entity level, as well as the consolidated level.

Here’s how to apply the category to a variable:

  1. Hover over the variable
  2. Click on the ‘Categories’ icon
  3. Select the Entity category from the popup

2.3 Connect GL accounts

Once your basic model structure is in place, you can connect each line item to the appropriate GL accounts from your data sources.

To connect a row to data, simply click on the “+ Data” button (to the right of the ‘name’ column) while hovering over the row, and follow the steps in the popup. To find the right GL accounts, you can either search for them by name, or you can select an entity and click through the P&L/Balance Sheet structure to find it manually.

If you have entity breakdowns, then make sure to expand the variable into its entity rows first, and connect each entity row to the correct GL accounts.

3. Set up inter-company eliminations (optional)

If you have inter-company activity that you need to account for, then the way to do this will depend on whether you have specific GL accounts for inter-company transactions.

If you have inter-company GL accounts, then these will do the heavy lifting for you.

3.1 Without entity breakdowns

If you don’t have entity breakdowns in your model, then your work is already done — don’t include the inter-company accounts in your model, and your consolidated numbers will work out-of-the-box!

3.2 With entity breakdowns

If you do have entity breakdowns, you’ll need to manually reverse the inter-company balances from the different entities to ensure that they sum to zero. Here’s how you can do this:

  1. Add an “Inter-company Consolidation” item to your Entity category
  2. Open each of the variables that are connected to your inter-company GL accounts
  3. Manually set the “Inter-company Consolidation” item values of those variables to negate the entity values when summed

Causal’s automatic ‘sum’ aggregation should now result in a consolidated value of 0 for the inter-company variables.