As Biotech and Life Sciences firms get ready to scale – whether in preparation for an IPO or before they launch their products into the market – they typically look for an ERP system that will address their operational, security and financial needs. Research and clinical-stage firms that operate in basic systems such as QuickBooks or Xero find NetSuite a very cost-effective and scalable platform to help them meet the requirements of a growing organization. These requirements are largely focused on controls and operational efficiencies.
When companies embark on a NetSuite implementation, they tend to fail to realize that NetSuite is not built “out of the box” for the unique needs of a Biotech firm. Instead, companies spend time with their implementation partners building and adapting NetSuite to meet their needs. In this brief article, we will provide an overview of the most common financial, operational and IT General Control (ITGC) reports that Biotech firms typically look for when implementing NetSuite. These reports are provided “out of the box” by SquareWorks’ Reporting Add-On for Biotech firms, which is included as part of the company’s implementation services.
By far, the most common request while implementing NetSuite for a Biotech company is to deliver an Income Statement broken out by Research & Development (R&D) and General & Administrative (G&A) costs. While there are different ways to approach this, the output is typically consistent and looks like the following:
This layout is consistent with the format required by the SEC, which makes it incredibly easy for organizations to spend less time translating financial data in Excel to comply with SEC regulations. The report can also be broken out into more detailed sub-categories that fall under G&A and R&D.
In our experience, Pre-Revenue Biotech firms want to be able to closely track their spend and make sure that their available resources are maximized as they go through research and clinical trials. Therefore, we typically see customers focus heavily on spend management in NetSuite. In a previous article, we explained how NetSuite and SquareWorks can deliver pre-configured functionality in NetSuite to manage spend more effectively through strong approval flows and 3-way match. For more information about this functionality from SquareWorks, continue reading here.
From a reporting perspective, Biotech firms are typically looking for reports that can provide a quick snapshot of how much they are spending by Vendor (or Employee) and then also broken out by R&D and G&A. The idea being that they can see where most of the resources are going and then drill down into the data with a few clicks. An example of a report would look like this:
Spend by Employee Broken out by Vendor:
This type of report is also very frequently requested with budgetary information, which helps companies look at their spend at any point in time and determine trends and make decisions accordingly.
Another frequent request is to look at spend data by Clinical Trial and/or Product. This report can come in different forms, but a very standard request is the following:
Spend by Vendor Broken out by Trial or Product:
This view of spend in NetSuite is critical for companies that are working on several products in their pipeline and need to manage these products at different stages of the research and development process. By leveraging NetSuite and SquareWorks Consulting, these reports can be deployed quickly and efficiently so they are configured and ready for use on day one.
Audit and Compliance (ITGC)
Finally, Biotech companies are highly regulated, especially if they are publicly traded. These companies typically require strong IT General Controls (ITGC), which are then reviewed and tested by their auditors. SquareWorks Consulting works together with its clients and their auditors in making sure that the appropriate controls are in place and properly tested. Some examples of reports and activities that SquareWorks typically can assist with are:
- Evidence of controls surrounding NetSuite changes
- Segregation of duties review and testing
- Audit of changes to high-impact functionality such as workflows and/or scripts
These are just a few examples of the types of reports SquareWorks Consulting can deliver in your NetSuite environment to curate the system to your specific needs and help save countless administrative hours. From reviewing operational expenses and managing your pipeline, to pulling information for audits and compliance, our team will ensure that your company has these reports ready to bring the best information-based operational efficiencies to your organization.
Contact us today to learn more about our curated NetSuite implementation plans and proprietary reporting add-ons for Biotech and Life Sciences Firms. To learn more about our experience in this industry, please visit: https://squareworks.com/netsuite-for-biotech-and-life-sciences-firms/