Senior Accountant and Accountant

City of Palo Alto
September 12, 2021
Palo Alto, CA
Job Type



The Organization and Department
We are located at the center of a progressive economy that is recognized worldwide as a leader in cutting-edge technological, medical and green innovation. Our community is committed to cultivating an environment of creativity and life-long learning.

The Administrative Services Department (ASD) provides analytical, organizational, and administrative support for a wide variety of projects throughout the organization. The Department prides itself on a high-level of customer service to decision-makers, the public, employees, and other departments in the City. ASD records, monitors, and protects the City's assets through essential financial management, including forecasting, budgeting, and financial reporting. ASD's divisions include Accounting, the Office of Management and Budget, Purchasing, Treasury, Real Estate, Revenue Collections, Stores, and Administration. Learn more about the Administrative Services Department .

The Accounting Division
The Administrative Services, Accounting Division provides a wide range of in-house services unique to a smaller City like Palo Alto. The division is experiencing a unique opportunity for growth and development of current and new staff. As a Senior Accountant, you will have a chance to be a part-of and help redesign Palo Alto's evolving accounting team.

The Career Opportunity
We are seeking someone who is eager to learn, creative in their craft of accounting, and a willingness to adapt. As an essential team member of the Accounting Division, the Senior Accountant will be responsible for achieving the Accounting Division mission of accurate, timely and reliable financial information for internal and external customers, including vendor payments, payroll and financial reporting. Palo Alto is a full-service City with its own Police and Fire Departments, several Enterprise Funds which provide utility services to residents and businesses, a very active Capital Projects Fund, Internal Service Funds and numerous Special Revenue Funds. This wide array of activity requires a broad range of accounting expertise and a highly skilled level of communication in order to liaise with other departments and external agencies.

The Ideal Candidates

  • Experience with financial statement review and analysis in a governmental fund setting at an analyst or senior level.
  • Ability to review and verify the accuracy of financial data and information and associated legal documents and make sound, independent judgements with essential guidelines
  • Experience with managing one or more specific program areas in the Accounting Division such as payroll, fixed assets / capital projects, federal grants, accounts payable / receivable, general ledger, enterprise accounting and other program areas.
  • Detail oriented with strong problem-solving skills.
  • Experience preparing Annual Financial Report.
  • Knowledge of Governmental Accounting Standard Board (GASB) Statements.
  • Ability to plan, organize, direct, and evaluate the work of accounting professionals.
  • Ability to work with a variety of levels of staff, develop working relationships, and effectively communicate complex financial data.
  • Self-starter: can take even the smallest project and run with it to the successful completion.

This posting may be used to fill multiple vacancies at various levels within Administrative Services, Accounting division. The levels may include: Senior Accountant and Accountant depending on candidate qualifications.

Essential Duties

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

  • Supervising day-to-day activity such as cash receipts processing, bank and other account reconciliations, and journal entries, and ensure a timely month-end close.
  • In-depth review and analysis of department and fund level financial statements, and reporting as necessary.
  • Analyzes account activities in assigned area of responsibility and monitors the integrity of general ledger a and subsidiary ledger entries; performs related reconciliations; reclassifies expenditures and/or revenues to correct discrepancies.
  • Provides expert-level consultative services, training, assistance, and instruction to internal staff on policies, procedures, and practices in assigned area of responsibility.
  • Leading the interim and year-end audits, including monitoring, coordination and preparation of audit schedules; explanation of financial policies, procedures, and/or other relevant information to the auditors.
  • Assists in the preparation of the Annual Financial Report; assists in the design of the Annual Financial Report.
  • Implement new GASB's.
  • Actively participating in special projects and new initiatives such as evaluation of software programs, optimization of departmental accounting structure.
  • Participates in developing, maintaining, and improving computerized control systems for applicable accounting functions related to assigned area of responsibility.
  • Serves as a liaison with internal departments, external agencies, vendors, contractors, and/or other interested parties in order to resolve accounting issues in assigned area of responsibility.
  • Provides technical supervision to payroll preparation and federal and state payroll reporting requirements.
  • Serves as the Division liaison to the Human Resources Division which includes coordinating implementation of bargaining groups' Memorandum of Understanding, benefit changes, and software updates and modifications.
  • Supervise staff to include prioritizing and assigning work; conducting performance evaluations; ensuring staff are trained; and making hiring, termination and disciplinary recommendations.

Minimum Qualifications

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

Senior Accountant ($94,786 - $142,189)

  • Bachelor's Degree in Accounting, or a related field, and
  • Four years of related accounting experience, including two years of lead or supervisory experience. Two additional years of technical governmental accounting experience may substitute for each year of the lead/supervisory.
  • SAP or other ERP experience is highly desirable
  • CPA is highly desirable

Accountant ($77,667 - $116,501)

  • Bachelor's Degree in Accounting, or a related field, and
  • Two years of related accounting experience; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience enough to successfully perform the essential duties of the job such as those listed above.

Closing Date/Time: 9/26/2021 11:59 PM Pacific

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