• Understand why something is expected of you—it makes the task easier and will improve your communication with an auditor and other stakeholders.

• Document, document, document—take notes immediately and use a date and time stamp. Keep them simple and to the point. Tell the story.

• If you have an intuition that something is not right, follow up. Stamp the information with the date and time and save it with the rest of your documentation.

• Be proactive, not reactive.

• Educate your:

-meeting host/project team

-country office contact

-other colleagues

-vendors (hotels, third-party planners, content vendors, etc.)

-attendees—let them know what is and is not acceptable, and what will expedite reimbursement and minimize consequences.

• Automate as much as possible. Auditors like systems to tell the story instead of hand-written notes, so use time stamps and find ways to automate matching your attendee list to the sign-in sheet if you can.

• Have a clean, accessible system for storing information that you can access quickly and easily.

• Don’t forget to follow through when deviations occur.

• Know who your company defines as an HCP—is it just MDs, or all the way down the line?

• Ask the hotel to provide detailed billing so auditors don’t have to come back for more on specific items.

• Train everyone who touches that meeting, including trip directors. Let them know what you need them to do if a deviation happens. It’s best to document as it happens so you don’t have to go back later and try to recreate the situation.