As the risk of recession is rising across the globe, oil and gas businesses are facing a pressing need to streamline their operations. And their financial management systems lie at the core of this effort. TRG has identified four criteria of advanced accounting systems for upstream oil companies.
4 Must-haves for Oil and Gas Accounting Software
1. Going Cloud
It seems increasingly clear that cloud computing is the future of enterprise applications. Despite unfounded scepticism about reliability and security issues, cloud-based solutions continue to thrive.
For oil and gas companies, cloud computing offers a much more flexible and manageable subscription-based cost structure. There is no hefty upfront software licence fee. Plus, investment in hardware and other infrastructure is kept at a minimal level. Therefore, capex is sharply reduced.
Freeing up IT resources is another benefit of cloud computing that oil and gas executives will find especially attractive during the belt-tightening period. When a financial management system is in the cloud, there is little need for dedicated IT staff dealing with system administration issues, most of which are taken care by the vendor.
One example is TRG’s Infor SunSystems Cloud, which was first launched in 2016 on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Microsoft Azure with the same features as on-premises Infor SunSystems application. Apparently, one of the biggest benefits of SunSystems Cloud is to eliminate the problem of housing and maintaining computer hardware and the associated infrastructure. Besides, there are certain benefits that SunSystems Cloud offers:
- Ease of use: The full functionality of SunSystems including dashboards and Q&A reporting, invoice printing, document management etc. is delivered through web browsers.
- Accessibility: SunSystems Cloud can be accessed from different locations or even different countries and in real-time. Moreover, it is accessible via various devices such as PC, MacBook, Android or iOS.
- Scalability: SunSystems Cloud is designed and fine-tuned to scale seamlessly for the growing needs and changing landscape of business.
- Security: SunSystems Cloud applies AWS Cloud Security and Qualys Vulnerability Management in order to protect financial information from theft or data leakage.
2. Configurability and Quick Implementation
Instead of spending time and money on customisation for the accounting software, oil companies should opt for solutions that can quickly be adapted to their specific requirements. With Infor SunSystems, for instance, you can easily configure the system for different types of oil and gas businesses, such as joint venture accounting.
The solution’s configurability ensures its speedy implementation and quick response to market changes with minimal IT involvement. Additionally, its flexibility in determining procurement processes and its powerful joint venture cost allocation capability make SunSystems the chosen financial management system of industry leaders like Shell, BP and Exxon Mobil.
Businesses in the oil and gas sector often require strong support for international growth. SunSystems can support a transaction with at least four currencies. The number of currencies that can be stored within the system is unlimited, providing automated currency conversion when entering a transaction.
3. Easy-to-Use Analysis Tools and Real-Time Reporting
Gaining real-time insights into key financial and operational information is critical. Built-in multidimensional analytics allows you to easily keep track of key performance indicators such as lifting cost per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE), working capital interest and profit per BOE. You can customise these indicators to better match your business changes.
The oil and gas industry has highly complex reporting requirements – local statutory reporting, management reporting, joint venture/joint interest billing (JV/JIB) reporting, AFE reporting and tax reporting. They can be simplified significantly when you have multiple views of your data from a single source of truth, i.e. a unified ledger.
As its name suggests, a SunSystems’ unified ledger enables real-time posting across payables, receivables and ledger, with no reconciliation required. It does not rely on a traditional fixed structure of account codes. Instead, it uses a simple chart of accounts plus a range of user-definable analysis dimensions that have independent coding structures – much like an OLAP cube.
As a result of this flexible structure, reporting can be configured to meet the requirements of both operators and non-operators, and create cost centre statements on both a nominal and logical basis. Reports can easily be published and shared in any format across multiple departments.
4. Industry-Specific Features
Infor SunSystems for Oil & Gas is widely deployed among upstream oil companies because of its many industry-specific features such as:
- Joint venture cost statements, joint interest billing with cash call statements
- Reports on performance measurements like $ per meter drilled, $ per barrel produced, and margin analysis on pipeline throughput
- Units of measure (UOM) conversions
- Tracking of authorisations for expenditures
- Pre-built KPIs like lifting cost/profit per BOE
- Inventory movements and transfers
If your business requires more advanced budgeting, financial forecasting and consolidation, and strategic planning capabilities, you can always leverage the SunSystem’s integration with Infor Dynamic Enterprise Performance Management (Infor d/EPM).
Case study: Singapore Petroleum improves budgeting with Infor d/EPM (formerly known as Infor Corporate Performance Management)
For more information, please download our Infor SunSystems Brochure or request a software Demo today and find out how we can help your business.
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