Life Sciences has its fair share of spend pitfalls
Doing business in Life Sciences is no easy feat. The industry is dynamic and fast-paced, with accelerating innovations in gene therapies, acquisitions and joint ventures, increasingly outsourced and crowd-sourced R&D, and a rich and well-funded startup landscape. It’s a great time to be in Life Sciences, but your company faces a lot of challenges: longer-lasting clinical development, a greater chance of drug or device failure, and more pressure to create blockbuster products. You’re also subject to a tangle of worldwide regulations, especially around spend transparency.
When it comes to business spend in Life Sciences, there are constraints and pitfalls everywhere. Your organization spends a lot, both on employee travel and entertainment as you maintain a professional sales organization, as well for direct and indirect supplies, contracted help, and in support of your outsourced R&D projects. If you’re like most pharmaceutical companies, you’ve increasingly partnered with universities, teaching hospitals, and contract research organizations to broaden your pipeline of new therapies.
Partner initiatives may be strategically important to your company, but it's hard to keep track of spending. Payments to partners range from straight “time-and-materials” to licensing fees and revenue sharing to stock- or option-based compensation. Your business development teams have negotiated arrangements and captured their terms in POs across your paper and electronic repositories, but tracking them all is challenging. Approving invoices and other types of compensation can be a guessing game, and you need to report on it all to comply with the Sunshine Act and other global spend transparency legislation.
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Top life sciences companies use AppZen
Audit 100% of spend, pre-payment
Validate and audit 100% of your expenses and invoices before any money is spent. Finance AI auto-approves low-risk items so you can focus on high-risk spend, saving time and ensuring policy compliance.
Maintain 100% regulatory compliance
Ensure Sunshine Act compliance and more — review expense reports, merchant receipts, corporate and P‑Cards, invoices, and payments against thousands of regulations and sanctions databases.
Reimburse employees in one day
Delight employees by auto-approving low-risk spend, erasing complexity, and cutting reimbursement time from weeks to hours.
Find all errors, waste, and fraud
Detect duplicates, mistakes, wasteful spending, and corporate fraud across all of your AP and T&E spend in minutes.
Eliminate manual invoice processing
Automatically process all non-digital invoices in your AP inbox. AI extracts and validates data, applies PO and accounting policies, and checks for duplicates.
Track team spend and compliance
Pinpoint areas for managers to focus on behavior change, using key metrics from team analytics to identify non-compliance and wasteful spend trends.
Why Life Sciences companies need AI in their AP process
Even if you have a solid handle on your partnerships and their associated payment schemes, following all spend across the many systems in your back office is problematic. Most large Life Sciences companies have disparate AP systems because of the many acquisitions and joint ventures they’ve undergone as they've grown. Governments around the globe have cracked down on false claims, kickbacks, and other forms of fraud, and Life Sciences is shouldering a heavy compliance burden. And so many companies lack the visibility they need across their spend systems to have accurate, comprehensive spend reporting, when they’re actually contested by a regulatory authority, many simply pay the penalty.
Another by-product of complexity in your AP systems is that you’re vulnerable to errors, waste, and fraud. The shifting priorities resulting from those acquisitions and joint ventures mean you’ll never reach a steady state in your back office. Tidy approval workflows and invoice matching processes that are supposed to protect you from overpaying or being fraudulently charged by your vendors aren't working for you. No sooner do you have a workable process in place than it's upended in your next business transition. The rapid pace of business doesn't afford you enough time to set them up, much less maintain them. Ultimately, you end up missing duplicate charges, invoices missing the proper PO terms, and even fraudulent invoices.
What is required is a smart spend audit process that automates the review of all of your expenses and invoices. It should understand and keep track of your corporate policies as well as all spend-related laws such as the Sunshine Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, so you can remain compliant. And it needs to protect your organization from overpaying, double-paying, or becoming a victim of fraud.
If Life Sciences spend is the illness, AI-powered spend auditing from AppZen is the cure. Our platform helps modern finance teams reduce spend, comply with policies, and streamline processes.
Three of the top five life science firms audit spend with AppZen.
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