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To finance and beyond: growth, development and success

Abi Sanders, senior operations finance analyst at PPD based in Cambridge, U.K., discusses opportunities for career development and ‘life at PPD’ as part of a fast-paced, global finance team.

My name is Abi Sanders, and I joined PPD’s operations finance in May 2018. My finance career started working in an accountancy practice. I am AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) qualified, and I am currently studying towards the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualification.

Abi Sanders, senior operations finance analyst at PPD.

The first thing that attracted me to PPD was the purpose of the business; clinical trials was an area I felt curious in learning about, and I liked the idea of working in a role where you would be contributing to helping others on a larger scale.

The second thing was the fact it’s not your “standard” finance role. Although our focus is around the finances of the trials and revenue recognition, there is so much variety and so much you get involved in — making the role very diverse.

At PPD, there are constant opportunities for growth, development and success. I started as an operations finance analyst (level I). Now, I’m a senior operations finance analyst with people management responsibilities for one direct report, as a result of receiving two promotions in my time here. Within the department, you are valued and recognised for your hard work, not only with promotions but through ad-hoc spot awards and an employee of the month programme.

No two days are the same, and you are always learning or being introduced to something new. There is daily interaction with finance colleagues, operations teams and sponsors around the globe, which I really enjoy. PPD’s management team is very supportive, giving you confidence to overcome and resolve challenges you may face on your projects. The team truly works together to help each other, when needed.

Our month-end process is not anything like my previous month-end experiences in a typical management accountant role. We complete thorough analysis of revenue recognition and provide commentary to senior management to explain variances across our portfolio of studies. There is an abundance of tools we can use to help us achieve this, and we have an online system dedicated to our month-end processes.

I have found having people management responsibility has added even more variety to the role as you are effectively managing the risks on your own portfolio whilst also doing the same for you direct report’s studies too. There is a manager forum which acts as an additional support network for anyone like me, who is new to people management within the department.

I have found PPD a very enjoyable place to work, and I look forward to continual development of my knowledge and skills in this role.


To learn more about opportunities within PPD’s global finance operations teams, please visit https://www.ppd.com/careers/career-areas/corporate/ .