EIU: U.S. Executives Keeping A Digital Eye On Spend Management

US economic expansion, which peaked in February 2020 after a record 128 months, declined precipitously due to the pandemic and resulting lockdowns, plunging the country into a recession. US GDP is estimated to contract by anywhere from 3.8% to 4.5% in 2020, suggesting that economic recovery from the global health crisis may be like the pandemic itself: unprecedented and unpredictable.

To identify key trends among global organizations on the road to recovery, SAP Concur and The Economist Group surveyed 522 senior executives in 11 countries in June and July 2020. This report provides a detailed analysis how US executives deploy technology to better position themselves for the long-term.

Even before the pandemic, corporate spending was already challenging to track and manage, being deeply distributed across employees and taking a variety of forms, from cash to digital payments to P-cards. Now, there’s an even greater complexity as working from home creates new types of categories such as PPE or work-from-home expenses. US executives are relying on their expense management solutions to create order, ensure oversight into spending, and deliver business comes that support spend management in three ways: by increasing efficiency and productivity, delivering greater spend visibility, and hardwiring processes that ensure adherence to spending policies. 

Pursing these identifies strategic priorities requires close partnership across different functions in the organizations. Research on how to manage spend in a finance transformation shows:

· Only 60% of US respondents strongly agree that IT leaders have adequate insights into the technology needs and priorities of the finance function. On the other hand, only 56% respondents strongly agree that finance leaders in their organizations fully understand IT leaders’ decision-making process when purchasing emerging technologies. 

· 82% of US executives indicated that their most important business outcome from an automated travel expense solution is business efficiency. 86% indicated visibility as another priority business outcome.

· 94% of US executives surveyed say the global pandemic will forever change how business operate. 90% also agree that it has forced their organizations to completely rethink their approach to travel and expense management. 

A rethink of current practices is indeed required to gain sure financial footing in this ever-changing business landscape. Download the report to learn more about how US executives leverage technology to better understand and manage spend across the business.