The Ins and Outs of Booking Revenue in Upstream Accounting

The Ins and Outs of Booking Revenue in Upstream Accounting.

Booking revenue is rarely a straightforward process, but in the oil and gas industry, it’s particularly complex. From various purchasers with disparate contracts at multiple wells to the intricacies of allocations and valuations, upstream revenue accountants have their work cut out for them. While booking revenue may never be simple, however, it can be simplified. With a modern SaaS ERP system, oil and gas organizations can make booking revenue quicker, more efficient, and more accurate.

Traditionally, booking revenue is manual, time consuming, and error prone. Accountants receive statements from multiple purchasers in all manner of layouts with a range of data elements representing contract terms and variations. One purchaser may withhold taxes while another does not; the statement may be broken down into refined products or just a single stream; differing transportation and/or gathering fees may or may not be included. Accounting must convert all of that discordant data into a single format so it can be loaded into Excel or the revenue accounting system – a process that takes time and invites human error. 

Manual and/or disjointed revenue booking processes add time on the back end, too. After the initial data has been recorded, allocated, and gone through owner disbursement, the results must be fed into the general ledger system. This too requires someone to take hours out of their day to export and import the data and opens the door for mistakes to be made.

To prevent those mistakes, accounting teams typically double- and triple-check their numbers, which, of course, also adds time to the process – booking revenue can easily take an entire day or more, during which other elements of the ERP system are essentially offline. Even then, however, errors occur. When they do, it’s challenging to identify the source, and delays can easily turn into working nights and weekends to meet revenue distribution deadlines. If those deadlines aren’t met, organizations may need to address remedies with interest owners, or more seriously, face fines and penalties from regulatory agencies.

Fortunately, today’s technology can dramatically streamline and accelerate the revenue booking process. Modern ERP systems like W Energy bring both power and precision to booking revenue. Upgrades to the process include:

User Configurable Uploads

Instead of manually inputting data from differently formatted statements, W Energy can configure uploads based on users’ varying statements. You define how each statement should be loaded – Purchaser A has well data in column one, for instance, while Purchaser B has it in column 3 – then tell the system which format you’re loading. It then knows what information to pull from where, saving significant time and effort for the accounting team.

Complex Calculations

Standard revenue accounting systems frequently struggle to handle sophisticated calculations, forcing revenue accountants to do the work in Excel and feed it into the system manually (which defeats the purpose of the system.) With W Energy, you can build calculations of any complexity, like combining multiple values together and performing multiplication and division. The data elements are in the system, in the right place, on a consistent basis, ready for automated calculations that are accurate, reliable, and repeatable.

Data Transparency

Allocations and valuations have historically been a black box, making it very challenging to understand where a volume or dollar amount originated. Not with W Energy. Our proprietary Calculation Trace shows how end results were calculated, step by step, complete with purchaser details. This enables revenue accountants to perform true analysis: did the numbers vary from last month? If so, why? Did circumstances change or did we make a mistake? If we made a mistake, where? This transparency brings a level of visibility to the process that accounting has long  been missing.

Ability to Easily Rerun Processes

If a mistake is uncovered, the W Energy ERP makes it simple and quick to adjust inputs and rerun the process with correct data. Compared to systems that prevent you from rerunning revenue processes, this capability minimizes prior period adjustments, further reducing the time spent manually reviewing data.

Automatic Booking

With W Energy, adding revenue results to the general ledger is literally as easy as clicking a button. Accountants no longer need to manually export and import data, wait for systems to load, deal with crashes and timing out, etc. Instead, the fully automated platform simply sends it over and entries are created.

SaaS Platform

As a SaaS platform, W Energy enables users to perform complex calculations quickly and concurrently, generating calculation trace details at the same time as the actual calculation process. In addition, our SaaS infrastructure is scalable, so we can ramp up as necessary during heavier processing times and dial back when it’s slow. This translates to minimal system wide performance issues and the ability to use the entire ERP suite no matter what’s happening with revenue bookings.

Booking revenue is too important to trust to Excel. With a modern ERP system like W Energy, oil and gas companies can save time, better utilize resources, ensure accuracy, and run revenue  with complete 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.

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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 to see how we’re shaping the future of energy operations.

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