What Is the Difference Between Consolidated Balance Sheets & Sector Balance Sheets?

by Robert Shaftoe ; Updated July 27, 2017
Balance sheets and graphs.

Consolidated and sector balance sheets both provide snapshots of net financial positions as of a selected point in time, balancing an asset base against the liabilities and equity that funded it. However, this is roughly the extent of what the two share in common. Consolidated balance sheets are issued for one company or entity, while sector balance sheets represent a far more macro-economic analysis and summary of an entire industry or market.

Consolidated Balance Sheet

A consolidated balance sheet combines the results of a parent company's subsidiaries into one comprehensive balance sheet. In doing so, eliminating entries are made to avoid double-counting the effects of inter-company transactions, such as when a parent company sells inventory to its subsidiary. The result is a classified balance sheet, which categorizes short- and long-term assets in ascending order by liquidity. Categories include current assets, property and equipment, other assets, current liabilities, other liabilities and shareholders' equity. If a financial statement, including the balance sheet, is audited, the accompanying footnotes typically disclose segment data in instances where individual subsidiaries or divisions were responsible for generating a material portion of the total combined entity's sales or operating income.

Sector Balance Sheet

A sector balance sheet summarizes a given economic sector, industry or market's asset base and liabilities. Unlike a consolidated balance sheet -- where shareholders' equity is attributable primarily to the company's common shareholders-- on a sector balance sheet, total assets minus total liabilities usually refers to the sector's total net asset position. Sector balance sheets tend to be more condensed than consolidated balance sheets, and often consist of current assets, including cash, property and equipment and workforce-related assets on the asset side, balanced by interest-bearing debt and taxes on the liability side. Consolidated balance sheets rarely contain workforce-related assets.

Photo Credits

  • Baoshan Zhang/iStock/Getty Images