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2013 CFO Outlook: Investing In Growth, Looking To Expand

This generally optimistic view also holds when projecting further into the future – 89% of senior finance executives expect to see higher revenues three years from now.

Choosing Key Targets for Investment

Domestic and international expansion are both on the agenda for a majority of senior finance executives in 2013 (61% plan to grow domestically and 53% internationally.) To drive growth next year, respondents report their companies plan to spend more in three key areas:

  • New technology – 61%
  • New product and service development – 59%
  • Expansion into new markets – 52%

About one in three senior finance executives (36%) expect their companies to increase headcount in 2013, primarily motivated by a focus on business growth. Companies that are hiring will emphasize areas such as customer service, IT, sales, and research and development.

Steady Business Travel Spending

Corporate investment in business travel should remain stable in 2013 – 61% of senior finance executives anticipate spending the same or more on business travel next year.

The most important reasons for making travel investments? Building new business (37%) and retaining current business (35%). However, most senior finance executives (64%) do not anticipate that corporate travel policies will loosen next year, in line with companies’ disciplined approach to controlling overall spending.

“Road warriors can expect to keep visiting new prospects and current customers in 2013 because these are the kinds of trips that drive sales,” said Mr. Brown. “Businesses will be looking to manage their travel programs with a focus on holding down costs through negotiated discount rates and a strategic emphasis on high value trips.”

U.S. Economic Outlook is Measured

Two in three senior finance executives (67%) expect the U.S. economy to grow or remain flat in 2013. Among those anticipating growth, 50% expect it to be within the 1% to 4% range.

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