“I’m so excited… we’re being audited Friday!”

September 21 2020

This blog title is obviously written in jest. We all know audits are typically not something to get excited about. But a rare exception that got me thinking was when a Greenphire colleague and I recently presented a demo of our ClinCard digital participant payment technology to the Finance Office team at a large academic medical center.

The first question from the Chief Financial Officer following the demo was, “will this system enable us to pass an audit of participant payments (and 1099 tracking), particularly an external audit from an accounting or risk management firm such as Deloitte or a similar company?”

Quite confidently, we responded, “Definitely! ALL payment transactions of any type are captured automatically in our back-end accounting reports within the web portal system: amount of payment; type of payment; payment date; by whom; to whom; for what study; and under which study accounting code.”

In my previous role as an administrator at an academic medical center, our School of Medicine routinely conducted audits in multiple areas common to academics: NIH F&E Rate Studies; faculty “effort reporting”; research faculty conflict of interest; grant-related fixed asset inventory; P-Card Purchasing, residency clinical hours monitoring, faculty travel expense reports, etc.

But the key factor determining whether the “audit experience” for these areas (including painstaking preparation) was going to painful and stressful or not was the reliability of the database that contained the information the auditors would be reviewing.  That is, was the database “closed” such that almost no data could exist eternally via a paper-based alternative or some other independent system?

The ClinCard web-based portal and automated back end reports have a “closed system.”  There is full transparency and a hierarchy of checks and balances for all transactions. There are 15 accounting reports including the yearly 1099 report that makes preparing for an audit a “non-stressor” to our research partners. In fact, an administrator of the ClinCard system facing an audit might go as far as to say, “I’m ready!”

Now that is something get excited about!

Joe Gough
Solutions Specialist for Academic Medical Centers and Universities
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