Business Spending and Budget Statistics for 2021

Business Spending and Budget Statistics for 2021

Every growing business struggles with budgets. 

Finance doesn't have time to update budget-to-actuals more than once a month. But your budget owners need more frequent updates to make good buying decisions.

We already knew this was a problem - but we were amazed at how big a problem it was. See below for for some eye-opening insights about the budgeting process. Where does your company fit in?

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Budget owners are going over budgets they don't even have.

  • 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

Finance doesn't have the resources to keep up.

  • 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

This strains the relationships between finance and everyone else.

  • 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.

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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.