DEFINITION of 'Council Of Petroleum Accountants Societies - COPAS'

The Council of Petroleum Accountants Societies (COPAS) is a non-profit professional organization that provides guidance and education on accounting issues in the oil and gas industry. The organization formed in 1961 with the mission to discuss and solve the complexities inherent in oil and natural gas accounting. COPAS is highly organized, with several standing committees covering broad areas and sub-committees handling narrow and distinct facets of the industry. Nine board members, each serving a three-year term, oversee the association. COPAS operates in the U.S. and Canada and currently has over 4,000 members in 24 societies. Its members work for government agencies, universities, consulting firms, and oil and gas exploration and production companies.

BREAKING DOWN 'Council Of Petroleum Accountants Societies - COPAS'

COPAS discussions have created numerous standardized guidelines, procedures and best practices for efficient and effective accounting in the oil and gas industry. For example, one of the organization's publications offers a detailed outline of how to properly account for natural gas at each stage of production. Other publications address issues such as joint interest accounting, auditing, production volume, revenue accounting, financial reporting and tax considerations. According to COPAS, numerous government agencies model some of their rules and procedures after the ones developed by the organization.

Comprehensive Services of COPAS

Aside from issuing publications that keep accountants in the industry abreast of current accounting practices, COPAS organizes monthly luncheons, workshops and webinars, as well as annual four-day education events for new industry accountants. Also offered by the group is its Accredited Petroleum Accountant (APA) certification program that culminates with an examination to prove competence in the skill. COPAS promotes the certification as an attractive credential for hopefuls who wish to break into the field or existing practitioners interested in advancing their careers.

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