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City of Torrance
Class Code: 1242

Class Designation: Civil Service

April 2000

Representation Unit: Engineers Association &
Torrance Fiscal Employees Assoc.




Under direction, performs increasingly responsible professional accounting work including preparation and statistical analyses of a variety of financial statements and reports; and performs related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

An Accountant is distinguished from a Senior Accountant in that the incumbent is not responsible for a major accounting or auditing function within the Department. Incumbents are distinguished from the Senior Account Clerk in that the incumbents perform professional level accounting work. Incumbents initially work under general supervision progressing to direction as they become able to independently perform the full range of duties associated with this level.

Supervision Exercised/Received

An Accountant receives direction from a Senior Accountant or higher level supervisory position in the department. An Accountant may provide functional supervision to other classifications including but not limited to Secretaries, Account Clerks, and Senior Account Clerks.

Examples Of Essential Duties

The following duties represent the principle job duties; however, they are not all inclusive.
  • Performs a full range of accounting and reporting for municipal enterprise operations and all governmental fund types.
  • Analyzes and verifies financial documents, City revenue receipts and other financial entries for accuracy and compliance with established accounting and auditing procedures.
  • Originates journal entries, reconciles bank and investment statements, prepares vouchers, billings, trial balances and maintains a variety of financial schedules, records and files.
  • Ensures proper accounting for fixed assets, revenue and expense accruals.
  • Analyzes expenditures to proper accounts, analyzes budget variances, projects estimated expenses and prepares adjustments in the maintenance of budgetary controls.
  • Develops, implements, and monitors accounting procedures and reports.
  • Prepares financial statements, reports and analyses utilizing computer applications.
  • Explains and interprets existing accounting and fiscal policies and procedures to City personnel, auditors and general public.
  • Performs State and Federal grant accounting and reporting.
  • Assists in the preparation of the City's Annual Financial Report.
  • Assists in the preparation and recordation of the City's annual operating and capital budgets.
  • Performs routine audits of City departments or external entities under the direction of a supervisor.
  • Collaborates on the design of forms and the development of procedures for keeping financial records; makes recommendations for changes to established accounting systems.
  • Assigns, reviews, coordinates and trains support personnel including providing input on performance evaluations.
  • Examples Of Other Duties

    The following duties represent duties that are generally performed by this position, but are not considered to principle job duties:
  • May interpret contracts and/or leasing agreements for billing and collection.
  • Performs related duties as required.
  • Qualification Guidelines

    Knowledge of
  • Governmental accounting practices, standards and procedures.
  • Generally accepted accounting and auditing principles and standards.
  • Automated accounting systems.
  • Principles of mathematics and basic statistics.
  • Spreadsheet, word-processing, and database software applications currently in use by the City.
  • Proper English usage, spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • City codes and ordinances, and administrative rules and regulations affecting departmental operations.
  • Public relations and customer service techniques, including telephone etiquette.
  • City and Department Mission including strategic goals and objectives.
  • General City operations.
  • Applicable local, State and Federal laws and regulations.
  • Ability to
  • Analyze and interpret fiscal and accounting records.
  • Prepare comprehensive and concise accounting, auditing, statistical and narrative reports.
  • Design and implement accounting procedures, forms, and systems.
  • Exercise independent action and judgment within established guidelines.
  • Operate a computer, calculator and a variety of office equipment.
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing with the public and staff in other agencies/departments.
  • Exercise tact and diplomacy relative to public inquiries and requests for information.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those encountered in the course of work internal and external to the City.
  • Learn and utilize new skills and information to improve job performance and efficiency.
  • Shift priorities as departmental workload demands require.
  • Maintain confidentiality and exercise sound judgment.
  • License or Certificate

    See Education Requirement.

    Education and Experience

    Any combination of education and experience that would have provided the required knowledge and skills is qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the knowledge and skills would be:
    Graduation from an accredited four year college or university with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting; or possession of a Certified Accounting certificate from the State of California or governing agency and one year of experience involving the preparation or maintenance of financial records.
    Special Requirements
    Performance of the essential duties of this position includes the following physical demands and/or working conditions:
    Requires the ability to exert a small amount of physical effort in sedentary to light work involving stooping and bending, and moving from one area of the office to another including climbing stairs; sufficient hand/eye coordination to perform skilled repetitive movements, such as data entry and/or the use of calculators or other office equipment and supplies.  Tasks require visual perception and discrimination and oral communications ability.  Tasks are regularly performed without exposure to adverse environmental conditions.
    May be required to travel to different locations in the course of business including other City worksites or local, state or federal governmental locations.
    Career Ladder Information
    Experience gained in this classification may serve to meet the minimum requirements for promotion to Senior Accountant or Deputy City Treasurer.