These changes meant that their existing accounting software was no longer fit for purpose, and they needed a solution enabling them to manage their multi-currency, multi-company operator requirements going forward.
Impact were undergoing a series of organisational changes, including being operator in a number of new regions, as a result of acquiring assets in the African continental margins. They acknowledged that their existing finance solution, a basic bookkeeping system, would no longer be fit for purpose. They could forsee gaps in terms of new requirements as a result of the changes, such as challenges with the new reporting requirements. The functionality of their existing system was not specifically designed for oil & gas, and would struggle to accommodate company growth and company structure changes. The lack of ability to capture the required information led to difficulties in being able to report easily and efficiently.
With assets in the African continental margins, it was becoming critical that they were able to provide financial information in currencies other than sterling. Impacts functional currency had changed to dollars, and there would be the requirement for financial reporting within each of the countries in which they were operating. Any solution would have to be able to work seamlessly with multiple currency reporting.
Many of the day to day financial operations were reliant on manual processes. As the organisation was growing, this time commitment was starting to become unmanageable. For example, there was no existing budget and variance functionality within the existing accounting system, meaning the creation of actuals v budgets required a download of information onto a spreadsheet, and then manual work to create the comprehensive management accounts required. Also, with assets being operational, there will be a need to account for Joint Venture partnerships - with their legacy system, manual calculations for billable, recoverable and non-recoverable costs would have been a time consuming process.
Impact had initially spent a number of months researching systems and potential suppliers, during which time SunSystems version 6.2 was identified as the best fit system solution. On meeting Progressive, Impact liked the depth of knowledge and experience of both SunSystems functionality and oil & gas that we bring, and felt our offering was the best fit for their organisation.
Progressive provided a consultant on site to work full time with Impact’s small finance team. This enabled us to really get under the skin of Impact’s requirements and challenges, working with key individuals to ensure that knowledge was transferred to key users throughout the project.
During the implementation, Impact continued to evolve as an organisation. New assets were coming on board, reporting requirements were being expanded, and the corporate structure changed. With all of these changes, Progressive were able to make recommendations for how the solution could be flexed to accommodate these new requirements, delivering a solution for exactly what was needed.
Many of Impact’s existing processes were replicated with the new solution, enabling them to work in the same way, just faster. However, some more complex processes had to be developed as part of the implementation, to accommodate the ongoing organisational changes, such as managing the payments of invoices for all entities from a single company, and the intercompany transactions required for this.
One of Impact’s key requirements was to have access to their historical data within the new SunSystems solution. Progressive and Impact worked together to ensure that all of the data they required from their existing system was available and of good quality. Due to the limitations of coding analysis in their legacy system, Impact were willing to invest time to ensure that any data input into the new system was of good quality. We extracted the data from their existing system, and the Impact finance team then checked and amended the data where required, before it was mapped and migrated to the new live SunSystems accounting solution.
The solution was developed to accommodate multi-currency, something Progressive have implemented for many oil & gas companies. We configured SunSystems to report in multiple currencies at a transactional level, enabling Impact to provide accurate numerical information and country reporting, whilst reducing the amount of effort and manual work to achieve this.
Progressive maintain ongoing contact and support with Impact – we have not just dropped the system and run. We continue to support the team with report updates, ad hoc questions and changes as the company grows. In addition, we will spend time with the team to review processes to identify any potential efficiencies and improvements.
Outcomes & Benefits for Impact
Quantifying the benefits of Impact’s SunSystem implementation is difficult, given how the company has changed and grown since they started working with Progressive. It is clear that the finance team are able to do significantly more in the time they have. They are now completing monthly reporting cycles – something they were unable to do before, and are able to do revaluations, management and asset reporting on a monthly basis. Additionally, the time spent on migrating the historical data from the previous systems meant they were able to deliver their 2014 reporting from SunSystems.
A key benefit is that they now have quality data coming straight from the system, with little need for manual work to get the right data into the right format. Customised reports are produced, and they can easily fulfil key requirements for now and the future, such as Join Venture accounting and multi-currency reporting.
Although it is a small finance team, Impact have been able to work with the new solution independently in a short space of time. Working with Progressive, being hands on throughout the implementation ensured that knowledge transfer was ongoing, plus the workbooks developed have provided invaluable guides to using the system on a day to day basis.