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FinancialForce for contract research organizations

CTI Implements a Single Source of Truth for Clinical Trial Data

The Client

CTI is an award-winning contract research organization (CRO) specializing in complex clinical research involving critically ill patients. They manage hundreds of multi-year clinical trials and global studies at any given time, in a rapidly changing industry.

The Challenge

CTI, like many CROs, relied on manual solutions to manage their business. Very large, disconnected spreadsheets and clinical trial management system (CTMS) inputs are used to bid for and manage each clinical trial. And for good reason: Each project can last for years, requiring planning and tracking of intricate details, from hiring clinical administrators to ensuring patient safety. Absent a single digital system for clinical trials, spreadsheets were their best option for project management.

  • Spreadsheets, often referred to as “trackers,” were being used to track study progress, report progress to sponsors, staff resources, bill for work completed, calculate work done, and forecast work to be delivered
  • It was difficult and time-consuming to manage the delivery of hundreds of trials and thousands of resources using a disjointed system
  • Manual data entry created the potential for errors
  • Salesforce Opportunities were used, but the scoping process was done in bid workbooks
  • Generating reports for sponsors took far too long
  • Leadership lacked a unified view of projects, staffing, and revenue

CTI recognized that manual data tracking wasn’t scalable to support their own growth or the growing complexities of global clinical research projects. To continue its exceptional support of Biotech and Pharmaceutical companies, CTI required a better solution.

CTI’s goals:

  • Create an automated, single source of truth for project data
  • Reduce time spent on tracking and reporting
  • Increase accuracy
  • Improve visibility
  • Implement a solution smoothly and without disruption to their business

The Solution

More and more CROs are implementing Certinia (formerly FinancialForce) PSA to streamline bidding, project tracking, and billing processes. CTI consulted with CLD to discuss the benefits of Certinia as well as how to handle critical legacy and in-flight project data.  The CTI IT group led the charge of narrowing down applications to help them solve their challenge. Because CLD implemented Certinia PSA for another CRO, we understood CTI’s unique challenges and CTI chose CLD to implement the solution.

Data clean-up and migration

Because CTI had been using Salesforce for a year before implementing Certinia, some data cleanup was needed to organize how Opportunities were used, since it had a ripple effect on the bid import process and standard project creation process.

In addition, data migration was necessary to handle projects in process. We mapped fields and imported data from historical bids to create roughly ~200 active global projects for trials in process.

Feature design

CLD Partners designed an efficient way for CTI to import their bid workbooks and create projects based on what was bid instead of creating another tracker spreadsheet to manage the project.

Additional features provided to CTI included:

  1. Bid Import Feature
  2. Project Unit Tracker
  3. Percent Complete Tracker
  4. Project hierarchy that mirrors CTI projects
  5. Built-in revenue allocation and calculations
  6. Timecard compliance (one of our most requested accelerators)
  7. Salesforce and conga reports and more


We implemented Certinia’s PSA and Revenue Management applications.

Phased rollout

CTI added users incrementally. This enabled onboarding users over time, and incrementally loading active projects to ensure quality and accuracy. To date, there are more than 1,200 users active in the system.

Key Results

Streamlined CRO Management

Instead of using spreadsheets, CTI now uses Certinia (formerly FinancialForce) to track all project data, saving time and generating better data.

With the implementation of Certinia and the extensions built by CLD, CTI can now:

  1. Easily create a project using the bid import tool, with all data on one platform
  2. Plan and schedule resources more effectively with the resource planner
  3. Track units forecasted and completed in real-time, visible to anyone
  4. Create monthly reports for sponsors and management with just a click using Conga Composer
  5. Create a unified view of projects
  6. Easily navigate to see the regional project progress
  7. Automate revenue recognition
  8. Ensure better timecard compliance tracking using CLD’s Timecard Compliance package

View all of CLD’s Accelerators for CROs.