Auxilius Notes

Beyond the spreadsheet: The future of clinical trial finance

We hear it a lot: “we do everything in Excel.”

That’s almost always followed with qualifiers like these: “It’s a lot of effort and resources.” “Very manual.” “Labor intensive.” “It’s a drain.” In conversations with dozens of biotech teams our team finds that in virtually every company, the financial management of clinical trials happens via spreadsheet.

You know the view: a green-hued wasteland of broken links, tabs upon tabs, static snapshots that require manual input. Is it correct? Is it up to date? Does it reflect the latest change order or month-close? Who made the last edit? But before we go further, we want to acknowledge the wonder that is Excel: half of our corporate team is formerly from the investment banking realm, so there is an abundance of love for the unbounded flexibility of Excel in our office. However, despite being a powerful tool, clinical trials max out the capacity of any team to effectively manage by spreadsheet, for three key reasons.

First, when preparing for audits or other key financial milestones, versioning and change tracking are crucial, yet often lost within the spreadsheet sinkhole. When tracking inputs and changes, Excel lacks an easy way to log and build process around change as it happens through your trial.

Second, Excel is not built to scale process around user roles: there isn’t a workflow, clear lines of approval, or user-centered views that could help bridge conversations with clinical stakeholders (i.e., ClinOps). As you work to build and scale your process and your team, Excel remains a relatively static for your various users.

Third, in a dynamic industry, maintaining effectiveness amidst change is crucial. Said simply, you probably built or have an incredible Excel model already – but if you or your power user leave, it typically loses power the second it is handed off. As the Great Resignation and increasing layoffs impact the industry, continuity is an increasing business imperative.

To overcome these challenges, we built Auxilius. Auxilius doesn’t replace your accounting software – NetSuite, QuickBooks, you name it – but rather sits between those accounting tools and your clinical tools (CTMS, EDC) to offer your finance function the dynamic budgets, long-term forecasting, and end-of-month accruals they need to get the job done.

Your team (or you!) will be thrilled to have a single source of truth for financial management – you’ll know what changes are made, who made them, what has changed over time, and what might change. You’ll have a consolidated suite of tools built from the ground up just for you – tools which connect stakeholders both internal (ClinOps) and external (vendors, CROs), tools which make audit preparation simple and straightforward, tools which just make your job easier and give you confidence that your process is the gold standard.

To learn more about what a future beyond Excel looks like for you, schedule a demo with our team today.