All Guides and ebooks

The Airbase Annual Survey of Finance Professionals

A benchmark report on findings, insights, and 2021 projections.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Download PDF
02

Benchmarks for finance and accounting teams.

Respondents represented accounting and finance professionals from a wide range of company sizes, stages of growth, and headcount.

We’ve put together the following benchmarks from our collected data. The survey inquired about certain parameters, such as team headcount, to establish relevant cohorts against which others can benchmark.

For the purposes of this report, and ease of articulation, we label companies with 50–100 employees as low headcount, those with 101–500 employees as mid headcount, and those with 501–1,000 as high headcount. Nearly half of our sample worked for mid headcount companies.

We also segmented out respondents by their company’s range of annual revenue.
Company headcount.Annual revenue.
Because we assumed that the size of accounting and finance teams would influence some responses to questions in our survey, we benchmarked against headcount.
Finance/accounting team headcount.
Interested to see the effects of VC on finance teams, we also looked at the amount of external funding raised.
External funding.
Company headcount had a strong correlation to the relative size of finance and accounting teams within an organization; ignoring outliers, the smallest finance teams tend to be around 3% of company size for low headcount firms, 2% for mid headcount firms, and 1% for high headcount firms.

The divide between low headcount companies and their counterparts widens when looking at the roles that firms have filled. We found that three in four low headcount companies (77%) are without CFOs, compared to about half of mid and high headcount companies. We also found that the CFO gender divide exists across all company sizes, with male CFOs about three times as common as female CFOs (68% of respondents reporting a male CFO and 23% reporting a female CFO).
Finance/accounting roles.
Almost three-quarters (71%) of those surveyed indicated that their companies have an internal FP&A team, with an additional 8% indicating future intention to have one. Only half of low headcount companies have an FP&A team.

Revenue.

Many report that 2020 revenue exceeded expectations, while a minority, generally smaller companies, report falling short.

One of the most encouraging discoveries from this research is just how well companies met the adversity of 2020. About three in four (71%) reported that they expect to meet or exceed their revenue targets for the year.

The data show that this trend appears fairly consistently across all company sizes, with reports of those that managed to meet their 2020 goals ranging between 28% and 36%.

Not all fared well, though, with roughly two in five respondents from low headcount companies reporting lower-than-expected revenue for 2020, compared to about only a quarter of respondents from mid and high headcount companies.
2020 actual revenue compared to expected revenue.

Headcount.

Strong performance has fostered plans for growth in 2021.

Our data show that anticipated revenue growth runs parallel to increases in hiring, with about half (54%) of respondents indicating that their companies plan to increase headcount in 2021.

Roughly two in three (68%) respondents from companies that exceeded their revenue targets intend to increase headcount, suggesting that they expect the momentum to continue into 2021. Of the minority (29%) that reported lower than expected revenue for 2020, about a quarter (26%) expect to reduce headcount.

Planned headcount increases for finance and accounting teams also tracked alongside revenue performance, with roughly three in four respondents from companies that beat their revenue targets expecting to increase finance team headcount in 2021.
Thejo Kote, Founder and CEO, Airbase
Thejo Kote
Founder and CEO, Airbase
Small and midsize companies need well-designed tools built for their infrastructure and their needs. The capacity of finance teams can then expand while freeing these critical resources for higher value work.
It’s worth noting, however, that roughly one quarter (27%) of companies increasing overall headcount do not plan to increase the size of their finance and accounting teams, suggesting a certain amount of built-in scalability for existing teams. Fittingly, of those finance teams that are adding to their rosters, teams from high headcount companies plan to hire markedly more in 2021 than teams from low headcount companies.

Remote working.

Finance teams report adapting well to working remotely and expect it to continue.

The rapid shift to remote working seems to have become an acceptable new normal, with only about one quarter (24%) expecting to fully return to a traditional office after the stay-at-home restrictions are lifted, and only 7% reporting that their teams “have not adapted well to a remote work environment.”

This trend is comparable across all company size categories, although low headcount companies are currently more than twice as likely as high headcount companies to work in a traditional office. It should also be noted that only 6% of companies supported remote work teams pre-pandemic, whereas more than half (51%) expect to support remote work in some capacity going forward.
Current workplace arrangements.
Concurrent with the rise of remote work, companies are already considering adjusting salaries should employees move to an area with a different cost of living. Almost two in three respondents’ companies (62%) intend to adjust salaries based on location, roughly three in four (77%) high headcount companies.

Guides and ebooks

The Airbase Annual Survey of Finance Professionals

A benchmark report on findings, insights, and 2021 projections.

Trusted by finance teams at all stages

02

Benchmarks for finance and accounting teams.

Respondents represented accounting and finance professionals from a wide range of company sizes, stages of growth, and headcount.

