Associate Director, R&D Business Controls Lead


icon-location-marker Princeton - NJ - US
Posted 247 days ago Full_time R1519296

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global Biopharma company committed to a single mission: to discover, develop, and deliver innovative medicines focused on helping millions of patients around the world in disease areas such as oncology, cardiovascular, immunoscience and fibrosis.


Join us and make a difference.  We hire the best people and provide them with a work environment that places a premium on diversity, integrity, collaboration and personal development. Through a culture of inclusion, we create a better, more productive work environment. We believe that the diverse experiences and perspectives of all our employees help to drive innovation and transformative business results.

Position Purpose

This position represents the Business Controls Function (BCF) as the internal controls lead for R&D, and is primarily responsible for managing financial, operational and fraud risk within the Division.  The position reports directly to the R&D Finance Controller, with a dotted line to the Business Controls Director for GPS, R&D and Medical.  This role will lead the effort to mitigate risks in R&D and drive a proactive, controls-centric culture that helps ensure BMS continues to innovate and promptly meet patients’ needs.  The position is based in Princeton, New Jersey.  

Duties & Responsibilities


  • Provide a strong Internal Controls framework within R&D, including maintaining policies and work instructions, imparting R&D specific trainings, responding to day-to-day inquiries from R&D process owners and escalating issues to key leadership within R&D and Business Controls.
  • Regular engagement with management in key business processes and functions to proactively identify and mitigate financial, operational and fraud risk.
  • Serve as Subject Matter Expert (SME) in R&D acquisition accounting and controls, portfolio accounting, contract management and approval authority, lease accounting under ASC 842.
  • Provide interpretations of corporate policies and procedures to business process owners.

Financial, Operational & Fraud Risk Assessment

  • Assist the R&D Controller and BCF Director in the risk assessment process by helping identify risks and process improvement opportunities and implementing potential mitigating controls. Collaborate and proactively problem-solve with Global Finance leads and R&D leadership to address critical operational changes and the impact on internal controls.
  • Monitor higher risk areas identified in risk assessments and review if mitigation actions are in place and promptly executed.
  • Analyze Tableau dash boarding for risk trends. Contribute to design for any visualization requests originating from R&D management.

Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) & Quarterly Sub-Certification Activities

  • Raise and evaluate all R&D out-of-period financial statement adjustments, control failures and Global Internal Audit & Assurance (GIA) observations for potential SOX deficiency reporting.
  • Work with the BCF leadership team to make determinations as to the pervasiveness and financial magnitude of control deficiencies, and to design effective and efficient remediation plans.
  • Work with senior leadership in R&D to identify and evaluate the Company’s most significant changes in the internal control environment.  This task includes evaluating changes to systems, processes and personnel that have an impact on BMS financial, operational, and fraud risk.
  • Follow-up on all financial control deficiency and fraud risk remediation measures, whether arising from Sarbanes-Oxley testing, the quarterly close process, internal audit observations, the BCF risk assessment, anti-bribery corruption and fraud monitoring, etc.  Report quarterly and more frequently as necessary, to senior BCF and operational leadership on the status thereof through formal, quarterly meetings.
  • Participate in annual walk-throughs with BPOs and external auditor.
  • Evaluate the accuracy and completeness of the Company’s internal control standards.
  • Contribute to qualitative SOX scoping decisions to ensure consideration of R&D risks in attribute testing.

Anti-bribery, corruption and fraud monitoring activities

  • Review results of quarterly anti-bribery, corruption and fraud monitoring, including determining need to report to the Company’s Law & Compliance Department.  Obtain results of the theft review, disbursements review, and T&E review.  Prepare the Anti-Bribery management deck and obtain feedback from management on any additional items
  • Remain abreast of developments both internally within BMS and externally in this area, and ensure that testing procedures are tailored accordingly, in cooperation with the BCF’s bribery, corruption and fraud SME.
  • Escalate significant findings identified in quarterly monitoring to R&D Controller, BCF Director, and Compliance & Law Department to ensure appropriate follow-up/remediation occurs.  Escalate any other non-compliance with Company policy and procedure as required even if originating from source other than monitoring activities.

Internal Audit Support

  • Assist and support as necessary with internal and external audits related to R&D (e.g., responding to inquiries, providing explanations regarding controls, policy/procedure, end-to-end process, reviewing and consulting on findings/observations)
  • Determine the appropriateness of any GIA-recommended remediation activities, in particular in response to a qualified or adverse internal audit report opinion, or in response to recommendations that suggest significant system or process change.
  • Follow-up to ensure that R&D process owners promptly remediate audit observations.

Other Activities

  • Assist the Controller in drafting technical memos and whitepapers (e.g., general accounting matters, lease accounting, etc.).
  • Periodically participate in third party due diligence and monitoring engagements when requested by the business (e.g., contract manufacturing or research organizations).
  • Participate on special projects, including systems implementations designed to enhance compliance, improve performance or increase efficiency within the R&D function.
  • Deliver training on new policies and procedures affecting R&D, as required.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Certified Public Accountant or equivalent required. 
  • 10 years minimum total professional experience in accounting, audit, and/or internal control. Big 4 public accounting / consulting experience desirable.
  • Knowledge of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, including sections 302 and 404, the COSO Framework, and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board promulgations. 
  • Proficient in US GAAP accounting provisions, accounting principles, audit and disclosure requirements of financial statements.
  • Basic understanding of the Foreign Corruption Practices Act (FCPA), other similar anti-bribery and corruption regulations, including the key compliance risks facing global pharmaceutical manufacturers is desirable.
  • Experience in R&D preferred.  Desire to develop or already has deep understanding of risk across the R&D business/financial cycle.
  • Previous Finance department experience a plus (e.g., financial analysis, close responsibilities, financial system implementations, etc.). 

Functional/Technical Requirements

  • Understanding of internal controls, SOX regulations, as well as operational and financial business processes.
  • Ability to effectively represent the BCF to senior leadership.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and competing priorities, while working independently or with a team, with speed and accountability.
  • Business partner attitude and ability to collaborate and influence leaders.
  • Ability to work with a range of technically and culturally diverse people.
  • Strong written and verbal communication to facilitate relationship building with peers and senior management.  Comfort presenting to BCF leadership.
  • Ability to execute a solution and communicate issues that require remediation in a confident and successful manner.

Developmental Value

  • Develop subject matter expertise in all Sarbanes-Oxley matters, including the COSO framework, sections 302 and 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), and key risks for the Company’s financial statement business cycles.
  • Opportunity to gain and apply understanding of the key business risks facing pharmaceutical manufacturers and their R&D business including operational, financial and fraud/compliance risks.
  • Opportunity to be part of a professional and high performing team, that is continually evolving and reacting to risks facing senior management.  Position will provide exposure to all types of risk, including financial, strategic, operational, fraud, compliance, and other areas.
  • Develop the ability to impact and influence within the Company to deliver superior business results and protect shareholders.

Bristol-Myers Squibb recognizes the importance of balance and flexibility in our work environment. We offer a wide variety of competitive benefits, services and programs that provide our employees the resources to pursue their goals, both at work and in their personal lives.