Picking oil & gas accounting software may be one of the most important decisions you make for your company. I mean, after all, how else do you make business decisions if you don’t know how much money is flowing in and out of your business each day? Here are 10 steps to helping you select the best oil & gas accounting software package for your company.
1. Make a list of your company’s needs. Talk to everyone who will be using the software to get their input. Discuss everything from your preferences and what all you need the software to do to what reports you need and end-of-year tasks.
2. Make a list of all the potential oil & gas accounting software packages. This isn’t a list of just the best oil and gas accounting packages out there; it’s more of a collection of everything you can find so you have something to work with when you begin to get picky. List every software package you are aware of, have read about, seen online, heard from others, etc.
3. Set a timeframe for when you’d like to make a decision and for when you’d like to begin implementing a new solution. Being able to define how fast you’ll need to move through these research steps will help you in the long run when talking with software representatives and deciding when the best time to implement you system will be, depending on downtime at your office, end of year times, etc.
4. Decide what your budget range is and how flexible or inflexible it is. It’s never a good idea to eliminate products simply because of price unless it’s REALLY out of your range, but having a ballpark figure will help you as you begin narrowing down the oil and gas accounting packages.
5. Eliminate all oil and gas software packages that aren’t a good fit. This isn’t the first time you’ll see this step in here because of how important it is to keep evaluating throughout the entire process. Many eliminations will come easy at this point.
6. Collect information on your top 4 to 5 choices (or less if you’ve narrowed it down that far). You can get a wealth of information from the Internet by collecting and reading everything off of the company’s website, other user’s reviews and anything else you can dig up. Call or email the company to get any literature maybe not available online or to get any information you couldn’t find online. Talk to peers in your area to see what they use for their oil and gas accounting software and why.
Find out the answers to these questions during your research: Is the software user-friendly? Can it grow as our business grows? What after sale service and support is available? Will the software let me handle distributions and joint-interest billing the way I want to? Will I like how the reports look and how much data can be reported on?
7. Evaluate your choices again and eliminate any that don’t seem to be the best fit.
8. Review the software either through an evaluation or trial version of the software, or by going through an online demo of the software with the company. Make sure you have a list of any questions you want answered by the software company and get to see every aspect of the software that you’ll need to use. Seeing how the software works firsthand will help you determine if it’s user-friendly enough for your company as well.
9. Evaluate your choices again. At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of which oil and gas accounting software packages will work best for you.
10. Contact references for the software. Talk to a few of the clients in your area, similar to your profile or who use the same product to get an idea of what life is really like with the software.
After this step, you should be ready to take that next step with whichever software provider you’ve decided on. You’ve down your homework and all your research – so making the final decision should come easy.