The Financial Trends CFOs and Finance Teams Must Watch in 2024

The Financial Trends CFOs and Finance Teams Must Watch in 2024

CFOs and their finance teams are at the forefront of business evolution with their work impacting every aspect of the company. These financial executives are no longer just number counters. They oversee everything from integrating automation and AI to maximizing value creation with data-driven insights to support better decision making.

Finance teams have to respond to changing company cultures and the global financial picture, including rising inflation and ever-reducing budgets. CFOs are actively involved in their company’s economic, social, and governance (ESG) strategies, ensuring that capital is spent as effectively and sustainably as possible. 

Following financial trends allows travel managers, business travelers, and companies to make smart decisions on corporate travel. We’re exploring the impact of financial trends on corporate travel and 11 financial trends to watch in 2024. 

Roundtrip Blog
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The importance of watching financial trends in travel

CFOs aren’t just financial executives, they’re quickly becoming leaders within their organizations, developing an ever-growing public profile, with many preparing to step into the role of CEO. Finance teams are responsible for being one step ahead of the economy. The economic impact of the pandemic showed just how quickly things can change for companies and corporate travel.

Financial trends allow companies to track inflation indicators as rising costs impact company operations and travel expenses while impacting consumer behavior. Inflation means that companies and corporate travelers are more budget-conscious, searching for better deals and more affordable packages.

Financial trends allow companies to track inflation indicators as rising costs impact company operations and travel expenses while impacting consumer behavior. 
Photo: HAKINMHAN/ Shutterstock.com

These financial trends also showcase what companies are prioritizing when choosing what to invest capital in. Carbon footprints and sustainability are increasingly impacting financial decisions.

While leisure travel has essentially bounced back from the pandemic, corporate travel is recovering at a slower pace

The must-watch financial trends of 2024

Staying on top of micro and macro-financial trends isn’t easy. While CFOs and finance teams need to monitor industry-focused financial trends, there are wider economic trends impacting travel that every company should be aware of. 

We’re rounding up 11 of the must-watch financial trends of 2024 and their impact on corporate travel:

1. Developing sustainable and eco-friendly financial strategies

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword you’ll find in marketing material. It’s impacting financial decision making on every level. 40% of financial executives have said failing to meet their company’s sustainability commitments would be a moderate or serious risk. Almost one-third of CFOs are evaluating the impact of climate change on their company’s financial performance. 

Sustainability within financial decision making is gaining the attention of consumers and investors alike. CFOs will be putting travel managers and employees under pressure to choose greener travel options, from utilizing rideshare apps with colleagues to choosing airlines with green initiatives.

Almost one-third of CFOs are evaluating the impact of climate change on their company’s financial performance. 
Photo: chayanuphol/ Shutterstock.com

2. Automated reporting systems

Companies are increasingly implementing automated reporting systems to maximize financial efficiency and management. AI and automation can create more resilient reporting systems with data-driven insights to ensure departments are staying within budget and meeting KPIs. 

Implementing automated systems removes the expense and time commitment of operating manual processes while also helping to eliminate errors for more accurate reporting. 

Corporate travelers will need to ensure they track all invoices and utilize digital expense reporting to avoid mistakes. Roundtrip makes it easy to automate financial reporting with efficient invoicing and expense monitoring.

Implementing automated systems removes the expense and time commitment of operating manual processes while also helping to eliminate errors for more accurate reporting. 
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3. Optimizing budgets for profitable growth

One of the biggest financial trends of 2024 is ensuring growth strategies are balanced with cost-efficiency actions. CFOs and financial teams are responsible for assessing budgets and identifying growth opportunities. 

Balance growth strategies are a welcome financial trend after years of budget cutting to stay afloat during the pandemic. Companies now have the potential to invest again, but their capital spending has to be determined by a focus on ROI and ensuring sustainability. 

Departments should consider corporate travel an investment into potential growth opportunities, from sending colleagues to conferences for networking to meeting clients face-to-face. Corporate travel managers should set budgets and utilize tools to access competitive rates on flights and accommodation. They should assess corporate travel against the potential ROI and growth opportunities. 

Departments should consider corporate travel an investment into potential growth opportunities, from sending colleagues to conferences for networking to meeting clients face-to-face.
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4. Talent retention

Talent retention might sound like a HR priority, but it’s a trend CFOs and finance teams can’t afford to ignore. The “great resignation” following the pandemic showed how important talent retention is to maintaining profitability and efficiency. The cost of using a recruitment firm is usually equivalent to up to 30% of the employee’s starting salary. Talent retention is a top priority for CFOs and finance managers who will want to encourage incentives to maintain staff.

They can do this by creating a positive company culture and offering competitive benefits, including employee performance rewards.

