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Project Accountant (Finance Business Partner) - Secondment/Fixed Term Contract

AstraZeneca UK

Location: Cambridgeshire, Cheshire East, Luton

Job Type: Full time


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*LinkedIn Talent Solutions Gender Insights Report 2019

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, patient-focused biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious disease. But we’re more than one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

Finance at AstraZeneca has a clear vision to drive growth through innovation by being trusted partners who add value through connection and innovation in support of the company’s purpose and ambition:

  • We’re trusted partners: we are more than an enabling function or service provider, we’re a true and trusted partner who works with the business to unlock value for our stakeholders and patients.

  • We’re connecting: we connect with each other across geographies - breaking down silos and acting as one team. Our leaders are connected to our people. We leverage ideas, systems and data, connect knowledge and create actionable insights and predictions.

  • We’re innovating: we identify new opportunities to introduce, adopt or modify effective ideas to solve problems. We find solutions to both existing challenges and anticipated changing needs. We use innovation to simplify, to make a bigger impact and to give us a competitive advantage.

  • We’re adding value: We know what it takes to deliver value, a laser focus on our strategic priorities and key enablers.

AstraZeneca is currently reviewing its SAP ERP landscape and this is a fixed term opportunity to play an important part in supporting the Financial reporting, analysis, and control around this, including our move to the next generation of SAP.

Acting as part of the project team, in this role you are the Finance Business Partner for the PROGRAM Organisation – working in a fast paced environment, you will work with Finance Analysts and Project Managers and Directors to provide all finance support to the PROGRAM Organisation. Ensure the strategic and operational goals of the Org are delivered for our Core and Restructuring budgets – understanding and driving the importance of and tracking benefits / RoI. You will be an integral part of the Programme Management Office in owning decision making on supplier spend, IT spend, contractor and consultancy spend ranging from $70-110m over the next 12-18 months. Be an active member in shaping strategies and approaches; identifying and suggesting performance improvements (e.g. speed of delivery, value of savings, customer service, improvements to Systems or tools).

This is a hands-on role that will require you to work with, update and understand detailed project trackers at a role level one day and high level summarised packs presented to Executive level leadership on another. Experience of managing complex matrix structures and able to talk to and evidence best practice tooling/approaches would be an advantage. You will task manage dedicated Finance Analyst(s) to ensure they provide the core support you need to be fully responsible for providing expert Cost Controllership advice, guidance and support. You will dictate the reporting rhythm and content of the Program Management Information pack, owning all financial information that is used within PROGRAM including FTE / headcount, benefits cases, actuals, forecasts and budget cycles. You will ensure that all AZ Policies and Standards are met, and that reliable information is provided. You will work with the HR Business Partner to ensure that single source of the truth on resource tracking is in place and with the Procurement Business Partner to robustly manage Schedule of Work (‘SoW’) establishment, negotiation and maintenance. Once SoW’s are signed, it will be your responsibility to track and report this within time, cost & quality on a monthly basis

Typical Accountabilities

Spend Strategy & Decision Support

  • Work with project sponsors and other key stakeholders in procurement and Programme Leadership on identifying the key drivers, requirements, assumptions and constraints for the project.

  • Manage Commercial and external resources allocated to projects

  • Identify options in terms of delivery models, commercial architectures, contractual mechanisms and procurement routes to deliver the desired outcomes.

  • Prepare and agree with stakeholders an insight-led finance delivery plan for each workstream; monitor and report the progress, managing key risks and resolving issues.

  • Gaining stakeholder sign off to key tender and contract documentation and approaches including evaluation criteria and negotiation strategies

Business Strategy & Decision Support

  • Working closely with the Programme Finance Director, contribute to the Programme strategic development by providing financial input that shapes strategies and develops business and operational plans. Lead financial business and risk analysis and decision making with Programme Leadership team, driving cost/benefit analysis discussions to include business case, sourcing strategies and capacity decisions, resource allocation, commercial and/or procurement decisions and vendor negotiations, etc.

  • Review and develop short and long-term financial strategy for Programme; maintain an up-to-date understanding of all developments which may affect the Programme’s benefits case and assess business impact.

Business Performance

  • Develop and provide a management information cycle that enables Program-based decision making throughout the Programme and project lifecycle, pro-actively managing your stakeholders and colleagues and challenging assumptions and behaviours through analysis of your granular and robust source data and reporting

  • Accountability for the accuracy of forecasts and leveraging sound understanding of the operating model and financial drivers to challenge and influence the key cost drivers. Lead the financial planning cycle for Programme, setting stretch but attainable performance targets and incentives, aligned to strategy and operational plans.

  • Manage the Programme P&L; ensure the Programme provides reliable operational and financial forecasts that ensure resources are allocated to maximize value. Lead the creation of processes required to enable the robust source data you need to support the Programme and project decision making

Other ad hoc finance leadership to the team

  • Oversee financial discipline across the programme such that all financial controls (including SOX) remain compliant

  • Support the programme team with day to day P2P financial processes, ensuring we execute on financial transacting in a highly efficient manner

  • Provide coaching to the (non-Finance) programme team on financial matters

Essential skills and experience

  • CIMA/ACCA qualified or other Finance/Business qualification

  • Demonstrated experience managing Complex >$50m Programme budgets (managing matrix org structure a particular advantage)

  • Experience of working across a global organisation

  • In-depth understanding of regulatory/statutory requirements and governance principles/SOX

  • Team leadership / management experience; task managing a dedicated Finance Analyst to ensure timely completion of required inputs/processes

  • Project Management and Project accounting experience

  • Strong commercial negotiation acumen

  • Strong attention to detail

  • Stakeholder management & presenting results at senior forums

Desirable skills and experience

  • Experience of working on a major IT intangible project

Competitive salary and bene

Date Posted


Closing Date


AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.