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2022 Trends in Finance Survey

February 10, 2022

BillingPlatform has released its third annual Trends in Finance Survey: A Perspective on Market Outlook & Strategies for Revenue Growth. Conducted in December 2021, the survey included more than 300 CFOs and senior finance executives. The goal was to take an in-depth, comprehensive look at how executive finance teams across the globe are planning to overcome ongoing economic uncertainty, what they’re doing to drive healthy revenue in the upcoming year and how companies are prioritizing technology investments to streamline revenue management processes. From the respondents we were able to identify key financial trends to consider for 2022.

Revenue Management Trends: 5 Key Survey Takeaways

The results were often surprising. In spite of ongoing economic instability and challenges presented by the pandemic, there is reason for optimism among finance executives. Here’s what they shared on the current outlook of revenue management in 2022.

  1. Things are Looking Brighter – 21% of respondents said it was “likely” that economic factors will have a big impact on their budgets in 2022, which was down from 39% in 2021.
  2. Budgets Continue to Grow – Even against the pressure of macroeconomic issues, 79% of respondents expect their 2022 budgets to grow, with 11% anticipating a large increase in their 2022 budgets, as compared to 2021.
  3. Making Sales Easier –When it comes to the ease of generating sales quotes, it’s almost an even split. Nearly 40% of respondents felt that their current solution for generating sales quotes was easy. However, a similar proportion at 42% felt that the process was time-consuming or difficult.
  4. Doubling Down on Digital – When asked how they plan to embrace digital transformation across the entire lead-to-revenue process, 28% of respondents named automating systems and processes as a clear priority to drive productivity and profitability.
  5. Automated Revenue Recognition – Underpinning the finance team goals and objectives for 2022 is a focus on technology and digital transformation across the entire lead-to-revenue process. Only (34%) reported that their revenue recognition process is partially automated, while approximately (28%) indicated that it was fully automated. In terms of risk/exposure level for misstating revenue, 7% reported “High risk,” while 45% reported “Moderate risk.”

What’s the Next Step?

Putting goals in place and positioning their companies for revenue growth is a key goal for finance teams in 2022. So, what’s their plan to succeed? When given a choice of seven options to rank for driving revenue, the following were the top five choices:

  1. Launching new products and services to increase market mix (48%)
  2. Raising prices for existing products/services (39%)
  3. Offering promotional bundling and pricing incentives (38%)
  4. Expanding product footprint into new global regions (36%)
  5. Instituting new business models to combat market disruption (33%)

Financial Trends: Areas of Concern

While the survey showed many reasons for great optimism in the immediate future of financial management, there were still some areas of concern for finance executives. Something that changed year over year? Cloud-based infrastructure and applications continue to become mainstream. In the 2021 survey, the top technology issue was ‘Transitioning legacy IT infrastructure to the cloud’ (30%), but this year that concern dropped to last place on the survey (16%). Here’s what finance executives are keeping a close watch on in 2022.

  1. Technology Issues – The impact of technology on business processes looms large in 2022. Survey respondents felt the top technology issues for finance operations included: automating or updating billing systems and processes (28%), using AI for predictive analytics (21%) and consolidating disparate system data for analysis (20%).
  2. The Digital Payment Dilemma – Companies want to make the leap, but some are holding back. When asked what was preventing them from moving to digital payments, respondents listed fears of cybersecurity attacks and payment fraud (47%), systems and infrastructure lacking (44%) and cost of service (40%) as the top issues.

Putting it all Together

So, what can we take away from this financial trends survey? The past few years have shown a need for every business and industry to make revenue management a top priority. Now more than ever, due to the challenges faced by the global pandemic, ongoing supply issues and economic instability, the opportunity has arrived for growth and innovation within revenue management strategies. No matter how your business responds – by offering more flexible products or consumption-based models that build loyalty and drive revenue – one thing is key. Finance executives are officially ready to expect the unexpected.

Want to take a deeper dive into our 2022 Trends in Finance Report? Download the full report for even more insights today.

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