New ABFO Open Job Posting - Director of Internal Audit, IONIS Pharmaceuticals

Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., located in the North San Diego County city of Carlsbad, was founded in 1989 and was purposely designed to create a better, more efficient drug discovery platform, establish a new innovation-centered business model, and maximize the value of every medicine created and get it to the people who need it most as quickly and as efficiently as possible. 

With the RNA molecule as the basis of our novel drug discovery platform, we are targeting an unprecedented range of therapeutic areas. Our antisense therapies are disrupting diseases and changing their course—from the rarest of conditions, to those that impact millions of people. We currently have three commercial products and more than 40 potentially transformative medicines in our pipeline designed to treat a broad range of diseases.  

Ionis is a challenging, motivating and rewarding environment designed to foster innovation and scientific excellence. Our success is a direct result of our outstanding employees. We are interested in bringing together individuals with different skill sets into this creative environment to be part of a productive team. Join us and experience our unique culture while you develop and expand your career.



We are seeking a dynamic individual to join our company that will contribute to the success of Ionis.  This newly created position is responsible for managing and leading our internal audit function.  This position reports to the Chairman of the Audit Committee with a dotted line, administrative reporting relationship to senior management within Finance.  The Director of Internal Audit, working with our outsource provider (Big 4 accounting firm), will be responsible for planning and executing financial and operational audits to evaluate Ionis’ internal controls and our adherence to company policies and procedures. The Director of Internal Audit will also provide recommendations regarding internal control enhancements and identify areas of opportunity for operational improvements and risk mitigation.

The successful candidate must be a strategic thinker who is secure working in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment, must be capable of handling multiple tasks, and must possess excellent analytical, organizational and communication skills.  Additionally, he/she must be a proactive self-starter who takes ownership of projects and can collaborate cross-functionally on complex issues.

You’ll thrive in this position if you are:

  • A strong communicator—you have the demonstrated ability to successfully communicate and convey complex topics in a concise and effective manner to various levels of management.
  • A master planner—you are skilled at juggling multiple priorities at one time and keeping track of deadlines without missing a step.
  • Adaptable—you are at ease in a fast-paced environment and you’re able to change direction rapidly when priorities and deadlines shift.
  • An Explorer—you are curious by nature and never hesitate to research and probe for answers.


  • Assist management in developing and refining Ionis’ enterprise risk assessment and based on that assessment develop an audit plan for approval by the Audit Committee
  • Conduct internal audits based on the audit plan to identify emerging issues, risks and deviations from established controls
  • Coordinate the performance of management testing of internal controls required by Sarbanes-Oxley
  • Communicate the results of the internal audit’s activities to the Audit Committee and executive management
  • Assist the Ionis’ independent public accountant in completion of the annual audit and quarterly reviews
  • Adhere to the IIA Professional Practices Framework Standards, Public Committee Accounting Oversight Board Standards, Generally Accepted Auditing Standards and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles


  • Superior leadership and communication skills with experience presenting at the board of directors and executive officer level
  • Strong technical audit skills and SOX compliance
  • Goal orientated and self-motivated
  • Strong interpersonal skills: ability to work constructively within a team environment and with all levels of management
  • Desire to understand the business beyond merely the financial aspects
  • Strong computer skills–extensive experience with Microsoft Office software (Excel, Word, Power Point)
  • Comfortable “rolling up sleeves” and engaging in the details as needed
  • Tolerance for the ambiguity that comes with a high growth business
  • Able to translate broad corporate strategy into clear, specific objectives and plans; thinks several years ahead
  • Comfortable in an interrogative environment; embraces collaboration and open debate to manage projects, solve problems and discuss challenging issues
  • Able to work efficiently and productively in an intense work environment


  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, Business, Finance or Economics
  • Certified Public Accountant
  •  Minimum of 10 years of managerial audit experience in an internal audit department of a publicly-traded company and/or at a Big 4 public accounting firm or large regional accounting firm. Experience with companies in the Biotech or Pharmaceutical industries is a distinct plus

Excellent salary and benefits package offered.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and all its subsidiaries are proud to be EEO employers.



Interested in this opportunity?

Please visit Ionis' website,, for more information and to apply for this position; reference requisition #IONIS02008



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