Modernize Strategic Financial Planning in Upstream Accounting with a Unified SaaS Platform
By Harrison Bedford
UPDATED: October 25, 2023
| 2 min read
Strategic financial planning is a cornerstone of business success. No matter your industry, it’s critical to be able to align resources with long-term goals and objectives. It’s also rarely easy. The dynamic nature of today’s economy ensures that whatever happened last year is not guaranteed to repeat itself in the future – and that’s especially true for oil and gas.
Upstream oil and gas organizations must not only contend with macro global trends and a shifting domestic landscape, they face uncertainties like commodity prices, variable capital costs, investment cycles, natural occurrences and more. These complexities make it more important than ever for upstream businesses to have the systems and processes in place to support robust, reliable, and real-time financial planning that they can trust.
What does that look like in practice? Let’s take a closer look at why a unified software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform is the bes tway to plan for the future with confidence.
Traditionally, strategic financial planning for oil and gas companies has taken a tremendous amount of time and data reconciliation. Gaining a clear, complete picture of what’s coming down the pike requires collecting and synthesizing data from across the business. For upstream companies, that means pulling together information primarily from production and accounting systems, but also from inputs like reserve and land systems. These disparate data sources must not only be checked against each other, they must be independently verified as representing the most recent and accurate data.
On the production side, for instance, operations teams must be able to see not only how much has come out of the ground, but how much is still in it. From oil volumes to reservoir management, they need to understand how production has trended historically to extrapolate how it will likely skew in the next three, six, nine, twelve months and beyond. In the back office system, accountants must perform similar assessments, examining past revenue generation to determine what can or should or will happen next.
The problem: because these data sets have typically come from different systems (and are only two of several potential data sources), business units from Accounting to IT end up spending more time gathering and cleaning the data than they do analyzing it. Whether they process their data manually using Excel or Access or through more sophisticated methods like a cloud-based data lake, it’s error-prone, resource-intensive, and time consuming.
The challenges with the disparate-data method of strategic financial planning don’t stop there. Oil and gas employees are retiring at record rates, with industry veterans heading off into the sunset and new hires coming on board. As experienced resources retire, they take institutional knowledge with them. Training new employees takes time, slows processes down further, and introduces additional room for mistakes. Plus, younger generations don’t want to work in Excel. Today’s workforce expects the same level of ease, access, speed, and transparency that they encounter in the applications they use in their day-to-day lives – and the old-school style of financial planning doesn’t cut it.
About W Energy
W Energy Software, headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, revolutionizes the oil and gas industry with its leading cloud-based energy platform. Made for upstream and midstream companies, our platform combines advanced software with deep industry knowledge, offering solutions spanning Field Service Management, Production, Accounting, Land, and Transportation. Countless energy professionals turn to W Energy to help their businesses adapt and grow. As the energy industry evolves, so does W Energy, continuously refining our platform to empower today’s needs and tomorrow’s advancements. Visit us at www.wenergysoftware.com to see how we’re shaping the future of energy operations.
Author: Harrison Bedford, Product Marketing Manager, W Energy Software
Harrison Bedford is the Product Marketing Manager for W Energy Software. He has over 10 years of experience working with customers leading multiple implementation projects, working with internal and external stakeholders on building multiple modules of the W Energy platform and working with customers to ensure that the W Energy platform is tailored to their business needs. Harrison is very involved with the University of Tulsa, where he earned a degree in MIS and Accounting.