Associate Director, Finance (Research & Development )

South San Francisco, CA
Jul 19, 2021
Biotech Bay
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type

The Associate Director, Finance (Research & Development) will provide key business partnership support to CBIO’s Research & Development functions. Reporting into the Controller, this role will be an important member of the Finance & Accounting team. The ideal candidate will serve as a key and thoughtful business partner to both and the Accounting team and the senior R&D leadership team.

As we invest in our Research & Development capabilities, with expertise in Hematology and Protease engineering, we are building out our R&D Finance/Accounting team to serve as stewards of intrinsic value creation. This new role will be responsible for providing accounting support of our preclinical and manufacturing process streams including, percentage of completion analysis with key pre-clinical, clinical, and manufacturing development vendors, PO analysis, FP&A liaison, and act as intermediary between Accounting, Finance, and the business units. This role will include oversight of our pre-clinical, clinical, and manufacturing expense accrual process; ensuring transparent assumptions and a streamlined month end close process for related accruals. This role will also lead efforts towards streamlining the contracting process including managing implementation of tools to manage increasing volume of contracts.

The successful candidate will have deep biotech/pharmaceutical experience with an understanding of R&D and process controls. This role will be a hands-on and valued partner that provides accounting support to the business functions, can influence and challenge business assumptions and works closely with senior functional management to support high quality decision making while adhering to accounting controls. Candidates should have a strong understanding of the mechanisms of accounting, financial systems, and financial reporting. Strong interpersonal and communication skills are essential as the role with communicate frequently with the Catalysts team. Key personal competencies for success include the ability to master operational issues, a strong technological aptitude, the ability to dynamically handle multiple competing priorities, cross-cultural management skills, outstanding teaming and collaboration skills, excellent communication skills, and a positive “can-do” attitude.

About Catalyst Biosciences

Catalyst is a research and clinical development biopharmaceutical company focused on addressing unmet medical needs in disorders of the complement and coagulation systems. Our protease engineering platform includes two late-stage clinical programs in hemophilia; a research program on engineering of subcutaneous (SQ) complement inhibitors; and a partnered preclinical development program with Biogen for dry age-related macular degeneration (“AMD”). The product candidates generated by our protease engineering platform have improved functionality and potency that allow for: SQ administration of recombinant coagulation factors and complement inhibitors; low-dose, high activity gene therapy constructs; and less frequently dosed intravitreal therapeutics.


  • R&D Finance liaison to business units. Establish relationships with key vendors to ensure timely flow of information to support month/ quarter end close.
  • Support the annual operating plan, budget, and quarterly forecasting processes by working with Director Finance to keep the budget current; identify and communicate risks or updates discovered through your communications with the R&D team and key vendors.
  • Develop internal reporting packages, dashboards, and monthly analysis reports to support accounting for key activities.
  • Proactively identify, design, and implement enhancements to existing sourcing and governance processes to drive enterprise efficiency and resource optimization.

**Title and level to commensurate with education and experience.


  • 8+ years of relevant experience in accounting role, preferably in pharma or biotech organization
  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in Accounting or Finance required.
  • Certified Public Accountant preferred. Big Six of Four audit experience a plus.
  • Strong business partnering, influencing and analytical skills with demonstrated business insights and process impact in previous roles.
  • Maintain financial accounting spreadsheets used to recognize development expenses for activities performed by various Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs) and nonclinical Contract Research Organizations (CROs).
  • Perform detailed reconciliations of purchase agreements, contract budgets, bills, and payments for each of the Company’s primary CDMOs and CROs.
  • Serve as liaison to the Research and Technical Operations departments on all matters related to the status and timing of ongoing R&D activities.
  • Partner with Finance’s FP&A group on various budgeting and forecasting projects, as well as budget-versus-actual analyses.
  • Contribute to quarter-end close processes including, but not limited to, the preparation of general ledger reconciliations and recording of expense recognition journal entries.
  • Assist with facilitating key aspects of quarterly reviews and audits of the Company’s financial statements.
  • Ensure internal controls surrounding contract R&D accounting are operating effectively, including SOX 404(b) compliant documentation of owned processes.
  • Strong computer software skills (Microsoft Office Suite – Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Experience using financial systems, including skill with ERP.
  • Planning/Organizing – Prioritizes and plans work activities; Uses time efficiently; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; Follows instructions and responds to management direction.
  • Communication – Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; Writes clearly and informatively; Able to read and interpret written information.
  • Teamwork – Balances team and individual responsibilities; Gives and welcomes feedback; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; Puts success of team above own interests; Supports everyone’s efforts to succeed; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; Shares expertise with others.
  • Adaptability – Able to adapt to changes in the work environment; Manages competing demands; Change’s approach or method to best fit the situation; Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.
  • Technical Skills – Assesses own strengths and development areas; Pursues training and opportunities for growth; Strives to continuously build knowledge and skills; Shares expertise with others.
  • Dependability – Follows instructions and responds to management direction; Takes responsibility for own actions; Keeps commitments; Commits to long hours of work when necessary to reach goals; Completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan.
  • Quality – Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Applies feedback to improve performance; Monitors own work to ensure quality.
  • Analytical – Synthesizes complex or diverse information; Collects and researches data; Uses intuition and experience to complement data.
  • Problem Solving – Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully.
  • Project Management – Communicates changes and progress; Completes projects on time and within budget.