Senior Accountant (Confidential)

City of Costa Mesa, CA
May 13, 2023
Costa Mesa, CA
Job Type





  • Current: $88,968 - $119,232 annually
  • July 2023: $91,644 - $122,808 annually in addition to a 3% reduction in retirement contributions
  • July 2024: $94,392 - $126,492 annually

Under general supervision, performs responsible professional municipal accounting work of a technical and complex nature; supervises and coordinates the work of subordinate staff members; and performs related duties as required.


Work involves performing complex, technical professional accounting work, including maintaining intricate fiscal records; applying professional accounting principles and methods; performing complicated analytical reviews of financial data; and supervising and training subordinate staff members. This position is distinguished from the journey-level Accountant class by the difficulty, scope, complexity, and autonomy of the accounting work performed. Work is performed under the direction of the Accounting Supervisor or Payroll Supervisor and is reviewed through conferences, reports and work results.


An employee in this classification may have access to decisions or the decision-making process of the City concerning matters related to labor negotiations and employer-employee relations and may have access to or may prepare confidential materials and/or information and/or recommendations on behalf of the City in matters relating to labor negotiations and employer-employee relations.


Applications must be completed and submitted online. This recruitment will remain open until filled and may close without prior notice, therefore prompt application is encouraged.

Application review date: Monday, February 20, 2023

Candidates are requested to provide specific information regarding their education and experience as it relates to the position by completing all fields of the application. Applications may be rejected if incomplete . Do not include "see attached resume" in your responses, as they will not be accepted or reviewed in the application process.

Based upon the information presented on the application, a limited number of candidates who possess qualifications most pertinent to the position will be invited to participate in the selection process. The selection process may include, but is not limited to the following components: application review and evaluation, written examination or exercise, physical examination, practical exercise and interview evaluation. Please notify the Human Resources Division 72 hours in advance of the test date if you have a disability which requires accommodation for the testing process. The eligibility list will be in effect for one (1) year, unless exhausted sooner. The eligibility list established from this recruitment may be utilized to fill other lower level vacancies which occur during the life of the list.

It is recommended you use a personal email address on your application instead of a work email address. Notifications during this recruitment will be sent by email only (regardless of the notification preference selected during the online application process). Notifications will be sent to the email address that is listed on your online application.

All employment offers made by the City are contingent upon establishing proof of a prospective candidate's legal authorization to work in the United States and successfully passing all components of the pre-employment process which may include, but is not limited to: comprehensive background check, criminal history check (livescan fingerprint check), polygraph examination, post-offer psychological evaluation and post-offer medical evaluation (may include drug screen). Based upon current and/or future assignments, an employee may be subject to pre-employment, random, reasonable and post-accident drug and alcohol testing pursuant to the Department of Transportation Regulations.

Note: The provisions of this job bulletin do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provisions contained within may be modified or revoked without notice.
Essential Functions

These functions may not be present in all positions in this class. When a position is to be filled, the essential functions will be noted in the announcement of position availability. Management reserves the right to add, modify, change or rescind work assignments as needed.

Performs advanced professional level financial accounting duties in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and governmental accounting standards, including but not limited to general accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll

Takes an active role in the preparation of financial and statistical statements and reports, fixed assets, the implementation of GASB pronouncements and other accounting functions

Assists in preparation of the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR)

Prepares complex financial reports and analyses for submission to local, state and federal governmental agencies.

Assists in the supervision and training of subordinate staff members.

Maintains general and subsidiary ledgers; prepares general journal entries (revenues, expenditures, depreciation, etc.) to generate fiscal month and fiscal year-to-date balance sheets, changes in fund balance and cash flow financial statements

Prepares journal vouchers for adjusting and correcting accounting records.

Reconciles and balances accounts and assists in the maintenance of general ledger and subsidiary ledgers of various funds .

Performs year-end review of accounts and prepares year-end adjusting and closing entries.

Maintains complete financial records and prepares reports for payroll related adjustments for the California Public Employees Retirement System

Assists in analyzing payroll data to resolve inconsistencies and ensure conformance with City policies and regulations, memoranda of understanding, salary resolutions, State and Federal payroll laws, and PERS requirements; verifies salary adjustments and retroactive payback to City employees; makes specialized calculations, including FLSA and PERS.

Participating in reconciliation of payroll and tax withholding records, and preparation of quarter-end and year-end payroll reports, including form W-2.

Calculates and conducts research and analysis on payroll related costs and prepares confidential materials, reports and recommendations on behalf of the City in matters relating to labor relations.

