dcsimg

Career Story: Senior Cost Analyst At A Pharmaceutical Contractor

Senior Cost Analyst At A Pharmaceutical Contractor

Job Title: Senior Cost Analyst

Type of Company: My company provides services to the pharmaceutical and medical device market. I work in the clinical trials division, which is responsible for new drug development.

Education: BS, Accounting, Bentley College

Previous Experience: I started in accounting while still in college and after graduation, I took a job with a Boston-based electrical contractor doing general accounting. After a year and a half, I moved to a sister company that ran underground cable lines, followed by a stint (of seven years) at a social scientific research company where I was primarily responsible for managing the billing and accounts receivables. I've been with my current employer for 13 years.

Job Tasks: As a senior cost analyst, I have many responsibilities, including the oversight, currently, of fifteen different projects. I make sure that each one has been set up correctly in SAP, our financial software, and that we bill for our services and get paid for them in a timely way.

Forecasting is another part of my job. We forecast the number of hours necessary to complete each task within a clinical trial. This is important for a few reasons: it enables the project manager to determine if his project is on track to be profitable and if we're working on tasks, for some reason, that were not included in the original scope of work. And it helps our managers to decide if they need to hire more people. My forecasting forms the basis, what's more, for our revenue projections, which are key to business strategy. I am also responsible for a balancing a few accounts in the company's general ledger.

When I'm not attending to any of these responsibilities, I trouble-shoot accounting system problems, running and creating reports and assisting my fellow cost analysts.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: It's difficult being in accounting because you learm a lot more about the financial health of the company than you sometimes want to know. there are times, for example, you're better off not knowing that the treasurer isn't sure if we'll be able to make payroll.

The best part of the job is the realization that I'm a foot soldier in a company that brings succor to people through improved pharmaceuticals.

Job Tips: If you want to go into any career involving accounting, I strongly recommend that you work as a CPA first. I've found that there are a lot more opportunities available if you're certified. It's also best to get started with a small company if you can. You'll be exposed to much more. As you bump along in an accounting career -- probably any career -- you tend to lodge in a particular specialty, so you will want to plan you moves with some care.

Additional Thoughts: Another reason to become a CPA is that it gives you a kind of "star power." Non-CPAs aren't always thought of as contributing to the company's revenue stream and are relegated sometimes to the position of second-class citizens: a drag on the rest of the company. A CPA is a much more valuable commodity.

Popular Schools offering Finance Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!

  • Programs: B.S. in Finance and Economics, M.B.A.: Finance, B.S. in Accounting, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master

The Forbes School of Business® combines the power and flexibility of online learning with high-quality, topical Forbes content.

  • Programs: BA Finance, MBA - Finance, MA Accountancy - Audit, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

  • Programs: MHA: Finance, BS in Business - Finance , DBA: Finance, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor, Doctorate

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, Business Administration, BA
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Financial Management - PhD in Bus. Admin., Financial Management - D.B.A., Advanced Accounting - PhD in Bus. Admin., more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) offers career relevant bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for working adults and nontraditional learners.

  • Programs: Master in Finance, Master - Professional Accounting, Graduate Specialization - Accounting, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor

Become the leader you know you can be. The Forbes School of Business & TechnologyÒat Ashford University

  • Programs: BA Sports and Recreation Management - Finance, BA Finance, MBA - Finance, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master
Utica College
Online

What They’re Known For

Founded in 1946 and located in the heart of central New York, Utica College is a regionally accredited, independent, private institution that features many of the advantages of a large university — such as undergraduate and graduate degree options, excellent academics, and outstanding faculty — with the intimacy and high degree of personal attention more closely associated with smaller private institutions.

  • Programs: MBA - Finance/Accounting, MBA - General
  • Degrees: Master
Argosy University
Ontario, Orange, Phoenix, San Diego

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

  • Programs: Business Administration - Finance (BS) (Online), Business Administration - Accounting (BS) (Online), Business Administration (BS) (Online), more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Associate

At Post University, we believe you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold to further your education.

  • Programs: B.S. in Finance / Corporate Finance, Certificate: Finance, B.S. in Finance, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Certificate, Master
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Financial Managers, including:

Back to Top