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Medicine LibreTexts

18: Budgeting and accounting

  • Page ID
    • 18.1: Introduction to budgeting and accounting
      This chapter gives a brief introduction to budgeting and accounting requirements and associated methods in the context of field trials. For all but the smallest trials, a trained accountant should be part of the trial team, at least part-time.
    • 18.2: Budgeting
      The trial budget should be prepared as part of the trial planning process and be used throughout the trial as a monitoring tool. Usually, the budget will need to be prepared as part of the grant application.
    • 18.3: Accounting
      All money that is received and spent for the trial must be accounted for in a way that is both truthful and transparent, so it can be checked by an outsider (an ‘auditor’).
    • 18.4: Budget monitoring
      Once the budget has been finalized and the necessary funds have been received, the budget acts as the basis for all future expenditure and financial reporting for the trial. The expenditure should be compared against the budget on a frequent and regular basis, such as every 3 months for a trial that lasts more than 1 year, and every month for a trial of a year or less
    • 18.5: Accounts summaries and auditing
      Once expenditure on the trial has started, the income and expenditure accounts will show the actual (past) income and expenditure within the cash book, and this should then be summarized periodically (ideally once a month, but at least once every 3 months) by major line items. The income and expenditure accounts can then be put into an income and expenditure statement, which will show actual (past) and forecast (future) income and the equivalent for expenditure, broken down by period (for exampl
    • 18.6: Prevention of fraud and other losses
      One of the duties of the PI in a trial is to ensure that there are systems in place to try to prevent or expose fraud. Preventing fraud is far better than exposing it after the event, so it is best to put systems in place in advance to check for potential fraud and to ensure that all relevant staff know that such checks are going to be carried out, in order to dissuade them from committing fraud.
    • 18.7: Glossary of financial terms
      Accruals Expenditure incurred in an accounting period that has not yet been paid or invoiced. Opposite of pre-payments Actual Income earned and expenditure incurred over a given time period
    • 18.8: References
      Law, J. 2010. A dictionary of accounting. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lewis, T. 2013. Financial management essentials: a handbook for NGOs [Online]. Oxford: Mango (Management Accounting for Non-governmental Organisations). Available at: <>.