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New technology is giving business the financial edge

Lauren McIlroy
Lauren McIlroy

The energy sector today is a constantly changing, evolving and complex landscape. It is continuously seeking to find an equilibrium in the turbulence of supply and demand, fossil fuels and renewables, and survival and growth. All of which is underpinned by fierce competition for investment.

In this ever-changing and volatile environment it is imperative for energy business leaders to take a step back and review what is actually important for their businesses. The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that were measured and reviewed six months ago may already be out-of-date.

Systems and processes designed within regimes where costs did not need to be as closely monitored as today may not easily be adapted to provide the new information needed. In an environment where the oil price is volatile or low it is vital that costs can be analysed beyond just the surface.

To remain lean and cost aware, it is essential that data is available in real time so that it can be reacted to quickly and efficiently.

The ability to report and analyse costs from energy operators, such as in Exploration and Production (E&P), as soon as they are billed ensures that accurate costs by well can be captured and analysed.

With the ability to track granular data in a simple and real-time format, business leaders and key decision-makers can be informed swiftly and easily of any potential issues.

The ability to track and record joint venture billings in real-time ensures that any billing queries can be raised with the operator within hours of receiving the bill, ensuring no cash leaves the business unnecessarily and time spent waiting for credits or refunds is reduced or eliminated.

Cashflow forecasting is an area which has always been difficult for businesses to perform efficiently and effectively in any sector; energy and E&P follows that trend.

The use of real-time information coupled with intelligent automation takes away some of the pain. This enables key stakeholders to make informed decisions based on accurate and timely information.

A Virtual Finance Function (VFF) is a bespoke solution from Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB) designed precisely for these corporate requirements. It is a technology-based solution that ensures that processes and procedures are automated, limiting paper-based and manual intervention processes. This frees-up the time of experienced staff to focus on running and growing the business.

Real-time information is a key part of the VFF, meaning that stakeholders and key management are able to make informed decisions and provide strategic direction to the business.

For high growth entities with limited personnel, a VFF solution ensures that all appropriate controls and polices are in place for accelerated development, funding opportunities or a future listing.

AAB has worked with energy operators and E&P companies to establish their finance function both in the UK and internationally. VFF ensures that energy operators and other businesses are able to concentrate on growing their business, knowing that all operational, finance and compliance needs are met. AAB deploys a specialist team who are dedicated to their client’s businesses, meaning that they have peace of mind that AAB are the finance team, virtually, remotely but above all, efficiently.

Lauren McIlroy is a director in the virtual finance function at Anderson Anderson & Brown

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