We’ve put together the following benchmarks from our collected data. The survey inquired about certain parameters, such as team headcount, to establish relevant cohorts against which others can benchmark.

For the purposes of this report, and ease of articulation, we label companies with 50–100 employees as low headcount, those with 101–500 employees as mid headcount, and those with 501–1,000 as high headcount. Nearly half of our sample worked for mid headcount companies.

We also segmented out respondents by their company’s range of annual revenue.
Company headcount.Annual revenue.
Because we assumed that the size of accounting and finance teams would influence some responses to questions in our survey, we benchmarked against headcount.
Finance/accounting team headcount.
Interested to see the effects of VC on finance teams, we also looked at the amount of external funding raised.
External funding.
Company headcount had a strong correlation to the relative size of finance and accounting teams within an organization; ignoring outliers, the smallest finance teams tend to be around 3% of company size for low headcount firms, 2% for mid headcount firms, and 1% for high headcount firms.

The divide between low headcount companies and their counterparts widens when looking at the roles that firms have filled. We found that three in four low headcount companies (77%) are without CFOs, compared to about half of mid and high headcount companies. We also found that the CFO gender divide exists across all company sizes, with male CFOs about three times as common as female CFOs (68% of respondents reporting a male CFO and 23% reporting a female CFO).
Finance/accounting roles.
Almost three-quarters (71%) of those surveyed indicated that their companies have an internal FP&A team, with an additional 8% indicating future intention to have one. Only half of low headcount companies have an FP&A team.

Revenue.

Many report that 2020 revenue exceeded expectations, while a minority, generally smaller companies, report falling short.

One of the most encouraging discoveries from this research is just how well companies met the adversity of 2020. About three in four (71%) reported that they expect to meet or exceed their revenue targets for the year.

The data show that this trend appears fairly consistently across all company sizes, with reports of those that managed to meet their 2020 goals ranging between 28% and 36%.

Not all fared well, though, with roughly two in five respondents from low headcount companies reporting lower-than-expected revenue for 2020, compared to about only a quarter of respondents from mid and high headcount companies.
2020 actual revenue compared to expected revenue.

Headcount.

Strong performance has fostered plans for growth in 2021.

Our data show that anticipated revenue growth runs parallel to increases in hiring, with about half (54%) of respondents indicating that their companies plan to increase headcount in 2021.

Roughly two in three (68%) respondents from companies that exceeded their revenue targets intend to increase headcount, suggesting that they expect the momentum to continue into 2021. Of the minority (29%) that reported lower than expected revenue for 2020, about a quarter (26%) expect to reduce headcount.

Planned headcount increases for finance and accounting teams also tracked alongside revenue performance, with roughly three in four respondents from companies that beat their revenue targets expecting to increase finance team headcount in 2021.
Thejo Kote, Founder and CEO, Airbase
Thejo Kote
Founder and CEO, Airbase
Small and midsize companies need well-designed tools built for their infrastructure and their needs. The capacity of finance teams can then expand while freeing these critical resources for higher value work.
It’s worth noting, however, that roughly one quarter (27%) of companies increasing overall headcount do not plan to increase the size of their finance and accounting teams, suggesting a certain amount of built-in scalability for existing teams. Fittingly, of those finance teams that are adding to their rosters, teams from high headcount companies plan to hire markedly more in 2021 than teams from low headcount companies.

Remote working.

Finance teams report adapting well to working remotely and expect it to continue.

The rapid shift to remote working seems to have become an acceptable new normal, with only about one quarter (24%) expecting to fully return to a traditional office after the stay-at-home restrictions are lifted, and only 7% reporting that their teams “have not adapted well to a remote work environment.”

This trend is comparable across all company size categories, although low headcount companies are currently more than twice as likely as high headcount companies to work in a traditional office. It should also be noted that only 6% of companies supported remote work teams pre-pandemic, whereas more than half (51%) expect to support remote work in some capacity going forward.
Current workplace arrangements.
Concurrent with the rise of remote work, companies are already considering adjusting salaries should employees move to an area with a different cost of living. Almost two in three respondents’ companies (62%) intend to adjust salaries based on location, roughly three in four (77%) high headcount companies.

Featuring

No items found.

What you’ll learn.

All Guides and ebooks

Trusted by finance teams at all stages
Jason Lopez, Controller at Lattice
,
Jason Lopez, Controller at Lattice
,

What you’ll find in this guide:

01
02
03
04
Want to learn more about spend management?

Read our Definitive Guide to Spend Management.

Download the Guide

Read the Article
05
06
+
07
08

Learn about the features of a spend management system.

09
10
11

Learn how to cut your time-to-close in half with Airbase.

Schedule your demoSchedule your demo