Energy Water Solutions outsourced their finance and accounting processes to ensure business agility
Energy Water Solutions (EWS) is a total water management firm providing cost-saving solutions to oil and gas producers across the entire life of lease. EWS has provided innovative produced water recycling, disposal and evaporation solutions in basins across the country.
With an aggressive vision to treat the world’s produced water and make it an incremental source for energy and agriculture, Energy Water Solutions (EWS) helps oil and gas producers lower costs, while ensuring good environmental stewardship. As the price of oil has fluctuated dramatically in recent years, so has the water management firm’s business. Fortunately, EWS made the smart decision at its inception to rely on back-office outsourcing for all their finance functions in order to minimize overhead and stay focused on its core competency.
“From the very beginning, we wanted to conserve as much capital as possible for building our water recycling equipment, as opposed to spending it on operating expenses like establishing a data center with server infrastructure, or hiring a bunch of IT and finance staff,” said Bill Weathersby, chairman and CEO of EWS. “At the same time, we knew that we’d be raising a lot of money quickly, so we needed experienced finance resources and a scalable, turnkey ERP solution that could grow with us over the long term. The combination of our trusted finance outsourcing partner, AcctTwo, and their flexible, cloud-based ERP software has proven to be a perfect fit for our company.”
AcctTwo recommended a cloud-based ERP solution, and helped EWS get its key financial workflows automated on the system – including accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash reconciliation, book-to-bill, purchasing, capital allocation, depreciation amortization, expense management, and the monthly financial close. By establishing these modern, efficient processes, the company was able to weather major market changes without laying off or adding back any back-office staff. Instead, EWS simply dialed up or down AcctTwo’s managed accounting resources as needed.
Weathersby noted that the company’s day-to-day accounting transactions kept running just as smoothly when the business downsized as oil prices dropped to $30 per barrel, and later started growing again. He attributes this to the AcctTwo team’s forward-thinking approach to implementing ERP. “We actually started with the endgame in mind and process-mapped backwards to prepare for growth. Now, AcctTwo are always a step head of us, and we’ve been able to contract and expand with no growing pains,” he shared. “All of our finance processes just work, because we’re basically running our business on the AcctTwo platform. It manages the meat and potatoes of our accounting with minimal manual work at a very reasonable cost.”
EWS appreciates that its field service operators in rural locations can easily enter expenses into Sage Intacct in the cloud from wherever they are on their mobile tablets, eliminating the need for IT support or additional technology costs. The company also pulls all payroll, inventory, and purchasing journal entries from its outsourced payroll and manufacturing systems into Intacct or visibility across the business. And as EWS invents new products, Intacct is flexible enough to support various bills of materials and many different part vendors.
The company’s CFO prepares all of EWS’ key reports in Sage Intacct, including standard monthly financials, quarterly board reports, and custom reports that show labor per project, spending per department, profit by customer, by location, and by region, as well as competitive pricing insights. Since Intacct’s general ledger uses dimensions that capture the business context of each transaction, EWS can analyze granular business performance by filtering, grouping, and organizing data across each of these drivers without having to manage a complex chart of accounts. As a result, the management team can monitor the pulse of the business in real-time and make decisions that drive profitability.
“With AcctTwo, we’re freed up to proactively manage our capital expenditures – something that’s especially important for our maintenance
department, which relies on expensive heavy equipment,” said Weathersby. “We can see at any moment in time whether our operators are
spending over their forecasted budget, and can make strategic adjustments or negotiate smarter to manage our cost of capital so there are
EWS also leverages the visibility AcctTwo provides during frequent operational deep dive calls with investor groups. Their CFO can quickly gather a wide range of important data points, such as return on capital, asset tracking, headcount, and more, to answer any questions the board has. And at the CEO-level, Weathersby can easily access macro performance indicators via Intacct, like EWS’ overall gross margin, cost of goods, and total number of clients, for an at-a-glance view of the health of the business.