Luke - Finance

Financial Controller

As a graduate of Economics and CIMA qualified, I’ve been a Financial Reporting Accountant within sanofi-aventis for six months now. My role within sanofi-aventis covers financial control of stock and the supply chain for both the Ethical Business and Winthrop – our generic business.  I have budget responsibility for these areas and report on actual expenditure to the relevant teams and management. 

My day starts at 9am and this week is all about our financial quarter end. I start by answering queries on month end MARCO Working Day 2 reporting, explaining why there may be discrepancies.  MARCO is the corporate tool for reconciling stock intercompany sales, purchases, holdings between all European sites and I do this for both Ethical and Winthrop.

This lasts about an hour and then I’m straight into a meeting to review Winthrop’s stock provision posting for Quarter 3, to ensure we’re not only valuing our stock at the lower of Cost and Net Realisable Value (Eventual Sales Price) but also that we will in fact sell the stock we are holding. 

Seeking continual improvement, we’ve concluded that in the future we’re going to use the current month’s data instead of the previous month, to gain higher accuracy levels. This stock provision is calculated for both the Ethical and Winthrop stock held. Before I head off to lunch I post the provisions for both the Ethical and Winthrop stock and complete the stock reconciliations.

My afternoon is spent working on the Winthrop Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Account. I use a company web-based system to consolidate and report sanofi-aventis’ Financial Accounts at the corporate level in France, using an Excel file to map exported SAP entries to the Magnitude parameters which is reconciled before uploading to the Magnitude system. This was my first time, so took a bit longer than it should, but I wanted to make absolutely sure it was correct.

My morning’s spent rolling forward the MARCO working day 6 file.  This file is used to reconcile stock movements with Corporate. The final stock holding has to tie back to the stock levels held at our distribution sites, as well as reconciling against intercompany sales.  I have to complete a reconciliation sheet which is sent along with the submission to the Corporate Stock Analyst and then prepare a detailed list of discrepancies and reasons for variances between UK and our European colleagues. These sometimes aren’t obvious and can take a while to resolve.

After a bit of lunch I’m tied up working on the Winthrop Magnitude pack, trying to complete the flow of Movements of Assets, Liabilities and Equity so that it agrees with the final positions in SAP. I then help my colleague complete the ethical details for Stock Movements before heading off.

I had a very early start and late finish today as today was all about finalising the MARCO WD6 file and the Winthrop Magnitude pack. This meant I collated information from the 2 Winthrop controllers, which consisted of a summary of their fixed asset register and a detailed Income Statement.  This was checked back to SAP before being uploaded to Magnitude and I stayed until all the information except tax liabilities was completed.

I also had to submit material data for 8 GMID’s.  This material data must mirror what is in SAP to include Standard Cost, whether the Material is sourced from a third party and the standard unit size.  Once these are submitted to MARCO it takes 24 hours for the data to appear in the reports.  So I’ll have to wait until tomorrow for my final checks.

Another early start to finalise MARCO and Magnitude reporting requirements.

My last task is to upload the Tax liabilities for Winthrop.  The Tax team send me a template with the Tax type and flows which I need to upload to Magnitude.  This Excel file is laid out exactly as Magnitude is, so it’s relatively easy to add the tax entries and then adjust the balance sheet as appropriate. It’s nearly ready!

For MARCO I checked the Intercompany reconciliation and checked the Material data I had submitted the day before and finally, I submitted the report – one hour before deadline. Unfortunately time pressures meant the Magnitude pack was submitted and published just after the deadline.

As part of my Stock Controller responsibilities, I have to report on Non-Standard Cost of Good Sold, (NSC).  This expenditure consists of those items which are stock related exclusive of the actual buying in of the stock.  Once the provision has been posted to SAP, I can finalise the report; again this is for both Ethical and Winthrop.

I spend my day creating a new reporting model for the 20 cost centres I have financial control for, as part of an initiative to re-launch reporting for Supply Chain.  The ultimate aim here is to create a new Supply Chain pack which will pull in data from Finance, Logistics, Distribution, Customer Services and external Stakeholders. The idea is to seamlessly mix quantitative and qualitative information.

This task took up the whole day as I started it from scratch.  My target is to have a working model by the end of 2009, ready for the next financial year’s reporting.
After a busy week, I was glad to be able to leave at our usual Friday early finishing time of 4pm!