Consolidated financial statements purport to report income, financial position, and cash flows of a parent company and its subsidiaries as if the group were a single company with one or more branches or divisions. Under the parent company theory, the consolidated entity perspective assumed in the consolidated income statement, the consolidated balance sheet, and the consolidated retained earnings statement differs from the consolidated entity perspective assumed in the consolidated cash flow statement. Even under extant expositions of the entity theory, the consolidated entity perspective assumed in the consolidated income statement, the consolidated balance sheet, and the consolidated cash flow statement differs from the consolidated entity perspective assumed in the consolidated retained earnings statement.

This paper develops a consistent consolidated entity perspective for all four consolidated financial statements. It demonstrates that under the entity theory, consolidated retained earnings includes the separate equities of both the parent company stockholders and the minority interest. As such, both elements of retained earnings should be reported in the consolidated retained earnings statement to make it comparable to the consolidated retained earnings statement of companies without subsidiaries or with only wholly owned subsidiaries. The effect on certain financial ratios of public companies may be substantial. The paper also demonstrates that for purchased subsidiaries, minority interest in consolidated retained earnings includes unamortized write‐ups of identifiable net assets and goodwill arising from purchase‐type business combinations.

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