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City of Torrance
Class Code: 1243
Class Designation: Civil Service
January 2001
Representation Unit: Torrance Professional &
Supervisory Association

Senior Accountant


Under direction, performs responsible auditing and accounting and does related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

A Senior Accountant is distinguished from an Accountant in that the incumbent is in charge of a major accounting or auditing function within the Finance Department and may supervise an Accountant. The Senior Accountant is distinguished from the Assistant Finance Director in that the incumbent is not responsible for a division of the Finance Department nor does the incumbent normally acts as department head in the absence of the Finance Director.

Supervision Exercised/Received

Receives immediate supervision from higher level supervisory and/or management.

Example Of Duties

The following duties represent the principal job duties; however, they may vary depending on assignment and they are not all-inclusive.
  • Verifies and appraises the reliability of accounting records and statistical data in various departments of the City using generally accepted auditing procedures.
  • reviews and/or audit postings, payroll, utility billing and license systems, leases and other revenues, debt service and other accounting activities for accuracy and conformance with generally Accepted Accounting Principles;
  • examines and recommends changes in various phases of the City's fiscal and statistical operations;
  • participates in the evaluation, selection and maintenance of the department's automated record-keeping systems;
  • interprets, audits, corrects, and authorizes changes to major automated accounting subsystems in his/her assigned area, oversees the design, development, installation and implementation of these systems under the direction of the Finance Officers, including identification of critical elements and recommendation to accept the system, prepares financial statements;
  • assists in preparation of City's annual budget;
  • provides departments with requested financial information and consults with them on the maintenance of City and departmental record coordinates, sets priorities, monitors and evaluates work of assigned personnel;
  • interacts with consultants, attorneys, business leaders, and bank officials regarding financial issues;
  • represents department on various committees including but not limited to those involving bonds, redevelopment, and license review;
  • ensures compliance with provisions of Federal, State, County, and City statutes relating to financial matters;
  • interprets accounting fiscal policies in accordance with Governmental Financial Reporting Standards and Practices;
  • administers contracts with vendors, including insurance requirements and compliance with contract specifications;
  • and makes journal entries and maintains ledgers.
  • Minimum Qualifications

    Knowledge of
  • Governmental auditing, reporting and accounting principles and procedures;
  • Federal and State laws and requirements placed on municipal accounting organizations;
  • Automated accounting systems;
  • Personal Computers and spreadsheets;
  • Supervisory principles and practices; and employee relations.
  • Ability to
  • Design, implement and maintain accounting systems;
  • Perform present value analysis;
  • Communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing;
  • Prepare accounting, auditing and administrative reports designed to be informative to lay persons as well as those possessing an accounting background;
  • Interpret Federal, State, and local statutes/provisions;
  • Establish and maintain effective interpersonal relations with the public and other employees, consultants and representative from other agencies;
  • Supervise the work of subordinate staff including, coordinating, assigning, scheduling, monitoring, and evaluating work; hiring and training, counseling and disciplining staff; and processing grievances.
  • License or Certificate

    None required

    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 college or university with a degree in Accounting or a related Field (such as Business Administration or Public Administration) which includes a minimum of 24 semester units in accounting courses required by accounting majors; OR Possession of a Certified Public Accountant certificate for the State of California OR Have passed the CPA qualifying test that is recognized by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and three years of recent and responsible accounting or auditing experience, preferably for a government agency or in the performance of financial audits of local government entities.

    Special Requirement

    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 moving from one area to another; requires sufficient hand/eye coordination to perform repetitive movements, such as typing, filing, and the use of commonly used office machines and supplies; may involve extensive VDT exposure. Tasks require visual perception and discrimination as well as oral communications ability. Tasks are regularly performed without exposure to adverse environmental conditions.

    Career Ladder Information

    Experience gained in this classification in addition to training and acquisition of additional skills may serve to meet the minimum requirements for promotion to Accounting Manager.