Category Archives for Oil & Gas Accounting

#004: How to Save Big By Paying Attention to Sales and Use Taxes with Brent Watson

In today’s episode, Brent Watson, Principal at SALTA, PLLC, is here talking to us about the benefits and savings of being really attentive to sales and use taxes. Brent walks us through how operators can avoid overpaying on taxes, what to avoid and how one small operator saved over $275,000 by hiring a consulting firm to manage their taxes and review their purchases.

Highlights:

1:44 Why should oil and gas well operators care about sales and use tax?

6:13 Differences in tax situations by different states

8:58 Recouping Sales and Use Taxes

10:27 The greatest opportunities to save on sales and uses taxes

11:43 House Bill 430 in Ohio

15:08 Exemptions allowed in some states like Colorado, Kansas, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania

17:27 A Limited exemption in Louisiana

18:50 Taxes on completion activities versus operational activities

22:47 What to look for when processing invoices

25:17 When you should bring in an outside consultant

About Brent Watson:

Brent is the Principal at SALTA, PLLC, which he founded in September, 2017 after leaving Grant Thornton LLP. Brent has 31 years of practice in sales tax, property tax, and tax incentive programs. Brent has specialized in working with clients to improve compliance through educating personnel and establishing or improving sales tax processes. Brent has established rapport with taxing authorities to effectively resolve tax issues on behalf of clients especially in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

He launched the non-income tax group at Tyson Foods in 1990, then led that group for ten years. Brent has fourteen years of experience as a consultant and has extensive experience in the manufacturing, oil and gas, construction, and multi-state retailing industries. Brent has taught seminars for Lorman Education Services, is a frequent speaker for the Oklahoma Society of CPAs and COPAS; and has authored numerous articles in the OSCPA Focus magazine as well as the COPAS Accounts magazine. Brent is a certified Avalara implementation partner.

Brent is a member of the Institute for Professionals in Taxation, Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Tulsa Chapter of the Oklahoma Society.

About SherWare, Inc.

If you’re enjoying this episode, please subscribe to our pdcasot and share with a friend! We also love ratings and reviews on Apple podcasts.

SherWare creates software to simplify your accounting needs so you have more time to do the things that matter. We serve independent oil and gas operators, accountants and investors with a platform to manage their distributions and joint-interest billings on a platform — and we’re the only software on the market that can integrate with your QuickBooks company.

Click here to watch a demo of the software in action right now.

About COPAS:

COPAS provides expertise for the oil and gas industry through the development of Model Form Accounting Procedures, publications, and education. We are a forum for the active exchange of ideas which result in innovative business and accounting solutions.

Find a society near you.

#001: Introducing the Oil & Gas Accounting Podcast

Phil Sherwood: Welcome to the initial episode of the Oil and Gas Accounting Podcast. I’m your host, Phil Sherwood, along with my co host, Tom Wierman. Hey Tom, how’s it going today?

Tom Wierman: Great, Phil, how are you? It’s good to hear from you.

Phil: It’s good to hear from you. It’s weird that we can’t get together these days. Everything seems to be virtual. But that works really good when you’re recording a podcast, right?

Tom: It does. It really does. You know, we have not really had this situation before. But I think we’re adapting pretty well. It’s been a few months now since we’ve had to go through this. And I think we’ve just like anything else, just make it work.

Phil: Yeah, I agree. So as we get started, one of the questions you may be asking is why a podcast on oil and gas accounting? Well, first and foremost, we want to bring valuable accounting information to the folks who deal with oil and gas accounting on a daily basis. 

If you’re a CPA, an accountant, bookkeeper, an office manager, or if you’re an oil and gas operator that’s doing the accounting yourself, you are who this podcast is for. There’s so much happening in the world today, especially in oil and gas, that affects the accounting function and we want to be a place that you can come to for relevant and timely information on the different accounting issues that you’re facing. 

The second question you may have is Who are you guys? Who is Phil Sherwood and Tom Wierman? And that’s another great question. Tom, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

Tom: Sure. So I’m the current COPAS Executive Director. I started my role in March of 2012. And I’ve been executive director since then. So my day to day responsibility is really the Member Association. Managing the organization for the Council of Petroleum Accountant Societies. And so before that, I actually worked in industry, I was at Koch Industries for 30 years. I ended my career there. I have probably done the majority of my time in EMP, exploration and production; I was the controller. 

I served other functions in that particular company as well. I ended my career in financial reporting for Flint Hills Resources. But, you know, 30 years is a long time to see a lot of different issues. And, you know, things are certainly complex. They got more complex every day as we went through this, but I think, you know, just just the opportunity for me to have experienced what some of the people who we hope will hear this podcast are going through, you know, I actually had an opportunity to do some of those things. My role has changed certainly now, where I’m at, but I think I even as the executive director of COPAS I can bring some perspective to this

Phil: Okay, and I’m Phil Sherwood, and I’ve been involved in oil and gas accounting for 28 years now. I started out consulting with small companies and helping them set up their accounting systems. And around the same time, I helped a couple of oil and gas operators set up their offices with personal computers and accounting software. And after trying to get their work done with the accounting systems available at that time, they asked if I could write some accounting software for oil and gas. And so that’s how I started with oil and gas and accounting. 

