Finance’s greatest challenges for 2021 include economic uncertainty, quality control processes to ensure accuracy, and accomplishing more with the same or fewer resources
DENVER – December 17, 2020 – BillingPlatform, today released its Trends in Finance: 2021 Market Outlook & Strategies for Growth survey, which takes an in-depth look at how finance teams are adapting to macroeconomic trends fueled by the global pandemic, budget implications and challenges facing finance departments, strategies to drive revenue and other related topics. Conducted in October and November, the nationwide U.S. survey included more than 300 CFOs and senior finance executives representing a range of industries and vertical markets with a majority generating $100 million or more in revenue per year.
As companies across the U.S. deal with the ongoing pandemic’s impact on the global economy, finance teams recognize its influence on 2021, but remain hopeful:
- Expecting an Economic Upturn – 83% of respondents believe it is “likely” there will be an economic upturn in 2021, with 47% saying it is “very likely.”
- Finance Budget Growth – Even against the backdrop of the macroeconomic issues, 82% of respondents expect those to have a positive impact on their 2021 budgets, with 51% anticipating a moderate to large increase in their 2021 budgets compared to 2020.
- Focus on Digital Transformation – When asked how they plan to adapt to the new global economic environment, respondents named three top priorities: invest in cloud-based technologies (42%), identify ways to drive higher revenue through new products and services (41%) and reduce operating costs or capital investments (36%).
As the global economy recovers, positioning their companies to drive revenue growth is a key goal for finance teams. When given a choice of seven options to rank for driving revenue, the following were the top five choices:
- Launching new products and services to increase market mix (53%)
- Instituting new business models to combat market disruption (52%)
- Offering promotional bundling and pricing incentives (44%)
- Leveraging recurring or consumption-based billing to offer more attractive pricing (43%)
- Expanding product footprint into new global regions (42%)
Underpinning the finance team goals and objectives for 2021 is a focus on technology and digital transformation across the entire lead-to-revenue process:
- Accelerating to the Cloud – The top technology priorities for finance include transitioning legacy IT infrastructure (30%) and legacy enterprise applications (16%) to the cloud, using AI for predictive analytics (15%), consolidating disparate system data for analysis (15%) and automating or updating billing systems (14%).
- The Check is Still in the Mail – Only 9% of respondents reported that all of their accounts receivables were paid via digital payments while about half said that at least 50% were paid digitally.
- Barriers to Digital Payments – When asked what was preventing them from moving to digital payments, respondents listed the cost of services (42%), fears of cybersecurity attacks and payment fraud (38%), customer reluctance (32%), systems and infrastructure lacking (31%) and international currency complexities (29%) as the top issues.
“While it is no surprise that the global pandemic has completely disrupted plans for this year, the survey shows its long-term impact on the business strategies for finance teams. Compared to our last survey, both the number of respondents seeing economic uncertainty as a challenge and moving to the cloud have doubled,” said Dennis Wall, BillingPlatform CEO. “Accelerating a cross-industry trend, businesses are recognizing the importance of recurring revenue and the need to offer more flexible products and services with promotional, incentive, recurring or consumption-based models to build loyalty and drive revenue.”
About BillingPlatform, Corp.
BillingPlatform’s agile billing software solution gives innovative enterprises the freedom to effectively monetize and deliver products and services resulting in growth and competitive differentiation. Our industry-leading, cloud-based platform adapts to every unique business model and pricing structure. With global customers across multiple industries including communications, transportation, manufacturing, banking, technology, energy, media, and software, BillingPlatform processes billions of transactions and dollars every year, enabling enterprises to grow revenue, reduce costs, and improve overall customer experience. To learn more visit billingplatform.com.