All In: Organizations Plan to Increase Business Investment in 2022
Increases in Spend, Capex and R&D to Outpace Revenue Growth for Half of Companies
January 18, 2022 — BETHESDA, Md. — Change is the dominant trend for FP&A professionals and their organizations, according to the 2022 Association for Financial Professionals® (AFP) FP&A Benchmarking: Practitioner Planning Report, underwritten by Workday, Inc.
Five key themes emerged from the 2022 AFP FP&A Benchmarking Survey data indicating that “business as usual” will not be “usual” in the new year. Businesses are done watching and waiting and are ready to deploy capital in all forms: capital projects, research and development, technology, travel and personnel costs. Their dedication to growth is so strong that nearly half plan to forgo earnings growth in favor of spending.
Compared to two years ago, organizations are moving faster than expected to incorporate ESG (environment, social and governance) goals into their business models. Companies plan to increase their ESG spending in 2022 over 2021. Similarly, companies plan to spend more on their Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) efforts.
We can also expect to see a change in the way we work in 2022. The data indicate a wide distribution as to the number of days in office; the corresponding decrease in spend on office space plus the competition for talent combine to create varied business models for how we work and live.
Employers can expect more stability in the new year, as data show expectations for a slight decrease in employee turnover for 2022. The analysis indicates this could be due to higher compensation and educational investments from employers, or workers who are settling into their new roles at the end of 2021.
The one constant is that budgets remain in demand — despite business being anything but usual. In fact, responses indicate that the budget is equally or more highly valued now than when AFP asked the same question four years ago.
“The positive shifts shown in this report are exciting. Organizations that have spent nearly two years adjusting are ready to emerge resilient, retooled, and prepared,” said Jim Kaitz, president and CEO of AFP. “The continued or even increased emphasis on effective planning is understood to be part of the critical role that FP&A plays in gathering, evaluating and communicating corporate alignment. Strong FP&A allows companies to prepare for and react to change.”
"Numerous organizations worldwide continue to prioritize digital acceleration, as they prepare for a new era in finance, which is clearly reflected in the 2022 AFP FP&A Benchmarking report” said Michael Magaro, senior vice president, Business Finance and Investor Relations, Workday. “As a result, finance teams are able to focus on planning, forecasting, and advising management at the rapid speed that today’s business environment demands."
In September 2021, the Association for Financial Professionals® (AFP) conducted a survey of FP&A professionals regarding their planning assumptions for 2022. AFP received 223 responses from practitioners in 40 different countries. These responses form the basis of the report. If you are a member of the press and would like a copy of the survey or have any questions, please contact Melissa Rawak, AFP managing director, at [email protected].
As the certifying body in treasury and finance, the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) established and administers the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) and Certified Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis Professional (FPAC) credentials, setting the standard of excellence in the profession globally. AFP’s mission is to drive the future of finance and treasury and develop the leaders of tomorrow through certification, training, and the premier event for corporate treasury and finance. Learn more at afponline.org.
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