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Coupa Predictions 2019

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Coupa Predictions 2019

By Rob Bernshteyn, CEO, Coupa Software

  1. With tighter financial conditions in 2019 and tense political logjams across the US, Europe, and Asia, we’ll see more economic and policy uncertainty, and as a result, less predictable revenue growth opportunities. However, this will provide a great incentive for companies to maintain profitability by looking inward and becoming more agile, modern, and efficient at managing their business spend to ensure every investment the company makes drives shareholder return.
  1. Following high-profile fraud cases in 2018, and the issues around compliant workers brought on by Brexit, UK firms are expected to take great strides this coming year to tackle the demons that lay within. This will be done by implementing technologies that will give them a comprehensive view into all their business spend to ensure compliance, financial security, and safeguarding against fraudulent accounting. Businesses are rushing to get their arms around spending, which will protect against internal factors currently, but also the uncertainty ahead. 
  1. AI and machine learning will continue to drive valuable business insights. When applied to how companies manage their money, insights around where and when to spend, compliance, and risk management can be gleaned. When considering what technology investments to make in 2019, it will be important for businesses to understand how the convergence of AI, machine learning, and big data is creating powerful ‘community intelligence.’ We will have new opportunities to ascertain value from data in ways we weren’t able to before and AI will have an immense impact on how companies manage their bottom line.
  1. Because of changing domestic policies and international trade agreements in 2019, companies who’ve globalised and become truly multinational will be at greater risk for being out of compliance when it comes to sourcing, procurement, and payments. It’s easy to forget things like FCPA penalties, new trade restrictions, or examining the cost of compliance when you’re trying to make smarter spending decisions next year. Without proper visibility into what you’re spending, compliance will always be a significant risk. Achieving true financial compliance requires centralised control with decentralised execution to yield informed purchasing efficiency, while providing financial oversight and auditability.
  1. Payment terms to suppliers around the world have been getting longer in the past decade since the financial crisis, and as we inch closer to a bear market, we’ll see payment times to suppliers get even longer. This will create even more risk if businesses don’t address payment issues, making them simpler, more flexible, and exploring options like supply chain finance as part of an overall business spend management strategy. The quarter-point hike to the committee’s benchmark rate target is even more reason for businesses to understand why frugality and seeking ways to spend smarter will need to be an essential part of any company’s culture.
  1. As policies around salary increases, paid leave, and worktime flexibility are debated, businesses will be evaluating how they hire, staff, and pay their employees in a much more dynamic and strategic way. Contingent workforces and the gig economy will play an even greater role in these strategic hiring and compensation decisions. Businesses will need to develop better plans for how they can most effectively onboard contingent workers and how they will impact the bottom line.
  2. From the Trump administration’s policies on immigration, to Brexit’s labour consequences, to arguments in Asia over the wages and rights of migrant workers, we’ll see more companies banding together and taking the lead on such issues, with cohesive platforms on immigration reform. This, in turn, will put more pressure on governments to pass major immigration legislation and embrace policies that consider the inherent value immigrants bring to businesses and society at large.

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Britain’s Heathrow sinks to $2.8 billion loss during pandemic

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Britain's Heathrow sinks to $2.8 billion loss during pandemic 1

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Heathrow Airport plunged to a 2 billion pound ($2.8 billion) annual loss after passenger numbers collapsed to levels last seen in the 1970s during the pandemic.

Heathrow called on the government to agree a common international travel standard to allow passengers to start flying again in the summer and to provide business tax breaks for airports to help them ride out the crisis.

The airport, west of London, is hopeful that travel markets will reopen from mid-May after a government announcement on easing lockdown on Monday.

Still Britain’s biggest airport, Heathrow last year lost its title as the busiest in Europe to Paris as its flight schedules contracted more than its rival’s.

The airport said on Wednesday that during 2020 passenger numbers shrunk 73% to 22 million people, with half of those people having travelled during January and February before COVID-19 shut down global travel.

The airport sunk to a 2 billion loss before tax on revenues which were down 62% to 1.18 billion pounds, but Heathrow said it had 3.9 billion pounds of liquidity and that could keep it going until 2023.

The airport is owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, the Qatar Investment Authority and China Investment Corp, among others.

($1 = 0.7044 pounds)

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton and James Davey)

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Strong exports, construction boost German economy in fourth quarter

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Strong exports, construction boost German economy in fourth quarter 2

BERLIN (Reuters) – Bullish exports and solid construction activity helped the German economy to grow by a stronger-than-expected 0.3% in the final quarter of last year, the Federal Statistics Office said on Wednesday, revising an earlier estimate.

The office, which previously had reported a 0.1% expansion on the quarter from October to December, said it also revised upward its 2020 full-year GDP figure for Europe’s largest economy to -4.9% from -5.0%.

Adjusted for calendar effects, the economy last year shrank by 5.3%, which was a much smaller contraction than many other European countries recorded, mainly due to a strong fiscal response of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The debt-financed fiscal splurge created an overall state budget deficit of 139.6 billion euros or 4.2% of gross domestic product in 2020, the office said. This was the first deficit since 2011 and the second-highest since German reunification.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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UK’s Sunak could extend stamp duty holiday until June-end – The Times

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UK's Sunak could extend stamp duty holiday until June-end - The Times 3

(Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak is preparing to extend the stamp duty holiday by three months until the end of June in an attempt to boost activity in the housing market as the country emerges from lockdown, The Times reported on Wednesday.

The extension to the policy, which covers sales of properties worth up to 500,000 pounds ($708,100), could cost the government 1 billion pounds, the report https://bit.ly/3sglJoS added.

Britain raised the threshold of property tax to 500,000 pounds last July from 125,000 pounds, exempting nine of 10 people buying a main home from stamp duty. The temporary cuts are set to expire in March 2021.

Sunak will use his annual budget on March 3 to move the policy to the end of June, bringing it in line with the easing of lockdown restrictions, the newspaper said.

He will also announce plans to raise corporation tax while Treasury officials are considering a 25% tax hike.

Sunak said on Tuesday that he would set out more details of job support measures at his budget next week, after official figures showed unemployment had risen to its highest since early 2016.

($1 = 0.7061 pounds)

(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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