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CFOs Lack Visibility Into Their Organization’s Spend, Study Shows

Process and technology improvements are top priorities for global CFOs within two years

SAN MATEO, Calif. – May 7, 2018 – A study of more than 500 chief financial officers (CFOs) and senior finance executives conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), commissioned by Coupa Software (NASDAQ: COUP), reveals that more than 60 percent of CFOs lack complete visibility into the transactions within their organizations. In addition, 76 percent think leveraging new technologies or improving processes would enable their organizations to work better with other functions to execute corporate finance strategy.

The study, titled, “The Strategic CFO in a Rapidly Changing World,” takes an in-depth look at how CFOs and senior finance professionals are responding in a rapidly evolving world where new technologies, uncertainty, and emerging threats abound. Qualitative interviews were completed with CFOs from Ally Financial, Driftwood Acquisitions and Development, Hays, Micron Technologies, and Zendesk.

“The results of this study are not surprising – visibility remains a huge challenge for CFOs in today’s dynamic and ever-evolving business environment,” said Rob Bernshteyn, chief executive officer, Coupa. “It’s critical that CFOs adopt a cloud-based strategy for Business Spend Management that enables them to have visibility and control over their spend to make more strategic and informed decisions about their business.”

Additional findings include:

  • 67 percent see process or technology improvement as critical to managing risk.
  • To better manage costs, 60 percent believe process or technology improvement is critical.
  • Breaking down silos and improving cross-department collaboration is key. Nearly 60 percent who assess their organizations as most able to manage risk, cost, and capital also describe their companies as collaborative.
  • Automation and cloud computing are the top two emerging technologies that finance executives most expect to help execute corporate finance strategy.
  • Business performance risk is the number one threat with the potential to impact the financial position of those organizations surveyed.

A cloud platform for business spend management, Coupa helps customers such as Airbus, BAE Systems, lululemon, and Salesforce maximize their spend under management, achieve significant cost savings, and drive profitability. To view more findings, download the full report.

Survey Methodology

The survey, commissioned by The Economist Intelligence Unit includes responses from 507 CFOs and finance executives across industries and located in the US, UK, France, and Germany. 75 percent of respondents are chief financial officers (CFOs) and 25 percent are corporate finance professionals who are at the vice president-level or above.

About Coupa Software

Coupa Software (NASDAQ: COUP) is the cloud platform for business spend management (BSM). We deliver “Value as a Service” by helping our customers maximize their spend under management, achieve significant cost savings and drive profitability. Coupa provides a unified, cloud-based spend management platform that connects hundreds of organizations representing the Americas, EMEA, and APAC with millions of suppliers globally. The Coupa platform provides greater visibility into and control over how companies spend money. Customers – small, medium and large – have used the Coupa platform to bring billions of dollars in cumulative spend under management. Learn more at Read more on the Coupa Blog or follow @Coupa on Twitter.

About The Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit is the world leader in global business intelligence. It is the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, which publishes The Economist newspaper. The Economist Intelligence Unit helps executives make better decisions by providing timely, reliable and impartial analysis on worldwide market trends and business strategies. More information can be found at or @TheEIU on Twitter.

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