Accounting Specialist/Accounting Specialist Lead

City of Palo Alto
September 10, 2023
Palo Alto, CA
Job Type



The Administrative Services Department is looking for an Accounting Specialist or Accounting Specialist Lead.

The Administrative Services Department (ASD) is seeking candidates for an Accounting Specialist in the Revenue Collections Division and an Accounting Specialist-Lead in the Accounting Division. Both positions are advanced levels in the accounting and clerical series; we encourage candidates who are critical thinkers, enjoy problem solving, and provide excellent customer service to apply.

ASD provides proactive financial and analytical support for the City and strives to provide excellent customer service to decision-makers, the public, employees, and City departments. There are 10 divisions in ASD, with 56 full-time employees in the team whose goal is to provide innovation and efficient support services to the organization and property account for the City's assets. The City has maintained a AAA credit rating and has, for the past two decades, earned the Government Finance Officers' Association Excellence in Financial Reporting Award and the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers Capital and Operating Budget Excellence Awards annually.

Revenue Collections - Accounting Specialist

The Revenue Collections Division is a team of 10 employees whose focus is customer support and processing and recording the City's payment transactions, including hotel tax and business tax. The division works partners with the Office of Transportation to provide customer support for the City's parking permit programs. The Revenue Collections division also oversees the City's printing and mailing operations. This position reports to the Revenue Collections Manager and will focus on direct customer service support, compiling revenue receipt reports and summaries and working in closely with the Accounting Division and Treasury Division to record, compile, and analyze revenue and cash data. This position will also provide technical assistance and customer support for the City's business tax program.

Accounting Division - Accounting Specialist-Lead

The Accounting Division's team of 14 employees are responsible for the City's financial reporting and operations, which include accounts payable, customer billing, and payroll. The Accounting Specialist-Lead position reports to the Senior Accountant who oversees accounts payable, however the position may also assist with other work areas in the division, including general ledger. As an Accounting Specialist-Lead, you will provide instruction and training to other City employees, lead special projects and coordinate office work assignments for the department, and handle sensitive problems or issues to resolution.

Ideal Candidate

  • Team player with a positive attitude, strong work ethic, curiosity, and humility.
  • Exceptional relationship-building skills to deal effectively with individuals at all levels of responsibility and authority.
  • Excellent customer service, emphasizing professionalism, patience and a "people-first" attitude.
  • Adaptable and resourceful in a dynamic environment.
  • Superior written and oral communication skills, including the ability to identify and correct errors in English usage, grammar, and arithmetic calculations.
  • Master multi-tasker: ability to work effectively under pressure, multi-task, and organize workflow to deliver high-quality products within established deadlines.
  • Detail-oriented with strong problem-solving skills.
  • Self-starter: can take even the smallest project and run with it to the successful completion.

Depending on the applicant qualifications, the position will be filled at the appropriate level/salary of either Accounting Specialist ($35.04/hr-$43.01/hr) or Accounting Specialist Lead ($37.52/hr-$46.06/hr).

Benefits: Fantastic benefits package, to learn more click HERE .
Compensation (SEIU) : Comprehensive compensation plan, to learn more click HERE.
Schedule: Flexible/Hybrid (some in person days required and subject to change)

This position is represented by Service Employee International Union position (SEIU)

*Job Posting Updated 09/08/23*

Essential Duties

Essential and other important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

Accounting Specialist

  • Daily interaction with the public or employees to resolving sensitive problems or issues.
  • Handle money transactions, accept payments, consolidates and prepares bank deposits, and responds to inquiries.
  • Independent judgement and critical thinking to resolving discrepancies or issues through discussion and conducting research to see issue through to resolution.
  • Compile, tabulate, verify, interpret (DMV Codes and Municipal Code), and adjust data from a variety of source documents to summarize in a presentable or prescribed format.
  • Check data in documents against source materials for accuracy, reconciles errors.

To see full job description for Accounting Specialist click HERE

Accounting Specialist-Lead

  • Oversee the duties of one Accounting Specialist
  • Instruct and train other City employees regarding various AP or general accounting functions
  • Review and analyze financial information
  • Perform account reconciliations
  • Review and process travel and expense reports
  • Manage the vendor master file
  • Complete monthly online sales and use tax filings

To see full job description of Accounting Specialist Lead click HERE.

Minimum Qualifications

Sufficient education, training and/or work experience to demonstrate possession of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities, which would typically be acquired through:

Accounting Specialist:

  • Ability to use independent and sound judgment to resolve problems; communicate effectively and tactfully verbally and in writing; follow verbal or written instructions.
  • Ability to operate office machines; prepare, adjust, and close journal entries.
  • Ability to communicate with others and to assimilate and understand information, in a manner consistent with the essential job functions.
  • Knowledge of basic arithmetic, bookkeeping, accounting principles and practices; banking procedures; ten-key, calculator or adding machines.
  • Ability to verify or post, compile, reconcile, balance, and interpret data.
  • Ability to operate office machines; prepare, adjust, and close journal entries.
  • Ability to maintain physical condition appropriate to the performance of assigned duties and responsibilities which may include sitting for extended periods of time and operating assigned office equipment.

Accounting Specialist Lead:

  • Graduation from high school or equivalent, with some college or business school preferred.
  • Two years of experience in a position involving cash handling, collections, general accounting and heavy public contact.

Supplemental Information:

The City of Palo Alto is an Equal Opportunity Employer. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City will provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities and encourages both prospective and current employees to discuss potential accommodations with the employer.

*One or more positions may be filled from this posting.*

The City of Palo Alto offers its employees a generous benefit package, featuring family medical coverage, retirement, life insurance, plus 12 paid holidays per year.

  • Participation in a Governmental 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Fully paid employee and dependent Dental Plan
  • Fully paid employee and dependent Vision Plan
  • Fully paid Life and AD&D insurance equal to annual salary
  • Flat Rate City paid medical contribution which may allow employees to select a fully paid health plan
  • Fully paid Life Insurance equal to one-times annual salary
  • Voluntary Supplemental Life Insurance
  • Long Term Disability plan
  • 12 annual paid holidays
  • Two to five weeks vacation annually depending on years of service per MOA
  • 96 hours annual sick leave
  • Direct Deposit
  • Flexible Spending Account for Healthcare and Childcare expenses

Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS)

  • 2% at60 formula for Classic Employees
  • One-year final compensation for 2% at 60 employees
  • 2% at 62 formula for New CalPers Members
  • Three-year final compensation for 2% at 62 employees only
  • Retiree Medical benefits for employee and dependents after 10 years of service

Please note: The City does not participate in CA State Disability Insurance (SDI) or Social Security.Since they City does not participate in SDI, City employees are not eligible to claim against the State's Pregnancy Disability Leave or Paid Family Leave programs.

Closing Date/Time: 10/1/2023 11:59 PM Pacific

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