Business Spending and Budget Statistics for 2021

Business Spending and Budget Statistics for 2021

After a year with much of financial planning, projections and budgeting upended by COVID-19, set out to uncover trends among budget owners. The following stats give insight into the gaps within the finance and budget process.

The biggest takeaways from our survey were:

Budget owners are going over budget and struggle to manage their spending.

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Budget management statistics:

  • 65% of budget managers don't have a budget until after the budget period starts
  • 59% of budget managers started spending before their budget is approved
  • 57% of budget managers went over budget in the last period
  • 50% of budget owners went over budget by 40% or more
  • 51% of budget managers went over budget before they even had their budget
  • 8 in 10 budget owners agreed that spend management is too challenging
  • 94% of budget owners track their spend in a separate system than finance
  • 28% of budget managers reported their employees have access to physical or virtual corporate cards

Financial professionals don’t have adequate visibility into company spend.

Financial management statistics:

  • 7 in 10 financial managers believe their budget approval process takes too long
  • 67% of finance teams worry that delayed approvals prevent budget owners from staying on budget.
  • 61% of financial professionals felt they did not have adequate visibility into departmental spend
  • 3 in 4 finance pros believe corporate cards simplify expense management
  • 62% of financial teams report corporate cards are shared by multiple people at their company
  • 75% of financial managers believe shared corporate cards makes expense management harder
  • 75% of finance directors believe they spend too much time on administrative tasks

The relationships between finance and budget owners are broken.

Startup finance statistics:

  • 53% of all spend is disputed by either finance or startup budget owners
  • 69% of finance teams feel like they are viewed as "bad cops" by budget owners
  • 52% of growth startup leaders believe the relationship between finance and budget owners is broken
  • 82% of senior leaders agree that real-time visibility into spend would improve the relationship between finance and other departments
  • 80% of growing businesses believe real-time visibility into spend would help the company make better financial decisions

This report was conducted in October 2020 by Kickstand Communications and our raw data is freely available. is the spend management solution that keeps you on budget.

About the Author: Sagar Velagala
Sagar is the Director of Growth at Before this, he worked in analytics, finance, and operations roles at companies like The Boston Beer Company and HubSpot.