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Day in the Life of a CPA: Brandon Adkins, CPA

Jan 23, 2024

Associate Director, Gross-to-Net Business Analysis
Eli Lilly & Co.

Photo of Brandon Adkins, CPA

7 A.M.: Wake up and do my skincare routine. While washing my face, I will iron my clothes. If I don’t feel like ironing, I will put on a quarter zip or a sweater.

7:30 A.M.: The next part of my morning routine is breakfast. If it’s Tuesday through Thursday, I will do scrambled eggs and a bagel or cereal and overnight oats. If it’s Friday through Monday, I practice intermittent fasting and skip breakfast.

8 A.M.: After brushing my teeth, I leave for work. I like to listen to a couple of radio morning shows on the way. Once one starts with the commercials, I’ll quickly tune to the next station.

8:30 A.M.: I arrive at work and head upstairs to my desk. After putting my backpack and jacket up, I head to one of the cafeterias and grab a cup of coffee. Coffee is essential. While I limit myself to one cup a day, I need it for that initial jumpstart.

"I work as the bridge for various teams because I am one of the few people who has access to the data they are seeking."

9 A.M.: After chatting with my colleagues, I look at my email and calendar to see what I have planned for the day. If I have a meeting later in the day, I will make sure I have all the materials I need to be prepared.

9:30 A.M.: I then respond to requests I have. In my role, I aggregate a lot of data from different teams. I work as the bridge for various teams because I am one of the few people who has access to the data they are seeking. It could be as simple as someone requesting volume for a deal they’re preparing or more complicated like someone asking what assumptions I’m using to calculate my forecast.

10:30 A.M.: I support Lilly’s Immunology Brand Finance team, and we huddle at this time. They are my primary business partners and I work closely with them to ensure they have the materials they need to complete their work. They give an update on the financials of the Immunology brand for the month as well as any upcoming presentation they must prepare for. If I am needed for one of those presentations, they will pull me in.

11 A.M.: I can now begin my own work. I hold the responsibility of preparing the gross to net forecast for my immunology drugs. I will spend this time looking at invoices, pulling in payment data and updating my model to reflect the invoices.

NOON: Lunch time. I like that my team disconnects at lunch and walks down to the cafeteria to eat. In addition to my own team, we will also pull in some of the broader Lilly finance team members to join us. My favorite food right now is from the Jamaican vendor that comes every Thursday. Lunch helps break up the day and allows me to recharge.

"I get to work with a variety of teams and business partners, including both finance and non-finance colleagues. With the cross collaboration, I am able to see how my finance work connects with the patients who receive the Lilly treatment."

1 P.M.: My Gross to Net team has our huddle. During these meetings, we discuss what we have on the horizon and any challenges we’ve faced recently. We will look at the calendar and determine what internal deadlines we need to set to ensure we meet our external deadlines. My associate vice president will ask us if there’s anything she can do to help support us as we are working our way through the forecasts.

1:30 P.M.: I hold a one-on-one with someone outside of my core team. Lilly values networking and it helps a big company feel small. This is also a wonderful way to learn about the various roles at Lilly and potentially what role I would like to do next.

2 P.M.: After the huddle, I go back to analyzing invoices and payment data. Once I am satisfied with the results, I use one of our analysis tools to look at my products from a high-level view. Within Gross to Net, we have various segments that all have their own nuances. The tool I use allows me to look at all the pieces together to see if the story makes sense. If the pieces don’t all add up and I’m not able to explain it to my business partners, I will go back to the models and look for the areas to make adjustments.

5 P.M.: If it is summer, fall or spring, I leave work and head to the gym. I don’t like traffic at all. I found early on in my career working out instead of sitting in traffic was the better alternative. But today, I head off to watch some basketball. I am a basketball referee and the season is from November to March.

5:30 P.M.: JV basketball games start at 6 p.m. so I arrive at 5:30 p.m. During this time, I meet with the other referee and we discuss how we will officiate the game. We also talk to both coaches to set expectations.

Photo of Brandon and his family Photo of Brandon and his girlfriend
Brandon and his family
getting into the (matching)
holiday spirit last Christmas

Brandon and his girlfriend,
Janette, at the Cincinnati Zoo

Photo of 2023 Indy Ultimate run Photo of Brandon and fellow referees before tip-off at Frankfort High School’s varsity basketball game
2023 Indy Ultimate run Brandon and fellow referees
before tip-off at Frankfort High
School’s varsity basketball game

6 P.M.:
The game tips off and I am locked in. I’ve loved basketball since I was a child and refereeing is a fantastic way for me to stay involved with the game. I still get astonished at some of the spectacular plays these student athletes make during the game.

7 P.M.: Once the game is over, I head home.

7:30 P.M.: Back at home, I prepare dinner. I like to make big meals that last for a few days. My air fryer comes in handy for a quick and delicious meal.

8:30 P.M.: After dinner, I’ll spend some time watching television. Currently, I’m enjoying watching Big Brother and Invincible. Other favorites of mine include Succession, Breaking Bad, Lost and The 100.

9:30 P.M.: I call my girlfriend and catch up with her on how her day went. The differences between my work day at an office and her work day at a hospital are like night and day.

10 P.M.: I spend some more time watching television and catching up on social media. By now, I’m laying in bed starting to doze off.

11 P.M.: I head to sleep and get ready to do it again the next day!

About Me

NAME: Brandon Adkins, CPA

JOB TITLE: Associate Director, Gross-to-Net Business Analysis

Eli Lilly & Co.

~39,000 worldwide

I get insight into drug pricing and the factors that go into the price paid at the pharmacy. Prior to this role, I did not realize the many pieces at play. In addition, I get to work with a variety of teams and business partners, including both finance and non-finance colleagues. With the cross collaboration, I am able to see how my finance work connects with the patients who receive the Lilly treatment.

PREVIOUS POSITIONS: Senior Financial Analyst – IU Health; Assurance Associate – PwC

ALMA MATER: Indiana University

INCPAS INVOLVEMENT: Second year leader in Young Pros Leadership Academy (YPLA)

When I'm Not at Work

FAMILY: My family means everything to me and is a reason I still reside in Indianapolis. My parents live on the south side of Indianapolis while both of my grandmothers live on the east side — five minutes from each other. My mom is a nurse, and my dad is a police officer. My older sister is an attorney in Chicago and my brother is an auditor in Houston. My girlfriend lives on the South side and is also a nurse.

PETS: None of my own but my parents have a golden doodle that I like to spoil.

Watching movies (including going to the movie theater) and TV; playing basketball; lifting weights; running; listening to music; traveling; trying new restaurants; visiting wineries with my girlfriend

National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), Indy Black Professionals

Advice for Students Considering the Profession

While getting that first job is important, look ahead five years into the future and imagine what your ideal career life looks like. It could be a specific salary, location, industry and/or position. Now that you know where you want to be in five years, identify the skills and experience you will need and start working towards it right now.

Best Advice You've Ever Received

30 to 40 years from now when you’re retired, you’re not going to look back and wish you had worked more. You’re going to wish you had taken more time to enjoy life. So, while work is important and you must do quality work in your career, remember to take care of yourself and do what makes you happy.

Do you think a day in your life would make a good addition to our series? Contact Katie Kirkton at to find out how you can share your story.

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