But over the last 28 years, I’ve learned a lot of accounting. And I’ve learned a lot of oil and gas by helping hundreds of independent oil and gas operators run their companies by providing the software that they use to do that. So as far as the podcast goes, I’ll be coming at the topics we cover from a systems perspective, digging into how things work and how to set up the systems to make them work. Tom, what’s going to be your question?

Tom: I’m clearly coming at it from an accounting perspective, you know, just different things. Some of it will be how we go about answering accounting questions when we don’t know. 

So for example, the first topic that we’ll have coming up in our podcast is building a knowledge network. We’ve got a great guest coming on that will help us really understand how he went about building his knowledge network, but more importantly a very recent example where he saved his company thousands of dollars, just because he had a knowledge network and was able to draw on that. 

Recently too, we’ve had the negative oil price go negative. I’ve ever seen that in my career. I’ve seen it go really low but I’ve never seen it go negative. So we’re going to try to get somebody on to have an opportunity to discuss what does that really mean? You know, how is accounting affected by the negative price and really what does negative oil price mean? 

Some other things that I could think of that we’ll talk about sales and use tax, certainly something where you can save your company some money if you really understand that. Severance tax issues, legislative regulatory issues, understanding a lease and what’s in a lease? What are the lease basics? 

This is self serving a little bit, maybe we’ll talk about COPAS energy education and some of the things that my organization brings to the table in terms of training. The Accredited Petroleum Accountant Exam will be a topic. 

We’ll talk about some other things too, all the way down from, you know, what does the land man do? What does roughneck do? Finding a drilling location, drilling a well, some of those kinds of things? So, really trying to bring some perspective to that for our listeners.

Phil: Yeah and then from the system side, you know, some of the things we’ll be covering are some practical tips, like, digging into Excel, what are some great tips for using Excel that will increase your productivity by 10 times, looking at some of the different software that’s available to help the oil and gas accountant. 

We’ll dig into those and interview some folks who are using those, and even some folks who are running those companies that built that software. SoI think you’re gonna really enjoy the topics that we’ve got coming your way.

Tom: I’m really excited about what you’re going to be bringing from a system perspective, just because those are the kinds of things I like to do. I mean that that was a lot of what I did was extract information from the system and really get it into an Excel spreadsheet and kind of tell a story. And so you know, sometimes the system might be a little limited on how you can get information. But I’m anxious to hear what you have to say.

Phil: Yeah, I think we could both nerd out on data and how data can tell stories. And we probably will at times, so just be prepared. But it’s going to be a fun time. And like Tom said, there are some really great, great topics, some really great guests we’re going to have on here that are experts in their field, and they’ll be bringing some relevant information that you can use right away. 

So one thing we’d like to ask of you to start with is if you could, and would just go subscribe when iTunes you can go subscribe to the podcast. And after you’ve heard a few episodes, give us a review because reviews and subscriptions will help us get up in the rankings and help us get more listeners and help get the message out to more folks.

Tom: Certainly, you know, send us a topic that you’d like to hear about. We’ll find somebody that will come on and discuss that.

Phil: That’s a great point. Yeah. If you have any suggestions for topics we should cover, be sure to let us know. And our website is oilandgasaccountingpodcast.com. That’s where you can find us and find the show notes. And we’ll have show notes after each episode. 

You can also find us wherever you listen to podcasts. We’re going to be on iTunes, we’re on Stitcher, we’re on Google. We’re on Spotify. So wherever you listen to your podcast, look us up the Oil and Gas Accounting Podcast and there will be. Thanks for listening. Tom, I’ll talk to you next time.

Tom: Thank you so much. Have a great day, Phil.

About SherWare:

SherWare creates software to simplify your accounting needs so you have more time to do the things that matter. We serve independent oil and gas operators, accountants and investors with a platform to manage their distributions and joint-interest billings on a platform — and we’re the only software on the market that can integrate with your QuickBooks company.

Click here to watch a demo of the software in action right now.

About COPAS:

COPAS provides expertise for the oil and gas industry through the development of Model Form Accounting Procedures, publications, and education. We are a forum for the active exchange of ideas which result in innovative business and accounting solutions.

Find a society near you.

New Podcast Launches in October!

Back at the beginning of COVID-19, we approached Tom Wierman, executive director of COPAS about launching a new podcast we’ve been thinking about for years.

The premise was to actually start the conversations that our clients were having with our support team, each other and their offices.

We’ve been in the oil and gas industry, specifically handling the accounting side, for each more than 28 years. 

And we noticed that no one has the conversations that actually help oil and gas accounting professionals do their job better.

So we decided to change that and start to discuss the things and common issues and questions we know our clients and partners ask, and that you may be wondering yourself. 

The new podcast is expected to launch on Monday, October 5(fingers crossed COVID doesn’t delay our partnership with Apple Podcasts!) and you’ll be able to find us on any podcast platform that you listen to (like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Pandora, Soundcloud, Audible, iHeartRadio and more). 

Episodes release every Monday and we’ll send out the direct link to new episodes, along with a brief blurb about the topic and guest. 

If you have a topic you’d like us to tackle, know of great guest or would like to be featured yourself, please hit reply and let us know!

Thanks for your support. 

Sincerely,
Phil Sherwood & Tom Wierman

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