Participates in meetings and discussions relating to labor relations.

In the absence of the Payroll Supervisor or Payroll Coordinator, may participate in the execution of payroll run and activities.

May serve as the Accounting Supervisor in their absence.

Works on special projects and assignments as required.

Performs related work as required.

Qualification Guidelines

A typical way to obtain the requisite knowledge and abilities to perform the duties and responsibilities of this classification is as follows:


Responsible professional accounting experience equivalent to five (5) years of full-time experience performing complex accounting work and financial analysis or three (3) years of full-time experience performing professional accounting work in a public agency.

Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with major course work in accounting, finance, or directly related field, including or supplemented by course work in accounting and statistics. Master's degree from an accredited college or university in accounting, finance, business administration, public administration or a directly related field, is desirable.

An equivalent combination of education and relevant experience that provides the desired knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform essential functions may also be considered.


Class C California Driver's License. Revocation of license during employment may result in disciplinary action or reassignment.


Knowledge of Federal, state, and municipal laws, rules and regulations governing accounting and finance practices, governmental auditing, finance and accounting methods, practices and procedures.

Thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of best accounting and budget practices, budget development and financial reporting programs for public sector entities.

Knowledge of financial management concepts and applications and contemporary modeling methods related to revenue and expenditure projections

Knowledge of principles, practices, methods and procedures of general payroll accounting.

Knowledge of computer technology and software related to financial analysis, modeling, data management

Knowledge of statistical theory and principles of its practical application.

Knowledge of the principles of work measurement, data metrics and analysis.

Knowledge of sound financial management policies and procedures.

Knowledge of municipal accounting and financial record keeping practices and techniques.

Knowledge of the principles of administrative report preparation, development, and presentation.

Advanced knowledge of the methods of formula and systems utilized in various computerized financial systems and Microsoft Office Professional applications including Microsoft Excel.

Knowledge of English usage, syntax, spelling, grammar and punctuation.


Ability to prepare complete and accurate reports, analyses and statements of a complex nature.

Ability to apply accounting principles to the maintenance of voluminous financial and accounting transactions.

Ability to analyze and evaluate accounting problems and to discern those requiring major policy determinations by superiors.

Ability to understand, interpret, and apply laws, rules, regulations, policies, procedures, contracts, best budget practices, budgets, and labor/management agreements

Ability to prepare multi-year financial historical and forecast models

Ability to understand, interpret, and apply the fundamental principles, related policies and procedures of finance, accounting and budgeting.

Ability to analyze complex payroll, pay and employee benefit proposals, budgeting, forecasting, and finance related issues, identify problems and alternative solutions, develop recommendations, project consequences of proposed actions and implement recommendations.

Ability to operate standard office equipment and prepare manual and computerized financial reports, maintain ledgers and journals and analyze complicated fiscal data and draw logical conclusions.

Ability to exercise judgment and creativity in making conclusions and recommendation.

Ability to effectively manage workload demands and priorities and meet critical deadlines.

Ability to plan and coordinate multiple high-profile projects simultaneously.

Ability to prepare clear and concise reports, both oral, written and in chart form.

Ability to perform assignments with a high level of honesty and integrity.

Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationship with other employees, City officials, and the general public, and collaborate and deal constructively with conflict to develop consensus.

Ability to perform assignments with considerable independence and accuracy and attention to detail.

Ability to work early morning, late evening and/or weekend assignments when necessary.

Supplemental Information


In accordance with Government Code Section 3100 - all City of Costa Mesa employees are required to perform assigned disaster service worker duties in the event of an emergency or a disaster.


Please contact Human Resources for a summary of the essential tasks and environmental factors for this classification.

Employee accommodations for physical or mental disabilities will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

To view benefit information for all groups, Click Here

New employees contribute 12% of their salary on a pre-tax basis towards the 2%@60 or 2%@62 CalPERS retirement formula depending on eligibility. Effective July 2023, employeeswill contribute 9% of their salary on a pre-tax basis.

Salary Increases:

  • Effective July 2023: 3% increase
  • Effective July 2024: 3% increase

Employees receive the following health insurance flexible benefits contribution:

  • Effective January 2023: $1,550monthly
  • Effective January 2024: $1,600monthly
  • Effective January 2025: $1,650monthly

The City does not participate in the Social Security system; however, federal mandate requires new employees to contribute 1.45% of wages to Medicare. As a condition of employment, all new employees are required to enroll and participate in the direct deposit program.

Closing Date/Time: Continuous

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