On December 19, Schneider Downs presented an internal oil, gas and construction continuing professional education (CPE) seminar. During the CPE, Schneider Downs experts within the oil and gas and construction industries were able to share their knowledge with over 100 employees from both audit and tax within the company who work in these industries. Each speaker, considered an expert within his or her respective field, spoke to attendees about topics ranging from the state of the industry, to revenue recognition and specific accounting issues.
The day began with a discussion about the current state of the oil and gas industry. Oil prices are currently at an all-time low and have consistently fallen over the past three years, causing a number of large oil and gas companies to declare bankruptcy since 2015. Due to low oil and gas prices, drilling, specifically in Pennsylvania, has decreased drastically over the current year. Valuation risks for receivables and oil & gas properties were also discussed.
One of the largest concerns regarding the oil and gas industry is the result of the 2016 presidential election. President-Elect Donald Trump made a number of claims regarding the energy sector throughout his campaign, including the goal to make America completely energy independent and the promise to tremendously cut the Environmental Protection Agency budget. If the future president holds true to his campaign goals, large changes could occur within the energy sector over the next year.
The second half of the day focused on the construction industry. Unlike oil and gas, the construction industry has remained relatively stable over the past few years. The focus of the construction-related portion of the CPE was on identifying construction audit risks and tax-planning strategies. Collaborating together in a large group and sharing experiences is a great resource of ideas for our clients. The impact of the presidential election was also discussed, particularly President-Elect Trump’s plans to rebuild the public infrastructure.
Schneider Downs provides both technical and practical, industry-specific education to its employees. Industry-specific training enables Schneider Downs personnel to better understand their clients’ industries and, ultimately, to better serve our clients.