Research Outline

Fortune 500 Spend


To identify the average % of revenue that large companies (Fortune 500 or Global 2000) spend on vendors. This will be used to help determine trends in the industry.

Early Findings

  • A 2018 benchmark survey found that Fortune 500 companies typically spend an average of $87,272,852 on goods and services annually. "These businesses make an average of 173,898 p-card transactions a year".
  • The cost of a single procure-to-pay transaction using a paper-based purchase order process is $89.99. This cost is estimated to go down to $20.14 per transaction when a p-card program is implemented.
  • 17% of transactions between $10,001 and $100,000 are paid by p-card at Fortune 500 firms. "On average, employees with access to a p-card at these Fortune 500 firms spend $300 each per month."
  • One report from 2005 found that six large corporations that participated in a survey reportedly spent between $5 billion and $48 billion each year on suppliers.
  • A 2000 Corporate Purchasing Card Benchmark Survey found that the "average Fortune 500 company paid for $20.5 million ($1,707,966 * 12 months) of goods and services with purchasing cards, which translates (at $191 per transaction) into 107,307 transactions per year shifted away from paper to the electronic card format."


  • For the initial hour, we tried identifying the requested information, however, we were mainly able to identify Fortune 500 spend on buying goods and services from suppliers based on available reports and statistics on p-card transactions.
  • One report also noted that precise data on corporate spending is not easy to come by. The requested historical data, as well as specific data on the average % of the revenue that large companies spend on vendors, did not appear immediately available in this search.
  • However, we were able to identify data specifically on p-card use or spend. According to one expert "until about 2010, companies had very few options to pay their suppliers early and options were limited to either using p-cards or using some kind of prompt-payment discount solution".
  • Research also indicates that purchasing cards are not the only payment methods companies use and that they also use other methods to pay suppliers and vendors. However, statistics or data on total spend made via all the payment methods also did not appear immediately available. However, we can identify general insights on the different company payment methods, if this is of interest.
  • In the course of our research, we also came across some general insights and statistics on electronic payments made by companies, which are also used to pay vendors or suppliers. We can research this further as an alternate research path if this is also of interest.
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