A Guide to Navigating Acquisitions and Divestitures for Oil and Gas Accountants

As you already know, many companies in the oil and gas industry take part in divesting and acquiring new assets to increase profitability. While this can be very lucrative in many cases, it can lead to some tough conversations and decisions for the accounting team and other departments. This guide will help you feel more prepared when the topic of acquisitions and divestitures arises.

How Acquisitions and Divestitures Affect Professionals in the Oil and Gas Industry

Acquisitions and divestitures can put the professionals who work for the companies on either side of the transaction in a precarious situation. When a company divests an asset to another company, the former will typically require certain employees to make transitions alongside the asset. Naturally, this may require relocation, position changes, new systems or processes and more – which the employees may or may not be okay with.

However, acquisitions and divestitures do not just affect the professionals at the divesting company. The employees at the company acquiring the new asset may or may not appreciate the change in direction that their company is heading in. 

Although the situations above are more relevant to c-suite decision makers and HR personnel, it is still important for accounting teams to be aware of what could come of acquisitions and divestitures so that they can effectively weigh the pros and cons while meeting with other departments.

It is also crucial for accounting professionals to be prepared for an acquisition and divestiture because it could directly affect their employment and position. 

How You Can Prepare Yourself for an Acquisition or Divestiture

The best way to prepare yourself for an acquisition or divestiture is to know that the possibility of one happening is likely and that you need to be ready for it. The following tips will help you be more prepared if or when the time comes.

Perform Your Due Diligence

Many accounting professionals wait until after they have been laid off or have quit their jobs before they start searching for a new position. Doing this can put you at a massive disadvantage. If a major acquisition or divestiture takes place, then there are likely going to be many accountants in need of a new job. This will lead to fierce competition, and pay rates will likely be much lower.

Thus, if the possibility of an acquisition or divestiture is looming, then you need to do your homework. What assets are going to be affected during the transaction? Is it a likely possibility that you will either be forced to relocate or be terminated from your position? Who else in your company is a likely candidate for relocation? If you are forced to relocate, would you be okay with it?

Determining the answers to these questions will be extremely beneficial to you. Maybe, after the proper research has been done, you will decide that you are open to the idea of migrating to a new company. On the contrary, you may decide to resign early and get a jump start on looking for a new job.

There is one other thing you should look into. If you do get relocated, where will you be relocated to? The location of the company you may end up working for could be in a favorable location to you and your family. 

There are many factors that can contribute to your decision of whether or not you choose to go through with the transaction. Make sure you do your homework so that you are not caught off guard.

Be Open to the Idea of Retiring

This option typically only applies to professionals with over fifteen years of experience in oil and gas accounting. Rather than quitting and finding a new position or relocating alongside the divested assets, it could be more lucrative to accept your current company’s exit offer. Accepting a retirement offer doesn’t have to be the end of your career.

After your exit from the company, you could reenter the workforce as a highly-sought after knowledge-based consultant. This path can be very rewarding and financially beneficial if it is available to you.

Continuously Network With Other Industry Professionals

Continuously networking with other professionals in the oil and gas industry is something that you should be doing anyways. Not only is it an excellent opportunity to make important connections, but it can also help to prepare you for the possibility of an acquisition or divestiture.

By becoming a member of COPAS, you will gain the opportunity to network and form relationships with accountants from other circles in the oil and gas industry. This can lead to a much easier time getting in front of a hiring manager and can also make you aware of positions that may require your form of expertise and experience. This kind of information can make for a much easier transition during an acquisition and divestiture.

Become a Member of COPAS

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COPAS is the Council of Petroleum Accountants Societies. We provide 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.

Members of COPAS are at the forefront of driving change and innovations that shape accounting in the petroleum industry. Being a member of COPAS gives petroleum accountants societies leverage in the industry, increased knowledge and insight, and a platform to collaborate with like-minded professionals and advance further than ever before.
By joining COPAS, you can outpace the rest and learn more about our industry’s best accounting practices, standards and guidelines. COPAS is comprised of more than twenty-five different petroleum accounting societies from all across the United States. Join us today to gain access to educational courses, a staggering number of resources, and create new opportunities for your career.