This is the third post in a series that takes a closer look at the Best Practices outlined by the Society for Clinical Research Sites (SCRS) and how a centralized automated solution supports these best practices.
In our previous two posts, we explored some of SCRS’ recommended best practices from its 2016 Site Payment Best Practices white paper: holdbacks and payment frequency. In the third post in this series, we will discuss payment backup information.
What typically happens when a site receives payment?
When a site receives a check or electronic transfer from their sponsor or CRO, it is often just that, no explanation as to what it is for. Sometimes, a payment will almost magically appear in a research site’s bank account, without as little as a notification of a bank deposit.
Why does lack of payment backup information pose a problem?
Too often, sites receive these payments without any backup information explaining the what the check is for. This causes extra hours of work, as site personnel must put time into tracking down information and the details around why they received this specific check/payment. While time consuming, this work is necessary as the details around the reason for payment must be entered a site’s accounting system.
Without a way to identify the specific reason a payment is made, a site has no way to reconcile the payment within their established accounting structure. This lack of insight prevents the research team from tracking payments and posting deposits following the generally accepting accounting practices (GAAP).
How can sponsors/CROs provide payment backup information without manual effort?
SCRS recommends that each payment be accompanied by a report to include the protocol name and number, investigator name, and details of each payment line item including subject identifier, visit number, visit date and procedures outlines if the payment is for items outside the visit payment (i.e. storage fee, pharmacy start-up, etc.) or if any items invoiced were denied or delayed for payment.
By centralizing payment processes through a site payment solution, CROs and sponsors are able to provide have an aggregate record of payment activity and in turn are able to provide that information to their site partners. For the first time, sponsors and CROs are able to confidently provide information around what a payment is for an what it should be allocated to.
By implementing such technology, sponsors and CROs can make both their lives easier, and significantly reduce the workload of their sites by providing all the necessary information surrounding a payment, automatically, every time. Restate the benefits around this – visibility into what the payment is for reduces frustration, needless administrative work, keeps the team focused on research.