Modernizing Clinical Trial Accounting
Pharmaceutical development is undergoing significant transformational changes. The prime candidate for modernization in clinical trials is the back-office and the business-oriented function of clinical trial accounting. Although, many see this area as country-specific and not a critical path activity for a clinical study. However, considering that efficiency, cost-effectiveness, speed, participant, investigator, and site satisfaction are all areas of potential impact to results, there is a need to modernize clinical trial accounting that can lead to substantial benefits
What are Possible Improvements?
Let us take note that many of the current pain points discussed are not new. They are in many ways the cause and effect of the country-level distributed processing model and a lack of leveraging existing and more contemporary application technology components.
Many focus areas could bring significant improvements. However, the foundation of this should be starting with using an enterprise-level financial platform and all its capabilities, coupled with cloud and proven integration and automation tools.
Some specific areas where a fresh look at the business process and application capabilities could lead to substantial improvements include:
- Data Integration between the operational and enterprise financials systems to support end-to-end processes inclusive of all clinical trial accounting data for a specific clinical trial into one central system and allowing easy access.
- Budget Management uses one standard application to create, change and display the budget and leverage historical versions and standards to develop new budgets.
- Reporting improvements using analytics and web portals to provide dashboards to the stakeholders for a mutual understanding of the status.
- Financial Accounting improvements include invoice processing on a single enterprise solution, managing payments and reimbursements more efficiently based on batches and due dates, managing different local tax rules and benefits on R&D expenses, and posting accruals more accurately.
With all the processes and procedures integrated, managing clinical trial accounting from beginning to end becomes more streamlined, with increased simplicity, transparency, and greater oversight, enhancing the sponsor, investigator, and participant experience.