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FP&A Survey Results – Finance Trends and Predictions for 2022

April 12, 2022
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Centage was created with a simple mission in mind – to empower modern finance professionals with everything they need to help their companies succeed and grow. In creating our financial planning and analysis (FP&A)  solution, we gain valuable insight from a wide range of industry experts, including mid-market CFOs and finance leaders. Moreover, we continue to engage with this audience through our Annual FP&A Trends & Insights Report to gain a better understanding of priorities and areas of focus for the year ahead. Our goal is to establish benchmarks, identify trends, and support on-going development of products and services that best fulfill our customers’ needs.Below is a recap of the results from our most recent survey which was completed at the end of last year.Business Outlook for 2022For 2022, survey respondents predicted positive trends with regard to revenue, with 100 percent of companies expecting to grow or maintain their current numbers. While 65 percent of respondents believed that their revenue would increase in the coming months, 35 percent predicted it would stay the same. In addition, 74 percent of finance leaders said that investing in technology projects is a top priority that will help them achieve that revenue growth year over year.

Top PrioritiesFP&A priorities for 2022 varied among finance leaders. While over 60 percent wanted to focus on budgeting and forecasting, another 52 percent intended to invest resources into growth, acquisition, and reorganization. A further 39 percent planned to prioritize cash flow and funding activities and purchases.

As for the Finance department, when asked to rank their goals by order of importance, technology and automation came in at the top of the list. In second place was improving  reporting, followed by process, efficiency, and cycle time improvements. Rounding out the group were closer collaboration with internal team members and efforts toward staffing.

Budgeting, Reporting, and ForecastingWhen asked about key focus areas when it came to budgeting, forecasting, and reporting the essential areas included real time plan-vs-actual variance reporting and alerting (57 percent), weekly or monthly forecasting (43 percent), and robust what-if scenarios (39 percent).

In terms of forecasting, surveyed companies anticipated needing to make frequent adjustments in order to achieve their goals for 2022. In fact, 44 percent of respondents planned to adjust business forecasting at least once every quarter.

Nearly 40 percent of companies surveyed involved 11 or more employees in the budgeting and forecasting process.

CFO Spotlight Results

Breaking the survey data down even further, let’s take a look at the responses from only the CFOs respondents

:Business Outlook for 2022

CFOs are also feeling positive about their companies’ future. For 2022, 100 percent of CFOs interviewed expected to either grow or maintain current revenue, with 62 percent anticipating a rise in profits.Top PrioritiesCFO priorities differed slightly from those of other survey respondents. For 2022, the top priorities were growth, acquisition, and reorganization; cash flow and funding; and budgeting and forecasting. And when specifically talking about their departments, three quarters of respondents said that technology and automations projects were of the utmost importance this year. Additionally, 75 percent of CFOs wanted to improve reporting with a specific focus on financial analytics, metrics, management KPIs, and leading indicators.Overall, the top FP&A priorities for CFOs were as follows:

  • Both real time plan-vs-actual variance reporting and alerting; and extended view on cash flow runway tied for the #1 top priority.
  • And faster monthly close processes and real-time forecasting also tied as the #2 priority for CFOs for the year ahead.

Budgeting, Reporting, and Forecasting

Centage also surveyed CFOs on the topics of forecasting and budgeting. For 2022, almost 90 percent of the CFO respondents expected to adjust forecasts at least every quarter, citing the need for robust planning capabilities. Companies using manual, error-prone spreadsheets may struggle to achieve this goal in a timely manner. Just 8 percent of respondents planned to make adjustments on an annual basis.Moreover, 38 percent of CFOs said they involve at least 11 employees in the forecasting and budgeting process – a fact that can lead to human error when spreadsheets are being managed by workers rather than intelligent data.It’s no surprise that accurate forecasting is of the utmost importance to companies and CFOs alike. At Centage, we created our FP&A software to help companies achieve better insight into the health of their businesses and improve visibility by integrating data from a wide array of sources. The end result is that you can make better decisions faster and more efficiently.

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