Let’s begin a new week with some upbeat projections based on the thinking from more than 300 chief financial officers and other senior finance executives.

BillingPlatform recently released its 2022 Trends in Finance Survey: Market Outlook & Strategies for Revenue Growth report. The revenue management solution provider said its findings offer an in-depth look at how the office of the CFO is adapting to macroeconomic trends, the resulting budget implications and challenges facing finance departments and what strategies they expect to drive revenue growth.

As companies across the U.S. and around the world continue to deal with the economic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, BillingPlatform discovered that finance teams are realistic about its influence on 2022 budgets, but see signs of hope, including:

— Expecting less of an impact: 21% of respondents believe it is “likely” that economic factors will have a big impact on their budgets in 2022, down from 39% of all respondents in 2021.

— Growing budgets: Even against the pressure of the macroeconomic environment, 79% of respondents expect their 2022 budgets to grow, compared to just 61% in 2021, with 11% specifically anticipating a large increase in their 2022 budgets.

— The need for automated revenue recognition: 73% of respondents plan to invest in systems or technology to automate revenue recognition. In addition, 52% of respondents felt that they were at high or moderate risk for misstating revenue with their current revenue recognition process.

— Digital payments on the rise: When asked about the use of digital payments, 56% reported that between 50% and 89% of overall accounts receivables are received in the form of digital payments (compared to just half of respondents in 2021).

As the global economy continues to recover, BillingPlatform said it’s important for finance teams to position their companies for revenue growth.

When given a choice of seven options to rank for driving revenue, the survey revealed that the following were the top five choices:

— Launching new products and services to increase market mix (48%)

— Raising prices for existing products/services (39%)

— Offering promotional bundling and pricing incentives (38%)

— Expanding product footprint into new global regions (36%)

— Instituting new business models to combat market disruption (33%)

The survey also highlighted that underpinning the finance team’s goals and objectives for 2022 is a focus on technology and digital transformation across the entire lead-to-revenue process.

While companies are becoming more comfortable in leveraging cloud technologies (only 16% of respondents are concerned with transitioning their legacy infrastructure to the cloud versus 30% in 2021), there are new concerns for finance operations, according to the BillingPlatform survey, including:

— Top technology issues: The impact of technology on business processes looms large in 2022. Survey respondents said the top technology issues for finance operations included: automating or updating billing systems and processes (28%), using AI for predictive analytics (21%) and consolidating disparate system data for analysis (20%).

— Adopting digital payments: When asked what was preventing them from moving to digital payments, respondents listed fears of cybersecurity attacks and payment fraud (47%) as the top issues with a lack of systems and infrastructure (44%) and cost of service (40%) as additional concerns.

Conducted in December, BillingPlatform highlighted the survey included more than 300 CFOs and senior finance executives who represent a range of industries and vertical markets, with most of the companies generating $100 million or more in revenue per year.

“It’s an encouraging sign that finance executives are more optimistic about the economic outlook and budgets for 2022,” BillingPlatform chief executive officer Dennis Wall said in a news release.

“While the global pandemic, supply issues and economic instability continue to create long-term challenges, our survey shows a willingness across all industries to digitally transform revenue management processes to help businesses scale, grow and capitalize on new opportunities,” Wall went on to say.

The entire 2022 Trends in Finance Survey: Market Outlook & Strategies for Revenue Growth report can be downloaded via this website.