5. Machine learning for digital transformation

CFOs and finance teams are increasingly finding themselves responsible for implementing digital transformation within their department and the wider company. Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming financial operations for companies of every size. Research suggests that almost 60% of CFOs are already utilizing AI to shape their finances, from more accurate forecasting to streamlining payment processing.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming financial operations for companies of every size. Research suggests that almost 60% of CFOs are already utilizing AI to shape their finances, from more accurate forecasting to streamlining payment processing.
Photo: 3rdtimeluckystudio/ Shutterstock.com

These CFOs are utilizing machine learning to become more efficient and support more strategic decision-making to minimize unnecessary spending. Implementing AI for digital transformation allows finance teams to track corporate travel spending using predictive analytics. 

6. Understanding generational expectations

CFOs and finance teams must prepare for generational change among employees. There is a major cultural shift occurring with changing generational expectations between Gen Z and Millennials, with previous generations. They have different attitudes towards working and want to prioritize networking more than their predecessors. 

Corporate travel managers can begin exploring opportunities for younger employees, including traveling to exhibitions, and expanding into new markets. Millennials and Gen Z are now more likely to travel for work and are interested in “bleisure” trips. 

CFOs and finance teams must prepare for generational change among employees. There is a major cultural shift occurring with changing generational expectations between Gen Z and Millennials, with previous generations.
Photo:Gorgev / Shutterstock.com

7. Outsourcing and strategic partnerships

One of 2024’s biggest financing trends is the rise of outsourcing and prioritizing strategic partnerships. Cost reduction is still crucial in 2024, with partnerships offering a more affordable alternative for in-house recruitment.

Outsourcing operations, such as working with corporate travel managers, can boost operational efficiency and reduce costs.

Platforms like Roundtrip make it easy for employees to book their own travel with individual accounts and easy expense reporting. 

8. Developing a company culture

CFOs and finance teams are navigating the difficulties of companies returning from remote working to getting back in the office. While some companies are mandating office time, others are still attempting to cultivate a company culture with a hybrid working environment. 

Most companies in 2024 will likely settle for hybrid working, operating primarily in the office with one or two days of remote working.
Photo: Meeko Media/ Shutterstock.com

Most companies in 2024 will likely settle for hybrid working, operating primarily in the office with one or two days of remote working. Finance teams can expect to continue to invest in communication technology and incentives, such as team-building exercises, to curate a positive company culture.

9. Strategic capital allocation as a priority

We live in an era of economic volatility, with geopolitics impacting supply chains and operations across multiple industries. CFOs and finance teams must be meticulous in how they allocate capital. They’ll work with corporate travel agents and departments to implement KPIs to track the ROI from business travel. Employees and departments will have to justify such travel more than ever before.

10. Adopting a “do more with less” mentality

One of the most interesting financial trends of 2024 is the optimization mentality of departments “doing more with less.” It’s become the backbone of financial decision-making in recent years, with companies expected to be weary of spending excessively in the face of operational challenges and economic volatility. 

Executives will also have to consider contingency planning and risk mitigation to create opportunities to continue to scale and grow by implementing efficiency strategies to boost profitability.
Photo: Andrey_Popov/ Shutterstock.com

CFOs and financial executives will continue to prioritize cash flow management to ensure financial stability and allow potential growth opportunities to be explored. Challenges like inflation and high interest rates are likely to continue for most businesses in 2024, with finance teams expected to prioritize cost-effective “do more for less” optimization measures. 

Executives will also have to consider contingency planning and risk mitigation to create opportunities to continue to scale and grow by implementing efficiency strategies to boost profitability.

Corporate travel managers will need to explore ways to make business travel more affordable, from booking with budget airlines to exploring platforms with exclusive accommodation rates. 

 11. Investing in generative AI

Generative AI is one of the biggest talking points across every industry niche. It has the potential to maximize data insights and analytics. Finance teams and CFOs will invest in generative AI to support strategic decision-making and maximize value creation while identifying potential untapped revenue streams. Generative AI will give finance teams end-to-end visibility on their operations and financial transactions as part of their risk management strategy and to prevent revenue leakage. 

Generative AI is one of the biggest talking points across every industry niche. It has the potential to maximize data insights and analytics.
Photo: MMD Creative/ Shutterstock.com

Investing in generative AI will help finance teams combat negative macroeconomic trends, including inflation and higher interest rates. Travel managers can invest in generative AI to ensure compliance with expenses and invoice reporting.

Make corporate travel affordable with Roundtrip

CFOs and finance teams can make their budgets go further by using Roundtrip as a hub for corporate travel. We work with corporate travel managers, finance teams, and professionals to streamline travel planning.


Get started with Roundtrip today to access the best rates on 2.5 million hotels, transfers, car rentals, and airline tickets with employee profiles and downloadable invoices.

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