Sales Allocations in Upstream Accounting: How to Increase Speed, Ease, and Accuracy 

Sales Allocations in Upstream Accounting

Navigating sales allocations in upstream accounting can seem like working through the world’s most complex sideways organizational chart. With various owners who own various percentages of various numbers of wells, the opportunities for errors are endless. Sales allocation calculations aren’t just complicated, however – they’re critical. Oil and gas operators must have an accurate, timely, and reliable way to allocate sales or face significant financial consequences. 

Let’s take a look at why outdated methods for sales allocation in upstream accounting no longer work and how modern SaaS upstream accounting software transforms the allocation process from a burden to a breeze. 

Why manually allocating sales distributions is bad for business 

Successful sales allocations start with current and correct production data. In an ideal world (or with a field data gathering platform like W Energy), that data would exist digitally in real-time. More often, it comes in piecemeal through a wide range of sources, from paper tickets to last month’s proportions to statements from purchasers and third-party production managers.  

Upstream accounting teams not only face the challenge of receiving this data at different times and in assorted formats, they’re typically tasked with processing the data manually. Calculations are frequently done in Excel. Sometimes the final spreadsheet is uploaded to an accounting system for the last leg of distribution, sometimes not, but in either case, the process is intricate, error-prone, and time-consuming. Allocating sales in traditional ERP systems isn’t much better, with such clunky interfaces that Excel is actually faster and easier.  

There are a number of implications to the time and energy it takes to run sales allocations manually. It’s easy to make mistakes, but hard to identify where the mistake happened. This introduces delays that result in working nights and weekends, or worse, distributing payments late or inaccurately, leading to PPAs in following months. In turn, this negatively impacts business financials as well as relationships with owners. 

Simplify and streamline sales allocations with W Energy 

The answer to these challenges: technology. With the power of cloud-based upstream accounting software like W Energy, sales allocations can be determined with speed, ease, and accuracy.  

The W Energy platform enables upstream accounting teams to: 

  • Compile all data sets into a single system, regardless of format. Stop wasting time customizing and reorganizing data into a specific layout in order to upload it. With W Energy, purchaser statements and other data sources can be loaded in whatever format they’re received.
  • Easily visualize allocation networks. W’s robust allocation capabilities make it fast and simple to compile, allocate back, and trace allocations with a visual representation of allocation networks. You can clearly see each step in the process, so you can trace production numbers from the sales point to the well.  
  • Perform multi-tiered allocations in one pass. W Energy is built for the complexities of multi-tiered allocations – a unique capability in the upstream accounting software industry. Instead of manually performing multiple iterations, the platform can intuitively process as many levels as necessary in one run. 
  • Catch issues and errors and rerun with ease. If everything isn’t allocated, you can see where volumes were not allocated, and the system provides easy-to-interpret alerts and messages pointing the user to the issue. Once the issue is addressed, it’s a click of a button to rerun the allocation process and review your new result set. 
  • Streamline government reporting. In addition to improving distributions, having an accurate and timely allocation process helps upstream accounting teams file taxes and reports more quickly, easily, and accurately, down to each individual well.  
  • Scale the allocation process. As your business moves toward larger and more complex allocation networks and requirements, such as through M&A, the SaaS W Energy platform grows with it. It’s simple to spin resources up and down to match the evolving needs of the organization. 

Allocating sales doesn’t have to be an arduous week-long process. W Energy’s SaaS upstream accounting software replaces spreadsheets and calculators with modern functionality that ensures that the right people are paid the right amount at the right time – and that your business can operate with confidence.  

Author: Harrison Bedford, Product Marketing Manager

Harrison Bedford is the Product Marketing Manager for W Energy. 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.

Connect with me on LinkedIn