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Senior Accountant

Organization: City of Novato
Date Posted: 10/14/2020
Date Needed: 10/21/2020
City: Novato
Location: California
Country: United States
Primary Category: Accounting/Audit/Controller
Type of Position: Full-Time
Education Requirement: Bachelor's
Experience Requirement: 3-5 years

Description & Details





Under administrative direction, performs a wide range of advanced  professional accounting work in maintaining the general ledger and in performing various complex analytical work; applies principles of accounting to analyze financial information; provides information on accounting practices, procedures, and the City's computer-based financial system; prepares, examines, analyzes, and verifies financial statements and records; prepares financial and statistical reports; may provide lead supervision to other accounting staff; provides highly responsible staff assistance to the Finance Director in a variety of fiscal and administrative assignments; and performs related work as required.

The ideal candidate will be an organized self-starter with a customer service focus who is experienced in both accounting and finance in a government setting. This role is well suited for a hands-on professional that enjoys taking on a wide variety of accounting and finance related tasks, is a team player, and an excellent communicator. Knowledge of governmental accounting practices and procedures is highly desirable.



  • Performs advanced professional level financial accounting duties, including general accounting, cash management, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and other accounting functions.
  • Prepares financial and statistical statements, fiscal reports, and financial reviews in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
  • Provides technical assistance, lead direction, training, and work review to assigned staff engaged in such activities as accounts payable and receivables, investments, revenue, collections, business licensing, and cashiering; organizes and assigns work, sets priorities, and follows up to ensure coordination and completion of assigned work. 
  • Maintains and supervises the maintenance of general ledger and subsidiary ledgers of various funds; performs year-end review of accounts, prepares adjusting and closing entries, and prepares year-end financial statements; reconciles information produced by automated financial reporting systems with accounting records.
  • Analyzes and reconciles expenditure and revenue accounts; processes transfers of expenditures and appropriations; prepares, analyzes, and verifies statements of financial condition, including schedules of balance sheets, investments, cash balances, fund balances, revenue, expenditure, and statistical reports.
  • Responds to special requests for financial data and analysis, provides information to other local, state, and federal agencies as requested.
  • Prepares financial analyses, cost studies and other special financial projects; may oversee the work of consultants.
  • Participates in financial and cost analysis activities related to matters that fall within the scope of bargaining.
  • Oversee, direct, and participate in grant administration, compliance, reporting, and reimbursement.
  • Assists City departments/divisions with evaluating City financial controls.
  • Attend, provide reports, agenda materials, or support for City Council and Citizen Committee meetings as necessary.
  • Leads, prepares, coordinates, and participates in the audit process with external auditors and other auditing agencies; assists outside auditors and explains City policies and procedures.
  • Provides, or arranges for, the provision of necessary audit schedules, deadlines, reports, data, and information; establishes and assigns deadlines for City operating departments to submit needed data.
  • Gathers, analyzes, and interprets audit data and prepares audit documentation.
  • Performs internal control auditing of departmental revenue collections and petty cash funds.
  • Participates in the investment of City funds; formulates recommendations and maintains financial records concerning City investments.
  • Assists accounting department staff with debt management and Successor Agency reporting activities.
  • Coordinates activities with the Information Technology Division to develop, modify, and assist in problem resolution relative to the City’s automated financial management systems; advises users on City's automated financial system.
  • Advises departments on the interpretation of policies and guidelines related to the City’s financial services and fiscal management.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

Additional Duties: In addition to the duties listed in the Essential Duties section, employees in this classification may perform the following duties:

  • Supports in the preparation of the annual City budget and mid-year review.
  • As needed, reviews payroll information; assists and participates in payroll and employee benefit payment activities, including maintaining associated wage, salary, payroll tax, pension, and benefit payment records; participates in the preparation of quarterly tax returns, W-2’s, and various mandated reports in compliance with Federal and State requirements.



Knowledge of:

  • Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) statements, governmental audit procedures and their application to governmental accounting systems, accounting transactions, financial analysis, financial reporting, financial statement preparation, and research techniques.
  • Municipal accounting and budgetary principles, practices, operations, and procedures.
  • Knowledge of applicable Federal, State, and local laws, regulatory codes, ordinances, and procedures affecting municipal finance administration.
  • Complex statistical research and analysis techniques.
  • Principles and practices of fund accounting.
  • Project management principles and practices.
  • Confidential record keeping methods.
  • Effective time management principles and practices.
  • Principles of payroll processing, management, and reporting.
  • Principles and practices of governmental cost and budgetary accounting and analysis.
  • Approved principles and standard practices of centralized computer-based accounting, auditing, treasury management, and revenue administration.
  • Current computer systems and application programs such as Microsoft Office Suite, and Enterprise Resource Planning systems.
  • English grammar, vocabulary, syntax, spelling, and punctuation at a level sufficient to perform the duties of the position and communicate and write in a clear, concise, and understandable manner for staff and the public.
  • Techniques for providing a high level of customer service by effectively dealing with the public, vendors, contractors, and City staff.

Ability to:

  • Perform a wide variety of complex professional accounting work.
  • Apply accounting theory and expertise to work assignments.
  • Interpret and explain accounting policies and procedures.
  • Analyze fiscal data and draw logical conclusions.
  • Use critical thinking and sound logical principles to identify and resolve problems and issues relating to fiscal and/or administrative operations.
  • Review and verify the accuracy of financial data.
  • Analyze, post, balance, and reconcile financial ledgers, reports, and accounts.
  • Communicate clearly and accurately, both orally and in writing.
  • Create and maintain complex spreadsheets used for tracking and analysis.
  • Maintain confidentiality as required.
  • Prepare accurate financial reports.
  • Understand, interpret, and apply all pertinent laws, codes, regulations, policies and procedures, and standards relevant to work performed.
  • Understand and support program objectives in relation to departmental goals and procedures.
  • Work independently with minimal supervision, using sound judgment in the course of work.
  • Build and maintain effective working relationships with internal staff and external customers and contacts.
  • Interpret and successfully carry out instructions in a timely manner furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.
  • Organize and prioritize a variety of projects and multiple tasks in an effective and timely manner; organize own work, set priorities, and meet critical time deadlines.
  • Review the work of other accounting and administrative personnel in specified work areas.
  • Calculate figures and amounts, such as but not limited to, discounts, interest, commissions, proportions, percentages, area, circumference, and volume; apply concepts of basic algebra.
  • Develop and present complex information to City Council, boards, and commissions, as necessary.
  • Attend state, regional, or local meetings and training opportunities as deemed necessary.
  • Operate common office machines including telephone, computer, and copier.
  • Use tact, initiative, prudence, and independent judgment within general policy and legal guidelines in politically sensitive situations.
  • Ability to effectively use financial data systems.

Any combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:  

Education: Possession of aBachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college or
university with major coursework in accounting, finance, or a closely related field.
Possession of an advanced business or public administration degree, or certification as a Public
Accountant (CPA) is desirable.

Experience: A minimum of three (3) years of progressively responsible accounting experience at a professional level, preferably in a public agency; experience in a municipal environment and in a lead or supervisory role is desirable.



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