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Vial and Airbase: Managing clinical trials with the Airbase Growth plan — here are the results.

Vial and Airbase: Managing clinical trials with the Airbase Growth plan — here are the results.

Melissa De La Torre

Melissa De La Torre

Clinical Research Billing Manager
  1. Easy sync of all spending to Xero.
  2. After a free trial, opted for Airbase Growth plan to improve all areas of spend.
  3. Visibility and control to handle the finance/on-the-ground expenses of clinical trials for multiple entities — all through Airbase.
After trialing the Airbase free Essentials plan, Vial was convinced. Upgrading from Essentials to a Growth plan gave them much more of what they were looking for.
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Accounting/erp Software


Before Airbase

  • Tedious onboarding of new sponsors and clinical site managers who required physical corporate cards.
  • Using physical cards restricted spend review to after-the-fact and without spend limits.
  • Reimbursements that involved documentation chasing.
  • Manual entry of data to the GL.
  • Separate entity expense management

With Airbase

  • Virtual, physical, and vendor-specific cards are purpose-fit and software-enabled.
  • Automatic spend limits, reimbursement receipt upload, card spend approval and review.
  • Easy onboarding of new sponsors or site managers through email prompts.
  • Automatic syncing of spend details to the GL.
  • Multi-entity support across AP and billing for 20-30 entities and various clinical trial sites.

1. Unique operational needs — met.

Vial is a contract research organization (CRO) that helps people find clinical trials and serves as a Site Management Organization (SMO), offering financial management to trial site operators. 

That’s a huge scope of financial responsibility and operations — visibility and control are essential. Additionally, such a nuanced cash flow demands an agile spend solution. Airbase allows Vial to deploy secure, compliant, and documented funds across sites easily.

Melissa De La Torre, Clinical Research Billing Manager, took some time to share how Airbase is simplifying multi-faceted billing and expenses at Vial.

Responsible for day-to-day expenses of 20-30 entities, Melissa spends only 4 hours a week reviewing spend thanks to Airbase. Across AP, benefits of the platform are being felt.

“Paying bills is quick and easy when using Airbase. Onboarding was easier than expected. Since changing to the Growth plan, we have seen a positive ROI.”

Montgomery Link

AP Manager, Vial

2. Virtual cards — a new frontier.

Previously, Vial used physical cards to manage site expenses. As their network grew, they could see that virtual cards were the way forward.

Melissa, who arrived after Airbase had been implemented, was totally new to virtual cards — and was awed.

“I was really fascinated by them. I thought they were really cool idea.”

Onboarding sponsors, or anyone who requires a card, is a breeze according to Melissa.

“It’s honestly so intuitive that the training is very minimal. It’s just a matter of creating an account for them, which then sends them the invite email to Airbase.”

Easy-to-use virtual cards are then issued quickly and as necessary. Auto-lock, spend controls, approvals, audit trails, and spend details are all at Vial Heath’s fingertips. Melissa can approve requested spend right from within Slack.

Vendor-specific virtual cards also mean that Vial employees can “all use the same card, which can make managing certain recurring expenses easier.”

3. Reformed reimbursements and software-enabled physical cards.

Vial still uses Airbase physical cards for some on-sites, travel, and sales expenses.

“Airbase really facilitates added visibility into all the transactions that are made with physical cards on-site.”

Like with virtual cards, users can receive departmental approval before Melissa finalizes approval — all through Slack.

“As our company has been growing and there’s been more and more departments and uses, spend limits have definitely been useful. Users are notified as they approach that limit.”

While certain site managers or employees are still using physical cards, Melissa shares that “everybody else is using virtual cards or reimbursements.” Regardless of how spend is executed, Melissa is feeling the benefits of Airbase across the board.

“I do love the fact that, prior to actually submitting the reimbursement, you have to submit certain criteria. This can be done as soon as spend happens or when an employee or site manager sits down and reviews their expenses.”

4. Handling booking details at the approval stage provides new efficiency.

This is “definitely” a beneficial feature according to Melissa. Creating categorizations within Airbase is also helping Melissa keep track of card spend as it flows directly to the GL

“I’m able to filter specific categories to help me manage expenses, rather than having to go through card statements and manually verify what different expenses are.”

Once a week, Melissa carries out a budget review of spend. The rest of the time, Airbase’s control and customizable spend settings automatically assure that spend is on track.

5. An overall improved spend culture. 

“There has been a positive change in spend culture just by switching from physical cards to virtual cards.”

In her time at Vial, Melissa has already observed a safer, improved spend culture thanks to Airbase virtual cards, vendor-specific cards, and so on. Whether it’s how expenses are filtered as they flow to the ledger, automated approval workflows that support scale, or using various spend and card types to facilitate its nuanced operational requirements, Vial is reaping the rewards of choosing the Airbase Growth package. 

Like to know how Airbase’s spend management platform works?

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