Principal Accountant

Department/Agency of position: 
City of La Puente Administrative Services
Location of position: 
La Puente, CA
$5,645 – $6,862
Date Posted: 
Friday, March 1, 2019
Closing Date: 
Friday, March 22, 2019
Job Description: 

Under general direction, this position is responsible for providing direction and supervision for professional accounting and accounting support staff and performs diverse and specialized accounting work, which is complex and involves significant accountability and decision-making responsibility. Assignments are broad in scope and allow for a high degree of administrative discretion in their execution.


The Principal Accountant is distinguished from the Accounting Technician by the high level of discretion and independent judgment in performing the full range of routine to complex accounting and financial record-keeping functions. Successful performance of the work requires extensive knowledge of governmental accounting practices and procedures, fund accounting and fiscal management. This class is distinguished from the Director of Administrative Services, by which the latter has broader accountability for City administrative services, interfaces with the City Manager and department heads, management of department staff and related planning decisions.


The duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the class.

Assist the Director of Administrative Services as required;

• Prepares and enters month-end and year end journal entries and prepare monthly financial reports; prepare monthly bank reconciliations; • Reviews Daily Cash Management Report and reviews and recommends fund transfers; assists Director of Administrative Services with investment portfolio management; • Reviews and approves vendor accounts payable invoices and the weekly warrant register; reviews semi-monthly payroll registers for completeness and accuracy; • Assist in developing the annual City accounting, including revenue projections and budget estimates; • Compiles, review, analyze, prepare and update a variety of complex budget schedules; • Prepare budget appropriation adjustments; • Lead the preparation, development, and completion of the City's annual external audit and other special audits; • Work with external auditors and City staff to ensure responses are complete, well documented and provided in a timely manner; • Perform related duties as assigned; and, provide quality customer service. • Ensure compliance with provisions of State, Federal, County, and City statutes relating to financial matters; • Ensure department services are provided with a high degree of customer service and ethical standards; • Supervise train and evaluate employee performance, and make effective recommendations regarding hiring and disciplinary action as needed; • Coordinates and conducts internal audits of accounting transactions for accounts payable, accounts receivable, business licenses and cash reporting and related journals; • Prepares Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and external independent audit for conformance with internal control procedures and proper financial reporting; • Reviews accounts receivable, cash receipting, and business license reports; • Provides staff support to the Director of Administrative Services; participates on a variety of committees; prepares staff reports and other necessary correspondence; • Perform other related duties as assigned.


Knowledge of: Must have knowledge of principles and practices of general, fund and governmental accounting including financial statement preparation and methods of financial control and reporting; GAAP, GASB and GFOA accounting standards and requirements applicable to City operations and funding sources; federal and state laws and requirements for municipal accounting organizations; principles, types and uses of automated accounting systems and principles of business management, office methods, and procedures. Must have the ability to interpret and analyze complex financial data and material, and draw logical conclusions; understand, interpret, and apply laws, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures related to accounting operations; maintain complex records and prepare reports and financial statements; establish and maintain effective working relationships; review the work of subordinate staff and provide direction as necessary; assist departments and management in a variety of accounting and budgetary matters, and be motivated by challenges; communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; and provide quality customer service.

Ability to: Analyze, interpret, and apply accounting theory, practices, principles, and terminology common to governmental accounting, finance, and auditing; interpret financial data and effectively communicate conclusions and recommendations; design and prepare complex and specialized financial statements and reports; develop and implement department goals, objectives, policy and procedures; effectively supervise and evaluate the performance of assigned staff; establish and maintain effective and cooperative working relationships with those encountered in the performance of duties; exercise effective independent judgment and initiative to resolve problem situations; foster a teamwork environment; work extensively with financial software systems, including experience with system implementation; work extensively with monthly and annual close processes, including in-depth awareness of required entries and reconciliations to complete a closing process; and, the demonstrated ability to work at a very high level with Excel and Database inquiry and report writing software.

Education and/or Experience: Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year college or university with a major in Accounting, Finance, Business Administration, or a related field is required. 3 years of professional and progressively responsible experience in governmental accounting work is required, of which 1 year of direct supervisory experience is required. Licenses, Certificates and/or Special Requirements: Valid Class C California driver’s license, acceptable driving record, and proof of insurance in compliance with the City’s Vehicle Insurance Policy standards. Ability to work extended hours in order to complete projects, attend meetings, and accommodate City needs is required. In accordance with California Government Code Section 3100, City of La Puente employees, in the event of a disaster, are considered disaster service workers and may be asked to protect the health, safety, lives, and property of the people of the State.

Physical, Mental and Environmental Working Conditions: The physical demands, mental demands and work environment described herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this class, the employee is constantly required to sit, and occasionally to stand and walk. Finger dexterity and light grasping is required to handle, feel, or operate computer hardware and standard office equipment; and reach with hands and arms above and below shoulder level. The employee occasionally bends, stoops, lifts, and carries records and documents, typically weighing less than 20 pounds. Sensory demands include the ability to see within the normal range, talk, and hear, and use electronic touch keypads.


The salary range is $5,645 – $6,862 per month (Step A-E). A six (6) month probationary period is required. Because of various cost of living increases, a 4% salary increase will be effective July 1, 2019 for this position. The updated salary range will be as followed: $5,870 – $7,137 per month (Step A-E).

• Retirement: Employees are covered under the State of California Public Employee Retirement System (PERS). The City does not participate in Social Security and does not contribute to SDI. Classic employees are currently at 2.5% at 55 formula with the employee currently contributing 7% toward the employee portion. New CalPERS members are at 2% at 62 formula with the employee contributing 7% toward the employee portion. • Bilingual Pay: Employees who qualify and pass a proficiency examination in a second language such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish or any other language determined by the City Manager shall be compensated at a monthly premium rate of 2% above each employee’s base salary. • Paid vacation: 10 days after one year, 15 days after 5 years, and 20 days after 10 years. • Administrative Leave: 72 hours of administrative leave per calendar year. Administrative leave shall not carry over to the next year and holds no cash value. • Sick leave: 8 hours per month to a maximum of 416 hours; optional buy back of hours accumulated over 320 at 50%. • Holidays: The City observes 10 paid holidays. Employees also receive 24 floating holiday hours per calendar year. • Insurance: The City provides a variety of health programs through the CalPERS Health Program. The City currently pays up to the following for employee and dependents coverage: Single: $830.89; Employee +1: $1,661.78; and Family: $2,160.31. • Dental/Optical/Audio: The City provides dental/optical/audio coverage in an amount not to exceed $2,000 per fiscal year for employee and dependents. • Life Insurance: Employees are provided $75,000 of term life insurance. • Education Reimbursement: The City reimburses employees who attend educational classes, which assist them in performing their job duties.


Candidates must submit a cover letter, detailed resume, and completed City application form to: City of La Puente, Administrative Services Department, 15900 E. Main St. La Puente, CA 91744.

The deadline to submit applications is Friday, March 22nd at 4:30pm. Postmarks and faxed applications will not be accepted. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Oral examination is weighted 100%. Offers of employment are contingent upon provision by the applicant of evidence of his/her right to be legally employed in the United States, and verification of a valid California Driver's License and vehicle insurance. Applications and information can be obtained at and are available at La Puente City Hall, (626) 855-1500. EOE/ADA

The information contained in this bulletin does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract of employment. The City Manager is the only person authorized to modify its terms. Provisions are subject to change without notice.


The City of La Puente is an equal opportunity employer. The City does not discriminate on race, age, religion, gender, national origin, disability or any status protected by law. If you need assistance in completing an employment application, or any other part of the application process, please make your needs known to the Administrative Services Department.