Europe Fintech

Financial leaders back Brexit delay as they brace for recession

A new global study of over 650 financial leaders across industries, will reveal that 87 percent believe we’re likely headed into a recession, with more than half (53%) expecting it to last six months or longer. In Europe, 83 percent of those polled also believe that Brexit should be postponed while the effects of the pandemic are dealt with.

Coupa Software (NASDAQ: COUP) announced the results of a global study of financial leaders that found the majority (87 percent) believe a recession is likely, with more than half (53 percent) expecting it to last six months or longer.

UK respondents in particular are the most pessimistic about the potential length of a recession – with 34 percent believing that it will last more than a year, versus just 21 percent globally.

Across Europe, 83 percent of those polled also believe that Brexit should be postponed while the effects of the pandemic are dealt with. In the UK, more financial leaders believe that Brexit should be delayed for longer, with 32 percent stating negotiations should be delayed for more than a year
– compared to just 31 percent and 21 percent in France and Germany respectively.

The study of more than 650 financial leaders globally also reveals that companies may not have the right spend management strategies in place and could be leaving room for error when making critical business decisions.

In response to the global downturn, 70 percent of respondents say they are containing costs by making broad or department-focused cuts over the next 6-12 months. Yet only 23 percent are using a single, unified spend management solution to manage their business spending. More than three quarters (76 percent) are reliant on traditional or outdated methods to manage their business spend, and 42 percent of businesses are still in the process of digitising key systems.

The study found that financial leaders are also concerned about supplier risk, with 83 percent concerned about the health of their suppliers or their suppliers’ suppliers. On top of this, 40% of UK respondents say that being able to swiftly change suppliers is one of their top concerns.

“The results of this survey are eye-opening and reinforce the importance of having the right technologies and processes that provide visibility and control across all corporate spending,” said Rob Bernshteyn, chairman and CEO of Coupa. “With uncertainty likely to continue for some time, companies should select a comprehensive spend management solution that will enable them to build resilience for any market condition.”

Preparing for a Recession

To build resilience with your business spend, organizations must:

Focus on Future Agility: While many companies are still in survival mode, the smart ones will have one eye on what happens when the economy recovers. Businesses need to be ready to quickly bring on staff, increase ordering of goods, and overall increase productivity. These changes will need to happen fast, so plan for them now.
Build Strategic Relationships with Suppliers: Understanding the health of your suppliers is critical in uncertain times; both the performance and the risk of each supplier can have a significant impact on your company’s spend. When the hard times end, you will need these suppliers to help get your business back on track.
Invest in the Right Technology: Choose a technology solution that provides a comprehensive and unified suite of cloud applications, providing the visibility and control of all transactions across the company.

Survey Methodology

This survey analytics report conducted by Sapio is based on a survey of 667 senior finance decision makers from companies with 500-plus employees based in the US, UK, France, Germany, and ROW (Argentina, Canada, India, Mexico, Singapore, or South Africa). The survey was conducted during May 2020.

About Coupa Software

Coupa empowers companies around the world with the visibility and control they need to spend smarter and safer. To learn more about how Coupa can help you spend smarter, visit Learn more at Read more on the Coupa Blog or follow @Coupa on Twitter.


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