IBM > Case Studies > Ultra Petroleum: Fueling greater internal efficiency and pain-free financial reporting with automation

Ultra Petroleum: Fueling greater internal efficiency and pain-free financial reporting with automation

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Company Size
  • America
  • United States
  • IBM Cognos Disclosure Management
Tech Stack
  • IBM Analytics
Implementation Scale
  • Enterprise-wide Deployment
Impact Metrics
  • Cost Savings
  • Productivity Improvements
Technology Category
  • Analytics & Modeling - Real Time Analytics
Applicable Industries
  • Oil & Gas
Use Cases
  • Regulatory Compliance Monitoring
  • Data Science Services
About The Customer
Ultra Petroleum Corp. is an independent oil and gas company engaged in the exploration, acquisition development, production and operation of oil and natural gas properties. The company is headquartered in Houston, Texas, and its primary focus is the development of its natural gas reserves in southwest Wyoming. Recent volatility in the commodities market has led to a dramatic fall in oil and gas prices, which means that businesses in the oil and gas sector are facing tough choices in order to protect their profitability. In these challenging times, oil and gas producers are looking for new internal efficiencies: over the long term, a company that runs a leaner business than its rivals is more likely to gain a competitive advantage.
The Challenge
Ultra Petroleum Corp., an independent oil and gas company, was facing the challenge of meeting demanding financial reporting requirements without adding to its headcount. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires public companies like Ultra to file financial statements, including annual 10-K and quarterly 10-Q financial reports. These statements must be tagged using eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), a global standard for exchanging business information. For many companies, the XBRL requirement has more than doubled their SEC reporting workload. Ultra began looking for a solution that would return control of SEC reporting to the people who knew the company’s finances best: its accounting department.
The Solution
To automate its financial reporting and processes, Ultra chose to deploy IBM® Cognos® Disclosure Management. Today, Ultra uses the solution to assemble its annual 10-K and quarterly 10-Q SEC reports, other financial statements, board reports, news releases and SOX process narratives, leveraging the automated XBRL tagging feature. By basing all reporting on the same source data—the company’s General Ledger—Ultra can be confident that all employees, external auditors and investors are working with the same figures.
Operational Impact
  • Delivers significant return on investment through time savings and greater accuracy
  • Enhances decision-making by offering an up-to-date view of the business
  • Boosts credibility with auditors through delivery of high-quality reporting
Quantitative Benefit
  • Enables the accounting department to handle double the workload in the same amount of time

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